10 Immune-Boosting Foods You Should Eat, According to Experts
Feed your immune system, suggests experts. What you eat impacts how well your immune can fight off infection and battle when infected. Which foods are the best at boosting your immune system? Whole foods contain key nutrients that help the immune cells function optimally. Eating foods that boost your immune system can actually reduce your risk of getting sick, according to experts. Studies show eating more whole foods lowers the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold or influenza.
Top 10 Immune Boosting Foods that are Backed by Research
A bite of these might act like an immunity booster, as these foods contain research-backed nutrients that support the immune system:
- Blueberries & Kiwi
- Garlic & Mushrooms
- Spinach & Carrots
- Superfood Tea Cubes
Which Fruit is Best for the Immune System?
Blueberries and kiwis are on among the top foods that boost the immune system as they contain nutrients your body needs to fight off infections, such as Vitamin C and polyphenols. Vitamin C is found in many fruits, including blueberries, but is especially abundant in blueberries, kiwi and raspberries. Blueberries are an exceptional food to boost immunity as research shows the polyphenols and fiber it provides support the gut’s hot-spot where inflammation is triggered by poor food choices and pathogens, a process that science suggests weakens the immune health.
Does Fiber Boost Your Immune System?
Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, which offers immune-boosting benefits.
Fibers in plants support a healthy gut microbiome which plays a role in immune health. Chickpeas are also a great source of magnesium, a mineral your body needs for immunity. Magnesium is needed for the proper functioning of some important immune cells (T and B cells).
Is Chocolate an Immunity Booster?
Cocoa found in higher amounts in dark chocolate has some direct effects on the immune system, ultimately reducing inflammation and rallying the immune cells to communicate better, according to experts.
Can You Actually Increase Your Immunity Naturally?
Yes, nutrients in the food you eat can either help or hinder your immune system, according to mounting research. For many years, certain foods have been consumed with the thought that they can help you when you get sick. For example, garlic has traditionally been used as a Herbal Medicine to help relieve symptoms associated with upper respiratory tract infections, according to Health Canada. As for avoiding getting sick, human clinical trials show that starches, called fungal polysaccharides, in mushrooms enhance the immune system. Also, a small amount of vitamin D may be found in mushrooms.
Does Vitamin D Boost the Immune System?
Super important for many immune cell activities, vitamin D is not something you can get a lot of from food. Natural food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies) and egg yolks. Most milk products and plant-based beverages are fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D can be made in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. For most Canadians, a problem arises in the winter when sunlight can be negligible, yet cases of infectious diseases are highest. In some situations, supplementation may be required.
What Helps You Fight Infection in the Body?
When your diet lacks vitamin B6, research shows your immunity is decreased. Boost your immunity with foods that contain vitamin B6, such as spinach, carrots, eggs, and salmon. Spinach is an epic immune-boosting food as it also contains vitamins C and A, also linked with helping the body stave off infections.
How Do You Avoid Getting Sick?
Besides washing your hands, getting enough sleep, and vaccinations, science shows there are other ways you can avoid getting sick. According to research, tea leaves might be one of the most impressive immune-boosting foods, particularly if you’re trying to avoid getting sick from common viruses, such as the common cold or flu. Researchers are also investigating the benefits of EGCG (the highest amounts are found in flash-frozen tea leaves) in COVID.
There are actually many immune-boosting benefits of tea leaves – read more!
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