15 Super Foods to Boost Your Immune System
With the Covid-19 virus still spreading rapidly all over the world, the need to have our immune systems at peak condition cannot be overemphasized. This is why although we spoke about tips to help boost the immune system last week, this week, we are once again focused on the immune system, except this time around, the focus is on superfoods that can help give our immune system that much needed boost, and thus increase our body’s chances of fighting off the virus if, for any reason, we come in contact with it.
1. Citrus fruit
We cannot talk about boosting the immune system without turning to the much-needed Vitamin C and what superfood is rich in Vitamin C? Citrus fruits! So indulge in your love for oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapefruit and so much more! Your body will thank you for it.
Not only is garlic essential for giving your meals that extra spice, but it’s also rich in allicin which is a compound that has the power to boost your immune system big time! It’s a win-win in my book!
We can’t talk about garlic, without bringing up its sister spice: ginger! Not only does ginger help reduce sore throat and other inflammatory infections; it’s also perfect for boosting the immune system.
4. Red Bell Peppers
Not only do red peppers give your dish some much-needed heat, which transforms any bland dish into a spicy delight, they are also the masters of immune-boosting superfoods as they contain twice the number of Vitamin C in citrus fruits!
Like we learned in last week’s post, probiotics and their good bacteria help the body’s antibodies fight against infections. As such, Yogurt is definitely a food you should have in your diet. To get the full benefit of this superfood, it’s best to have unsweetened yogurt, and make sure it’s indicated on the label that it has “live and active cultures”.
To be precise, keep an eye out for button mushrooms. Not only are they high in selenium, riboflavin, and niacin, which are all needed to keep your immune system in top condition, but they are also high in polysaccharides which also help boost the immune system.
7. Sunflower seeds
Not only are these tiny seeds rich in nutrients such as phosphorus, and magnesium, they are also rich in Vitamin E which works in regulating and maintaining the body’s immune system. If you can’t readily find sunflower seeds, however, you can always turn to cook with sunflower oil so you can still get the benefits of these powerful seeds in your meals.
8. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are high in water, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E: three nutrients that your immune system needs to function optimally, and therefore fight off infections and illnesses with ease.
Papaya, or as it is more popularly called in Nigeria: Pawpaw is a fruit that contains 224% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C, in one papaya! This makes this juicy, delicious fruit, one that should be incorporated into our daily diet.
It’s also rich in Potassium, B vitamins, folate, and papain, which are all nutrients that your body needs for its overall health.
The vegetable that is referred to as the stomach’s broom because of its shape and its function in the digestive system, not only helps to improve the body’s digestion but is also rich in Vitamins A, C, and E, which are all essential to boosting your body’s immune system!
The delicious fruit has in one serving alone, 270mg of potassium, 30% of the body’s daily Vitamin A value, and 25% of Vitamin C. It’s also rich in Vitamin B6 and glutathione. Add the fact that of all the fruits on the list, it has one of the lowest calorific numbers, and watermelon is definitely the superfood you want on your plate to help boost your immune system.
Yes. Tea! If you’re a lover of tea, then this would make you extremely happy as tea is not only refreshing but it also contains antioxidants: polyphenols and flavonoids which help to boost the immune system!
13. Sweet potatoes
Not only is this vegetable particularly tasty (whether fried or boiled or used to make curry), it is also rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C and therefore works wonders for your body’s immune system!
Fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are definitely a source of protein you should keep on your plate, like Omega 3’s help to regulate your body’s immunity and thus can help protect your body from over-reacting to infections; something you should totally consider when your body is fighting off a respiratory-based illness!
Honestly, all nuts work well to help boost your immune system, but almonds are top of the chain! A half-cup of almonds, for example, will give you 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin E! And considering the fact that Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin (meaning it requires fat to get absorbed into the body), eating almonds means that you get the best of both worlds and your body immediately reaps the benefit! Definitely a win-win!