What foods boost the immune system? Are certain foods able to super charge your immune system? We take a look at the science behind the benefits of certain foods for immunity as well as other health benefits.
Many people are looking for ways to ensure they have an immune system that’s working as well as it can.
Fortunately, there are various ways you can ensure that your immune system is up to speed.
Popular methods such as intermittent fasting and autophagy are already well-known for their immune boosting benefits.
Fans of intermittent fasting may also like to read more here:
However, you may be in more of a mood for a feast than a fast.
In that case, you’ll be wanting to know what foods are going to get you that immune boost without missing a meal.
Foods For the immune system
The good news is that it’s completely possible to eat well without having to compromise your immune system .
Many times this is a lot easier than you’d think.
Sometimes all that is required is that you make a few simple changes to a recipe to get a lot of extra benefits.
Just a word about diet before we take a look at the foods that are beneficial for immunity:
The biggest thing you can do for your overall health and the health of your immune system? Lower the amount of carbohydrates that you eat each day.
This can be achieved by avoiding high carb foods such as grains or sugar. Consider going all out low-carb and following the keto diet.
This very low carb way of eating has multiple heath benefits. It is also proved that it will reduce dangerous chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation does some serious damage to your immune system and your overall health.
So, the foods that are great for your immune system:
Turmeric is super popular and with good reason.
It’s an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
It can help to protect you from the numerous health issues caused by untreated inflammation.
Turmeric dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body.
Curcumin (the active compound in Turmeric) is a natural anti-inflammatory Compound. It plays a major role in joint pain, heart health, certain cancers and more.
Turmeric has been shown to improve your immune system’s response to incoming threats to your health.
The amount of Turmeric Root Powder used is also important. Turmeric Root Powder contains very small amount of Curcuminoids.
The easiest way to take sufficient Turmeric is to use a turmeric supplement.
This will ensure you’re that you’re supplementing with enough to be effective.
You’ll need at least 1000mg of 95% curcuminoids per day.
Oily fish is well-known for its omega 3 fatty acid content.
This study demonstrated the benefits of omega 3 fatty acid for reducing your risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. This condition is a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking your own body.
Good sources of Oily fish are:
- Atlantic Herring
- Muscles ( shellfish)
Try to eat at least two portions of this fish each week.
Red Bell Pepper:
Red bell peppers contain twice the amount of vitamin c compared to that found in citrus fruits. They also carry a good amount of beta carotene.
Vitamin C will help to boost your immune system and as an added bonus it will help to maintain health skin.
Broccoli has long been a favourite for people following the keto diet.
A low carbohydrate super food it is packed with vitamins A, C, E, fiber and other antioxidants.
This is a food worth putting on your plate almost every day.
It benefits from the minimum amount of cooking, so al dente would be best, or put it into a stir-fry.
Spinach can boost your immune system because it contains essential nutrients and antioxidants. These include:
- flavonoids – helps prevent the common cold
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
Vitamins C and E are especially important for the immune system as described in this study
Garlic has multiple health benefits.
With regard to the immune system, the benefits of garlic come from its good amount of sulfur-containing compounds, such as Allicin.
If you enjoy the taste, try adding it to any stew or casserole .
Green tea contains potent antioxidants known as Polyphenols. These polyphenols are able to boost the immune system.
It’s important to note that green tea should only ever be enjoyed with nothing more than almost boiling water.
If you add milk to green tea, the proteins in the milk will bind with the polyphenols and prevent their ability to boost health.
Kefir is fermented milk produced from grains that comprise a specific and complex mixture of bacteria and yeasts that live in a symbiotic association.
This study demonstrated that the live bacteria in Kefir can help to boost the immune system.
Kefir is also able to reduce the levels of inflammation in the body as it is an antioxidant.
The researchers found that:
“Regular consumption of kefir has been associated with improved digestion and tolerance to lactose, antibacterial effect, hypocholesterolaemic effect, control of plasma glucose, anti-hypertensive effect, anti-inflammatory effect, antioxidant activity, anti-carcinogenic activity, anti-allergenic activity and healing effects.”
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E., manganese, magnesium, and fiber.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, so almonds would work well with a food such as cheese, or a fatty fish.
The consumption of a small handful of these nuts a great benefit for your immune system.
Aim for about 10-20 almonds for about half your daily vitamin E requirement.
Sunflower seeds carry a heavy load of nutrients including:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B 6
Again, the fact that these seeds contain a very large amount of vitamin E makes them great for your immune system
Magnesium is important for literally hundreds of functions within your body. Unfortunately as many as 40% of the Adult population do not get enough Magnesium.
Zinc is an essential mineral involved in the development of immune cells. Even mildly low levels of zinc may impair your immune function.
This study found that:
“Nutritional deficiency of zinc in the developing countries is caused by ingestion of high cereal protein intake, rich in phytate (an organic phosphate compound), which makes zinc unavailable for absorption.”
Further, This study stated that Zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system. Zinc is also crucial for normal development and function of cells mediating innate immunity.
Good food sources of zinc include:
It is a lot easier to boost the immune system with food than is often believed.
By making sure you include certain foods into your diet on a regular basis, you will be providing your immune system with all it needs.
Especially beneficial are the anti-oxidants and vitamins especially Vitamins E and C.
It’s vital to make sure that you’re also eating foods that contain a good amount of magenesium and Zinc.
Almost any way that you eat that would be considered healthy is going to be good for your immune system too.
A poor diet, a heavy carbohydrate based diet or one with too much sugar is going to do a number on your health and your immune system.
Try to base your diet on nutritional whole foods and avoid ready meals, seed oils and margarine.
Consider a low carb or a keto diet which has multiple heath and immune system benefits.
Supplements can help especially in the case of Turmeric, but most of your nutritional needs can be bet by good diet with a variety of nutrient dense whole foods.