Immune system of our body fights against internal and external substances which may cause diseases and illness. People with weaker immunity are prone to diseases like asthma, cough, cold and many other life threatening diseases. In this post, I am going to give you a good overview of immune system and immunity. And we’ll also learn about some of the best foods to boost immunity, and learn about ways to empower our body to fight immunity related diseases.
Immunity varies from person to person, but you can actually strengthen your immunity by eating immunity booster foods. But before we get in to the details, let me give you an overview of what is immune system, and how does it work and protect us from illness and diseases.
Are you ready?
Let’s dive in.
What’s the role of immune system?
Immune system has a very important role in keeping us healthy. You can call it the defense system of our body, because it protects our body from infections and prevents illness and diseases. Network of cells, tissues and organs work together to keep our body protected against infectious organisms which may otherwise cause illness and life threatening infections.
Needless to say, we should be concerned about the immunity of our body, and do the best possible to improve our immune system. Because when we have a weaker immune system, we’ll be prone to diseases, whereas when our immune system is strong; we are mostly protected from illness and infections. Immune system can be improved through various means including by eating immune boosting foods. And that’s what we are going to discuss in this post. We’ll learn about some of the best superfoods that boost immune system naturally.
Level of immunity or the ability of our body to resist a particular type of infection or toxins, varies from person to person. But thankfully, we can strengthen our immunity and empower our body to fight immunity related diseases.
How our immunity protect us from illness?
Functionality of the immune system of our body is very complex; probably it’s as complex, as the nervous system of the body. Naturally, we don’t need to get in to the technical details, but I will try and explain it in the simplest possible way.
Our immune system is similar to the defense department. One of the key roles of the defense department is to secure the country from external and internal enemies. Similarly, the role of immune system is to secure our body, and protects it from enemies (they call it antigen).
Like our defense department uses armed forces to fight enemies, our immune system uses different organs, cells and tissues to fight these enemies and protects our body. Till the time, our immune system is running smoothly, we are mostly protected against harmful virus, infection and bacteria.
Some of the most important tasks of the immune system are here under:
- Fight and remove bacteria, virus, parasite etc which is harmful to our body
- Identify and neutralize harmful substances
- Fighting against the body’s own cells and tissues that have got infected or changed due to life threatening diseases like cancer.
We as a citizen feel safe and secure, because we know that our defense department is working hard to keep us protected. Similarly, our body is secured against internal and external enemies when we know that our immune system is functioning smoothly.
Sometimes, our immune system fails to fight the germs or bacteria, and thus the germs infections make us sick. And then we end up taking medicines to get well. Immunity is a complicated thing to understand, but we should try our best and do the best possible we can to strengthen our immune system.
Immunity boosting foods to boost immunity
You can strengthen immunity by eating rightly balanced, immunity booster foods. By adopting healthy eating and living practices, we can ensure good health. Listed below are some of the best power foods, which are highly nutritious and good for the body.
Yogurt is very nutritious food which must be in your daily diet. Yogurt is a healthy and delicious food which is rich in protein and calcium, and yogurt is considered as one of the best food to boost immunity. Yogurt is easily available, and you can make your own yogurt at home and eat it fresh a snack, or as a side dish, along with your regular meal.
According to researchers, yogurt contains good bacteria which are capable of neutralizing harmful bacteria. Apart from being an immunity booster food, there are many other benefits of eating fresh yogurt including digestion, teeth and gum related diseases and much more.
Coconut is a super food; you can eat it raw, use as a cooking ingredients. Coconut water is also a well known fluid which contains lots of vitamins and nutrients. Coconuts are good for your overall health and well being, including immunity and weight loss.
Coconut is also known as an immunity booster food because of the special acids like the Lauric acid and Caprylic acid. Coconut oil is widely used in preparing food instead of normal vegetable oil or butter. The best way to consume coconut oil is to use it for cooking or to garnish your food. Not only it’s good for your overall health, but it’s a great immunity booster food.
Mushroom is commonly available and consumed across the world. But if you are yet to include mushroom in your diet, you should consider adding it in your diet (unless you are allergic to mushroom). It has antioxidant properties, it is rich with nutrition and above all, it is one of the best immunity booster super foods.
You will be amazed to know that mushroom can boost your immunity up to 300%. Mushrooms have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
We all know we should eat lots of vegetables and herbs. We use a number of herbs and spices to prepare our food. And Garlic is one such ingredient that we use every day. Garlic is low on calorie and it has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and it helps strengthen immunity.
T-cells are supposed to fight various types of viruses and eating garlic can boost the number of t-cells in the blood stream and also boosts immune system. Eating garlic helps fight common cold and flu and it is a must to eat, especially in winter season.
Turmeric – the golden spice has the highest antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties and it helps boost immunity. Turmeric has lots of medicinal properties and it is being used to cure various types of infections and allergies. You can grind and consume raw turmeric or use turmeric powder which is prepared after drying and fine grinding.
India is the largest producer of turmeric in the world. Due to its medicinal properties, over 80% of turmeric produced in India is consumed by Indians. It’s a must to have spice for Indian cooking.
6. Tulsi or the Holy Basil leaves
Holy Basil or Tulsi is another super herb that helps strengthen the immunity. Tulsi or the holy basil is one of the best immunity booster herbs, which is widely available. It contains powerful antioxidants and it can protect your body from different types of viral infections including cough and cold. Anti-inflammatory properties of the holy basil helps cool down the immune system and reduce unnecessary inflammation.
7. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C can fight various types of allergies and infections, especially cough and cold. And citrus fruits contain plenty of it. It is known to increase the production of white blood cells, which fight infections. Fruits like grapes, oranges, lemon and limes are best immunity booster fruits and you should include it in your daily diet to strengthen the immunity of your body.
Over to you
Immune system of our body is responsible to fight most of the common infections caused by bad bacteria and viruses. When our immune system is strong, our body can fight external enemies and if it is week, we may fall sick.
Thankfully, we can boost the immune system of the body, by eating nutritious and immunity booster food. Some of the most common and widely available immunity booster foods include yogurt, coconuts, citrus fruits, garlic, turmeric and holy basil.
Include these immunity booster foods in your daily diet and live a healthy and happy life.
Do you eat these immunity booster foods? Feel free to share your experience with these super foods.
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.