Much is written about an improper diet being the primary cause for illnesses and infections. Yet, whenever the flu season strikes, the only preventive measures that people take are medicinal immune boosters fr improved immunity.
But, trust us, the smarter move would be a trip to your kitchen. Many nutritionists believe that a poor diet devoid of essential nutrients is what weakens our immunity. These nutrients also have a strong impact on a person’s vascular system through which major infection fighting cells travel. Let’s take a look at some of the best foods that act as natural immune boosters.
Garlic: For centuries, garlic has been a vital component of almost every food recipe. But, the beneficial effects of garlic are not merely restricted to adding flavor to your food. This close relative of the onion has long been used as a potent immune booster owing to its nutritive, antifungal and antiseptic properties. Past research indicates that when used raw, garlic provides protection against common colds, coughs and chest infection. This is because garlic is a high source of vitamins (C, B1, and B6), minerals (phosphorus and iron) and sulfoxide alliin known for its anti-bacterial properties.
Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids found mostly in coldwater fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are vital immune boosters that help maintain overall fitness. As per dietary recommendations, it is advisable to feed children at least three ounces of salmon thrice a week. This essential unsaturated fatty acids rich food, increases the activity of phagocytes or white blood cells that devour any bacteria present in the body. Apart from this, it also provides protection against damage caused by over-reactions to infections.
Fruits and vegetables: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is another great way to combat any conditions associated with reduced immune response. The sole reason for this is that they contain high levels of immune boosting nutrients like Vitamin C and bioflavenoids. Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. By reducing blood pressure and increasing the HDL (good cholesterol) levels, they reduce the risk of certain cardio-vascular ailments. Similarly, the group of phytonutrients called bioflavenoids protects the body cells against a number of harmful body pollutants.
Nuts and seeds: Extremely beneficial for healthy cardio functions, these valuable sources of Vitamin E help bolster your immune response. Their main mechanism of operation is that they stimulate the production of natural killer cells thereby eliminating dangerous germ cells and cancer cells in the body. Depending on a person’s lifestyle, the daily dosage of these nutrients may vary. People with sedentary lifestyle and high levels of alcohol consumption may need more than 100-400 milligrams per day.
Whole grains: Brown rice, oats, barley and other similar forms of whole grain contain nutrient rich components like fiber, proteins and anti-oxidants. In fact, many nutritionists claim that they provide more essential nutrients than refined grains like white flour. Hence, it is advisable to replace the consumption of any form of refined grains with whole grains to ramp our immune levels.