In order to stay healthy, you need to first build a strong immune system. Your immune system consists of organs, tissues, cells as well as proteins. And all of them together carry out bodily processes that help battle pathogens that are basically bacteria, viruses, and foreign bodies that cause disease or infection in your body. To fight pathogens (1), your immune system needs to release antibodies that attach to antigens on the pathogens in order to kill them. Hence, the best solution to building a good immune system is to introduce immunity-boosting foods into your diet. We're going to tell you all about it and more.
Symptoms of Immunity Disorder:
There are various types of autoimmune diseases (2), most of which have similar symptoms that are listed below -
- Swollen glands
- Joint pain and swelling
- Skin problems
- Abdominal pain or digestive issues
- Recurring fever
Consuming immunity-boosting foods can help your body battle these symptoms and keep you healthy all year long.
5 Food Items to Build Strong Immunity:
We've compiled a list of some of the best foods to boost the immune system that you can incorporate into your diet to make sure you don't fall sick often.
1. Citrus Fruits:
Fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, and tangerines are packed with vitamin C which aid in boosting white blood cell production in your body (3). White blood cells help battle diseases & infections and also remove free radicals from your body, thus preventing cell damage which prevents chronic illnesses (4).
One of the green leafy vegetables that are loaded with iron and vitamin C is spinach. It keeps blood impurities away and improves your body's ability to fight diseases. Hence, including spinach in your daily diet can help you strengthen your immune system. Just make sure that the leaves are accurately cleaned and cooked, since raw spinach can be hard to digest for some people (5).
One of the foods to build immunity is yoghurt as it is considered to be a probiotic that helps to improve your immune system's health. Yoghurt, being one of the immune-boosting foods, can directly affect your gut which helps the good bacteria to flourish. And once you target your gut health, you improve your immune system as the former is directly associated with the latter. Hence, it is said that when you have a healthy gut, it means you have a healthy immune system. However, it is recommended you eat plain yoghurt rather than flavoured ones as the plain one is free of additives, sugars, and artificial flavours (6).
Another food that improves immunity is turmeric as it is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties that help treat inflammation in your muscles and bones. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin which is a great modulator of your immune system. So, including turmeric in soups, curries, and cooked vegetables will not only help you enhance the taste but also strengthen your immunity (7). Speaking of turmeric, we urge you to try the Saffola Immuniveda Golden Turmeric Milk. An instant mix based on the ancient immunity-boosting recipe 'Haldi doodh'. This immunity booster drink can help strengthen your immunity and also manage any kind of inflammation in your body. This healthy drink also contains ingredients like black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom which makes it tasty and healthy.
Also read - Health benefits of turmeric milk
If you're looking for easy foods to build immunity, almonds are the best option. They are packed with vitamin E which keeps your immune system healthy. As vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it requires fat to be absorbed aptly. Almonds have healthy fats that calm down the process of absorption. Your body produces red blood cells through vitamin E, which increases blood flow to all parts. This strengthens your immune system. So, eating 4-6 almonds a day will help. (8)
Ways to Enhance Immunity:
Apart from eating immunity booster foods, you can introduce ways that can enhance your immunity in general. Here are some simple ways to incorporate -
1. Increase Physical Activity:
Any kind of physical activity helps you feel better, reduce stress, and sleep better as well. Along with eating immune-boosting foods, you can go for a walk, a jog, a run, or even exercise four to five times a week can aid in managing weight.
2. Sleep Enough:
Getting a good night's sleep will help you stay productive throughout the day and also keep your immune system healthy. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, affects your immune system negatively which can lead to various disorders (9).
Also read - Drinks recipes for better sleep
3. Quit Smoking and Alcohol:
Smoking can make your body less immune to fighting illnesses and excessive alcohol can weaken your immune system in general. So, other than immunity booster food, quitting smoking and alcohol can greatly help strengthen your immune system.
Your immune system is one of the most important things in your body to keep your overall health in order. Incorporating foods to boost the immune system is the easiest and most natural way to look after your health. And when you combine immunity-boosting foods with improving other lifestyle factors, it will only reflect on your health.
What are the ways to build a strong immune system quickly?
There is never a quick solution to bettering your health. But if you wish to strengthen your immune system all the foods we've listed for you above along with regular exercising and peaceful sleep should help.
How do I know if I have a strong immune system?
If you don't fall ill too often, be it due to seasonal changes or infections, it is safe to say that you have a strong immune system.
What are the different types of immunity?
There are two types of immunity - active and passive. Active immunity occurs when your immune system protects you from pathogens. Passive immunity occurs when your body is protected from a pathogen by immunity that is gained from antibodies or immunoglobulin treatments.
Should I take any supplements to boost my immunity?
Natural immunity supplements that include ginger, amla, and turmeric are safe options. Other than these, there are many other herbs like basil, garlic, and black cumin that can aid in boosting your immunity.
What kind of foods should I avoid?
Some unhealthy foods that you should avoid are -
- Soft drinks
- Refined foods
- Saturated fats
- Salty food items
- Animal protein
- Cooking oils