The immune system in the human body can be likened to the military and para-military forces of a country. It is human body’s line of defense against all the diseases and also its best attacking option against pathogens. People often take pills and other formulations to boost the immune system and enjoy a good health. Many of our day-to-day foods are rich in nutrients that naturally boost and enhance the immune system. Here are 15 such foods for your body defense.
Yogurt or curds is prepared by the process of fermenting milk till an acceptable level. This means that it is teeming with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis. These are useful bacteria that help fight against diseases and raise the white blood cells level in the blood stream.
- Green Tea
L-theanine is an amino acid that initiates the release of germ and infection fighting compounds from the T-cells in the body. This amino acid is found in abundance in green tea. Green tea is also known to improve your metabolism.
Those who wish to get their carbs from crabs also get a booster dose of the element – selenium. Selenium strengthens and bolsters the immune system and thus makes you more hardy and resistant against many diseases.
Oranges and other citrus fruits like lime and lemon are rich sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases resistance against common cold and flu. Oranges also trigger the body to increase its production of antibodies which fight the antigens. An increase in white blood cells has also been noted when one consumes oranges.
Beta carotene is a very important ingredient that is present in carrots. This is actually a phyto-nutrient that could also be termed as a ‘fight o’ nutrient because it enhances the production of T-cells in the body. It is also known to increase the natural killer cells produced by the body.
Garlic is in fact better than apples in keeping the doctor away! Sulfur compounds are known to battle infections. Garlic is loaded with thiosulfinates, ajoene and allicin which are all naturally occurring sulfur compounds. Thus, it is very useful in warding off diseases.
- Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are very similar to carrots in their functions of boosting the immune system. They are loaded with the same Beta carotene. Thus they help to increase the production of T-cells in the body and also increase the NK-cell count.
One of the most important theories of aging states that the cells wear out and eventually die due to the oxidation process and thus oxygen is a slow poison which is essential nevertheless. Spinach comes along with a host of anti-oxidants which definitely give a boost to the immune system.
This food fish is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids assist the body’s phagocytes, which are attacking cells, to fight the invading bacteria more effectively. Thus, salmon does help the immunity.
Beta glucans are very similar to beta carotenes in their function. They boost the T-cell count in the body and bolster the production of NK-cells. Mushrooms are rich in these beta glucans compounds and thus are very useful in fighting away infections.
We made a mention of crabs in the beginning. Oysters too come packed with selenium. Selenium greatly enhances the production of cytokines by the body. Cytokines have been proven fighters of infection. Thus, oysters form a immune system friendly diet.
- Kiwi fruit
This fruit is also high in Vitamin C like oranges and citrus fruits. They are available in regions that do not have oranges and can be used as a substitute. Thus, the kiwi helps to fight infections and increases resistance against the rhinovirus which causes common cold.
- Bell Peppers
Another food that is rich in Vitamin C. Bell peppers also help the body in the production of interferons. Interferon is a powerful antibody. They cover the surface of the cells like strong fortifications and fend off attacks by viruses.
This is a cereal that can be consumed in lieu of rice or wheat. In terms of assisting the immune system, barley is like the mushroom. It is rich in beta glucans which boost the production of T-cells in the human body. Barley is known for its anti microbial properties which help fend off infections. It also contains anti oxidants that enhance the longevity of cells.
As stated earlier, sulfur is very powerful in waging battles against infections. Broccoli is rich in phyto-nutrients called glucosinolates which are sulfur compounds. Broccoli is also known to enhance the anti-oxidant systems in your body.