OverviewThe immune system is crucial to our survival as it ensures the eradication of all foreign threats, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Today, people are focusing on the optimization of their immune systems because of COVID-19. However, mind your source of information since the internet is a hub for misinformation and false claims.
In this article, we will share with you the best food to increase immunity. By the end of this piece, you will have all the necessary knowledge on products for increasing immunity.
Food That Can Boost Immune System
In our previous article (insert the link of – how to boost your immune system naturally), we discussed some activities that boost your immune system (e.g., exercise, sleep).
The next sections, however, will focus on specific foods that carry scientifically proven efficacy on immune function.
Zinc is a vital mineral that contributes to the synthesis of new immune cells.
Similar to many of the substances on this list, we can only get zinc through our diet. As a result, many people deal with zinc deficiency due to their poor dietary choices. This reflects on their health, including the functioning of their immune system.
Zinc mediates the production and signaling of immune cells, which gives them impressive immune-boosting properties.
In a 2017 meta-analysis, researchers concluded that zinc shortens the duration of the common cold by 33%. Another study found that zinc lowers the risk of respiratory tract infections in the elderly population.
Zinc also improves tissue repair after traumatic injuries.
To produce and store collagen to replace the dead tissue, the body needs several components, including vitamin C and zinc.
The cells require zinc to produce and deposit collagen fibers. In fact, many hospitals use zinc supplements as part of their protocol to treat patients with burns.
Moreover, zinc possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may decrease the risk of many illnesses.
2. B vitamins
B vitamins are essential for the normal function of your immune cells. They mediate the production of immune cells and their activity.
According to some studies, a substantial portion of the population is borderline deficient in B vitamins, which increases the risk of infections and neurological disorders.
To fix this problem, nutritionists suggest taking dietary supplements with vitamin B complex.
3. Vitamin C
People use vitamin C to treat various forms of infections, including those affecting the respiratory system (e.g., flu, common cold).
Unfortunately, researchers found no evidence that supports the efficacy of vitamin C in treating or reducing the risk of these infections. However, some studies concluded that it can increase the production of white blood cells.
Moreover, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that eradicates free radicals, which are the trigger of immune dysfunction.
Oxidative stress refers to a cellular state characterized by an imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants.
When the number of ROS becomes superior to antioxidants, the risk of cellular damage and DNA mutations significantly increases.
For decades, researchers studied the correlation between oxidative stress and many diseases. The results show that a substantial number of chronic ailments can be the direct result of oxidative stress.
Some of these illnesses include heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and immune disorders. The good news is that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes oxidative stress.
In a 2015 study, researchers found that regular intake of vitamin C lowers your oxidative stress by up to 30%.
4. Vitamin D
In one large study published by Cambridge University, scientists inspected the impact of numerous vitamins on the immune system.
They concluded that vitamin D ensures the proper signaling between regulatory and effector cells.
In general, vitamin D is produced intrinsically when you are exposed to sunlight. However, there are millions of people who are deficient in vitamin D; as a result, their immune systems do not function properly.
Additionally, vitamin D boosts the action of T-cells and macrophages.
In a 2011 paper, researchers analyzed the influence of vitamin D on the immune system. They found that low vitamin D levels augment the chances of immune disorders.
Studies confirmed that consuming echinacea supplements boosts the production of white blood cells, which eventually lowers the risk of bacterial infections.
Echinacea is loaded in antioxidants and vitamins that regulate the immune system to make the process of killing microbes more efficient.
Pomegranate benefits the body in a variety of ways, including the optimization of the immune system.
Eating this fruit on a regular basis will guarantee that your B and T immune cells are functioning optimally.
Here are the ways that pomegranate can help with immunity:
Neutralizes oxidative stress
Pomegranates are extremely rich in polyphenols, that possess potent antioxidant properties.
In fact, pomegranate juice is richer in antioxidants compared to all other juices. For instance, it contains 3 times more antioxidants than green tea or red wine.
Pomegranate juice has many anti-inflammatory compounds that lower the levels of CRP and ESR – markers of inflammation.
Consequently, the risk of degenerative diseases decreases.
Provides the body with vitamin C
Producing juice from a single pomegranate provides your body with 40% of its daily requirement of vitamin C.
Fights off viral infections
Pomegranate contains vitamins C and E. Both compounds enhance the function of the immune system. As a result, the risk of developing viral or bacterial infections dramatically decreases.
Eating the right foods is one of the cheapest approaches to optimize the function of your immune system.
As scientists run more experiments and studies, they keep unveiling the best ways to increase immunity naturally.
We hope that this article introduced the best food to increase immunity; however, if you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.