How can you improve your immune system?
immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms.
Your lifestyle can affect how well your immune system can protect you from germs, viruses, and chronic illness.
Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system healthy. Check this list to see where you could use some improvement.
Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
•Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
•Maintain a healthy weight.
•If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
•Get adequate sleep.
•Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
•Try to minimize stress.
Which foods boost the immune system?
A healthful, balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well. The following foods may help to boost the immune system:
Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. A 2016 study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine, which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that the body produces when it breaks down food or comes into contact with pollutants. Free radicals can damage the body’s cells and may contribute to disease.
Turmeric is a yellow spice that many people use in cooking. It is also present in some alternative medicines. Consuming turmeric may improve a person’s immune response. This is due to the qualities of curcumin, a compound in turmeric.
4. Oily fish
Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
According to a 2014 report, long-term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body.
Broccoli is another source of vitamin C. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane . For these reasons, it is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health.
6. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant that gives the skin of the potatoes its orange color.
Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A. It helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Spinach may boost the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:
People use ginger in a variety of dishes and desserts, as well as in teas.
According to a review, ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and is likely to offer health benefits. However, more research is necessary to confirm whether or not it can effectively prevent illness.
Garlic is a common home remedy for the prevention of colds and other illness.
One review looked at whether taking garlic supplements containing allicin reduced the risk of getting a cold.
The group of participants taking a placebo had more than double the number of colds between them than those taking the garlic supplements. However, the researchers concluded that more research is necessary to determine whether or not garlic can help to prevent colds.
10. Green tea
Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, so people can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee. Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system.
As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold.
Kefir is a fermented drink that contains live cultures of bacteria that are beneficial for health.
Initial research suggests that drinking kefir may boost the immune system. various studies have shown that regular consumption of kefir can help with:
•increasing antioxidant activity
The majority of the research that supports this was carried out on animals or in a laboratory. Researchers need to perform additional studies to understand how kefir may prevent disease in humans.
12. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds can make a tasty addition to salads or breakfast bowls. They are a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant.
In the same way as other antioxidants, vitamin E improves immune function. It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells.
Almonds are another excellent source of vitamin E. They also contain manganese, magnesium, and fiber.
A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.
14. Oranges or kiwifruit (kiwis)
Oranges and kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is the vitamin that many people turn to when they feel a cold developing.
While scientists are still not sure exactly how it helps, vitamin C may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms and improve the function of the human immune system.
15. Red bell pepper
For people trying to avoid the sugar in fruit, red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C.
Enjoying the 15 immune-boosting foods covered in this article may strengthen people’s immune system and improve their ability to fight off infections.
That said, it is important to remember that the immune system is complex. Eating a healthful, balanced diet is just one way to support immune health.
It is also essential to be mindful of the other lifestyle factors that may affect immune system health, such as exercising and not smoking.
Anyone who gets frequent colds or other illnesses and is concerned about their immune system should speak to a doctor.
Noura Al Thani