A person’s optimum nutrition must allow the immune system to respond against the pathogen and sustain health in case of infection (Childs, C. E., Calder, P. C., and Miles, E. A. (2019)). Specific dietary patterns may help build immunity and prepare the body for microbial attacks, which certain immunity-boosting foods help achieve. The growth and function of immune cells improve nutrients like vitamins C, D, micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron. The body’s immune system response is altered by the deficiency of even a single nutrient.
Our immune system is altered in case of deficiency of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, and folic acid, as shown in animal studies (Harvard, Nutrition report). Many human and animal trials have suggested that supplementing the deficient nutrient into the diet will restore the immune function (Calder PC, Kew S, 2002).
Consuming healthy foods daily is the key to achieving a stronger immune system in the body. Therefore, remember this phrase,
“Eat Healthy And Stay Safe.”
1. Vitamin C-rich Foods
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that boosts the immunity of the body. Citrus fruits may help increase the production of White Blood Cells. All citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With Indian gooseberry, our native Amla is the richest source of vitamin C. Include fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in your diet and sees the positive change taking over. Being a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C needs to be supplied daily.
2. Colored Fruits And Vegetables
Such fruits or vegetables are delicious, eye-pleasing, and provide health benefits to the body. Naturally colored fruits or vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, spinach also boost the body’s capacity to fight infection. The bright yellow bitter spice is anti-viral properties. Start including them in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotic foods help to boost the immune system. These immunity-boosting foods help promote a healthy gut. Prebiotic foods like curds or non-flavored yogurt also improve the immune system. Healthline website recommends consuming prebiotic foods, such as garlic, onions, asparagus, leeks, bananas, barley, oats, apples, cocoa.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most favorable choices to boost the body’s immunity. Green tea consists of an important antioxidant like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), responsible for elevating the body’s immunity levels. As green tea is steamed instead of fermented, it does not lose the antioxidant content, providing many health benefits to the body, along with bolstered immunity.
5. Dark Chocolate
Chocolates are considered bad for teeth, but dark chocolate proves otherwise for the benefits it gives to the body. Theobromine in dark chocolates helps boost the immune system. It stops the formation of free radicals that cause oxidative stress in the body; it results in lesser immunity, old age problems, stress on the body, etc. Therefore, appropriate consumption of dark chocolate boosts your mood and health.
Ancient Charka Ayurveda has explained the importance of foods that boost your immunity. In the last year, we have experienced very closely how one’s immunity can even fight an enormous pandemic like Covid-19. The Health Ministry also developed AYUSH MANTRALAYA, which would update on the latest immunity-building foods. Traditionally, we always believed that the secret to a healthy life was adequate AHAR and VIHAR.
The importance of seasonal foods is well known. A simple tradition of consuming mangoes only after AKSHAY TRITHI (which is in April) is commonly practiced, ensuring that the fruit is adequately grown and aptly sweet. The AHAR that we consume daily should include foods from all five food groups. The traditional Thali consumed by most Indian communities contained these five food groups, including the raw vegetables in salads.
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