01- Jul-2021

Top 5 foods to boost immune system

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Dt. Kamna Desai
Dietitian Indu Vaishnavi.R
- M.sc Food and Nutrition (Gold Medalist),
Corporate Dietitian,
Certified Food Safety Auditor (ISO 22000:2018)

“A healthy diet contributes to a healthy immune system”

The immune system plays a significant role in protection against infections and pathogens causing illness, thus maintaining the body’s defence mechanism. The food we eat plays a key aspect in determining our overall health and immunity. Therefore, the process ofstrengthening our immune system begins with eating right kind of nutrient-packed foods in our diet.

To boost immune system, along with vit C, several micronutrients play a crucial role in maintenance ofimmune functions - Zinc, selenium, iron, copper, Multivitamins (vitamins A, E, B ) and folic acid have important influence on immune responses.

This article suggests, foods to boost immune system with top picks!

1. Citrus Fruits & Almonds:

Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells, which are key to fight against infections. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C but Amla (Indian gooseberry) tops the list with 600 -700 mg per fruit. Amla also has anti-bacterial properties that can help detoxify your system. The recommended daily amount of vit C is;
Men – 80mg/d
Women – 65mg/d

Lemons and oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that improves the immune system with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Lime juice mixed with honey can be a great way to boost the body's capability to fight diseases. Additionally, oranges make an excellent option during monsoon to keep away from viral infections, cough and cold.

Almonds are rich source of vitamin E. This nutrient tends to take a backseat to vitamin C but, this powerful antioxidant is also a key to healthy immune system.

2. Bell peppers & Broccoli:

Besides boosting your immune system, capsicums are also rich source of beta carotene which keeps your eyes and skin healthy. It almost contains 3 times as much vitamin C than oranges. Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals necessary for immune functions and antioxidants. Include these foods in the diet as raw salads, soups, and curries

3. Cinnamon & Turmeric:

This aromatic spice, cinnamon is a rich source of antioxidants like polyphenols and pro-anthocyanidins that give a boost to the immune system. Moreover, it has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that help reduce the chances of respiratory diseases and seasonal infections.

Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity.

4. Garlic & Ginger:

This duo is packed with nutrients, multivitamins, minerals, and gut-friendly properties, such as probiotics. These ingredients are the potent immune boosters for your body’s defence against illness. Garlic has antibiotic properties too.

5. Oil Seeds:

  • Flax seeds are rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, that protect our body from bacteria and viruses. Improves immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties, thus helps in preventing asthma.
  • Halim seeds also known as garden cress seeds are rich source of iron, folic acid, Vitamin E and A with immunity-boosting properties. Include these seeds in roasted salads, stew, and soups.
  • Kalonji seeds benefits the body’s immune system due to the abundant presence of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Most importantly, decreases the effectiveness of medications that weakens immune functions.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich source of zinc which nourishes and supports the first defence mechanism of immune system (adaptive immunity). Zinc supports against viruses and bacterial pathogens and promotes integrity for white blood cells.

Apart from these foods, some exclusive herbs also boost immune system. We can include diet, these special herbs like ashwagandha that helps in managing stress, gives good sleep. Astaxanthin helps in good skin and promotes exercise performance. Grape Seed extract known for powerful antioxidant properties that helps building immunity and improve blood circulation.

BestSource Nutrition’s Daily Multivitamin with herbsformula is made considering RDA for Indians. It includesessential 20 vitamins and minerals along with antioxidant and digestive herbal blend

According to Research studies, taking multivitamin helps boost immunity, prevents vitamin deficiency,and improves overall wellbeing when your diet is deficit of nutrients. BestSource Nutrition’s Daily Multivitamin with herbs helps:

  • To fill nutritional gap on daily basis.
  • To provide needed antioxidant support for immunity and well-being
  • To regulate digestion for good absorption of vitamins and minerals.
  • To improve exercise performance.
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