Our immune system is essential for our survival. Without an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. It is our immune system that keeps us healthy as we drift through a sea of pathogens. Our lifestyle is directly proportional to how strong our immune system is – if we stay healthy, eat well and remain active our bodies are better equipped to fight against intruders. The core of a healthy body is truly a strong immune system!
We all want to build a powerful bodily defense system against germs and sickness. The idea of boosting our immune system is very attractive but we sometimes fail to uphold to this idea for several reasons, the main being a counterproductive lifestyle. Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep our immune systems healthy in the long run, even if we slip up now and then. Here are the main five habits that we recommend to make lifelong companions –
- Drinking plenty of water. Stay hydrated!
- Regular exercising, even if it’s a 30 min walk.
- Getting the right amount of sleep for your body.
- Maintaining a healthy weight for your body
- Avoiding excessive regular alcohol and smoke.
Once your lifestyle is healthy is a simple matter of giving your body the right nutrients in the right quantities, so it can stay in tip-top shape. Different seasons call for various seasonal ingredients (for example, amla in winter or neem in summer) but here we’ve rounded up our top 10 favourite and most potent immunity boosters that you can enjoy all year round!
Blueberries contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that reduces damage to cells and boost your immune system. Researchers found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not.
Cocoa is a concentrated antioxidiant. Studies have shown that regular consumption of cocoa may reduce heart disease risk, help raise good cholesterol, and possibly reverse blood vessel damage in people with diabetes.
Nuts are protein-packed powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty-acids and zinc. A small handful or a quarter of a cup of almonds is a healthful snack that may benefit the immune system.
Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. Try adding extra turmeric into your diet during periods of stress or during flu season to help give your immune system a little boost.
As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold. It 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.
Sunflower seeds also contain selenium which help your body fight against certain cancers, while also helping your immune system to control cell damage. Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin, hair and nails.
Amla is an excellent source of Vitamin C, hence it helps boost your immunity, metabolism and prevents viral and bacterial ailments, including cold and cough. According to Ayurveda, amla juice is known to balance all the processes in the body and brings to equilibrium all three doshas – vata, kapha, pitta.
Neem is inexpensive and a wonderful way to improve immune health for highly sensitive people without worrying about side effects. Neem can relieve some of the physical destabilization that diseases present. and minimize the effects of toxins from food, water and stress.
Goji berries contain unique compounds known as Lycium barbarum polysaccharides, most often referred to as polysaccharides. Research has shown that these compounds enhance the body’s ability to resist disease. The berries are also a rich source of vitamin C and zinc, both of which are known to protect against disease and aid in recovery.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, salad greens, cabbage etc contain a group of substances called glucosinolates which are sulphur containing chemicals. These are broken down by our bodies and release biologically active compounds that are known for the health benefits, including their anti-cancer effects. So be sure to eat your bowl of greens regularly, spiced up with any our of delicious salad dressings!
We hope this round up of immunity boosters was helpful and keeps you in tip-top shape all throughout winter. Shop everything on Foodstree by clicking the links above.