The immune system is something that functions normally but itself, but sometimes it needs a little extra help in order to be strong. There are foods that are known for their ability to boost the immune system, and, needless to say, they should be consumed as much as possible.
The importance of strong immune system
Immune system includes a number of functions and processes in the body that protect the health, repair the damage and help in regenerative processes. It is because of this system that people do not get sick from every single virus or bacteria they come across. The purpose of immune system is to hunt down and kill those foreign agents.
A strong immune system does not protect only against seasonal, common illnesses like flu and cold, it also provides protection against more serious ones.
Every person needs to make sure to provide all the important nutrients the immune system needs to stay strong, which is the single best way to stay healthy.
Foods for boosting the immune system
Vitamin C is probably the most famous of all vitamins. It is a powerful antioxidant, which means it destroys free radicals. It also improves the immunity, by increasing the production of white blood cells. In addition, vitamin C increases the production of antibodies, interferon in particular. Interferon creates a coat around the cells so the viruses cannot enter. The best natural sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers, strawberries and pineapple.
Vitamin E is another important vitamin for the immune system. It boosts the production of B-cells, cells that produce antibodies that kill bacteria. It can be found in seeds, nuts, grains and vegetable oils.
Beta-carotene increases the number of cells that fight infections and also the number of T-cells, which are important for the immunity. Food sources of beta-carotene include carrots, kale, sweet potatoes, cilantro, thyme, squash, spinach, turnip greens and collard greens.
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for good health because if it is deficient, the immune system becomes weak. Some of the zinc-rich foods are liver, lean beef, oysters, pork, lamb, turkey, pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans and yogurt.
Garlic is a traditional cure for viral infections and it is also a great booster of the immune system. It improves the function of two important components of the immune system, T-lymphocytes and macrophages.
Finally, the immune system cannot stay strong if the body does not get enough omega-3 essential fatty acids. It increases the function of phagocytes, white blood cells that destroy bacteria. The best source of omega-3 is fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, but also flaxseeds, linseeds and nuts.