Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

7 Must-eat Immunity-Boosting Foods

As of December 18, the global coronavirus death toll amounted to 1,668,166. SARS-CoV-2, an acute respiratory syndrome, is affecting 228 countries and territories, in which social distancing measures and health/safety precautions are being taken to reduce the risk of infection. Since COVID-19 is a virus that preys on people with weak immune systems and underlying medical conditions, it’s crucial to take care of your health at this critical point in human history.


As per the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, adults may suffer from an immune system deficiency if they need more than two courses of antibiotics within a one-year period; have had more than four ear infections in a single year; are diagnosed with chronic sinusitis/bacterial sinusitis more than three times a year; contract pneumonia twice in one year.


With a strong immune system, you can ward off disease and bacteria that can be threatening to your health. In fact, a report published by the American Psychological Association revealed that long-term stress weakens immune system responses. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat an immune deficiency, with the most effective method being to take actionable care in regards to what you put inside your body.


The Body Craves Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants

Studies have demonstrated that fruit and vegetables are loaded with essential immune system-enhancing nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Furthermore, since many fruits, vegetables, and plant-based ingredients can also help minimize oxidative stress, it is possible to reduce the risk of immune system damage by loading on them.


So without further ado, here are some immune system-boosting foods to include on your shopping list:

1. Cannabis

A growing number of people are buying cannabis flowers or oil to make baked edibles, which are laden with active compounds – e.g. “cannabinoids” and “terpenes” – that react with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to help regulate bodily processes. Although further research into the benefits of cannabinoids is needed, a study confirmed that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) might strengthen the immune system.


2. Citrus fruits

Fruits that belong to the citrus food family are as nutritious as they are refreshing. For example, 100 grams of lemon contains 53mg of vitamin C, as well as vitamin B, calcium, copper, iron, and potassium. Lemon is also a natural antioxidant, just like orange — one contains approximately 70mg of vitamin C. Some other citrus fruits that could benefit your immune system include grapefruit and lime.


3. Greens

Some people say that you should “eat your greens” if you want to stay healthy, and your healthcare practitioner would probably agree. One such example is spinach, which is laden with essential nutrients and antioxidants, such as flavonoids. Carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E — immune system boosters. Kale is another nutrient-dense green that contains powerful antioxidants like Kaempferol and Quercetin, as well as plenty of vitamin C. Add sage to your diet and you can benefit from improved digestion, better skin health, stronger bones, improved brain function, and reduced inflammation.


4. Sweet potatoes

The more colorful your sweet potatoes, the more nutritious they will be for the body. Orange and purple varieties are brimming with antioxidants that shield the body from DNA-damaging free radicals, which have been linked to fatal diseases like heart disease and cancer. Just a single cup (200 grams) of baked sweet potato has 769% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin A. It also harbors Vitamin C, Manganese, Vitamin B6, and Potassium.


5. Eggs

Aside from being protein-packed powerhouses, eggs also offer a healthy dose of selenium, choline, and vitamins A, B, and D; all of which are renowned for strengthening the immune system. What’s more, including eggs in your daily diet will ensure that your body gets plenty of iron, which can trigger positive reactions within the immune system, as well as aid oxygen circulation and improve cognitive function.


6. Oily fish

 Food that is plucked from the ocean is among some of the healthiest. In particular, if you’re hoping to bolster immune system response, oily fish should be added to your plate a few times per week. Specifically, pilchards, salmon, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Based on the findings of a report,  long-term consumption of omega-3 fatty acids could reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) — a chronic autoimmune condition. Tech deals is a gateway to latest tech. Michigan State University researchers discovered that the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) contained in fish oil managed to ameliorate the activity of a white blood cell (B cell) that plays an essential part in the body’s immune response.


7. Roots of flowering plants

Roots continue to be some of the world’s most-trusted herbal remedies. Loading up on ginger, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, can ease nausea, improve gut health and, thanks to its antimicrobial properties, prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria like E.coli, Proteus species, Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Salmonella. Turmeric also delivers a dose of stress and inflammation-fighting phytochemicals. It contains a unique compound called curcumin that researchers have praised for “spicing up” the immune system. Another option is the root of the licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra), since it may ease upper respiratory infections; COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the respiratory system.


Aside from trying out a plant-powered recipe, it’s also possible to boost the immune system by ensuring you get enough sleep, spend time in the sun, stay up-to-date with your jabs – i.e., flu vaccines – and engage in 150 hours of exercise each week. Oh, and one more thing- don’t forget to laugh! Laughter powers up the immune system by stimulating its backbone  — the lymphatic system.


In collaboration with Nancy R. Fernandez