6. Dark chocolate
Now you have another reason to add chocolates to your diet thanks to their immunity boosting properties. A 2013 study discovered that “A cocoa diet has been shown to influence the immune system: in the innate inflammatory response as well as in the adaptive immunity, and in both systemic and intestinal compartments.” Moreover, dark chocolate includes the antioxidant theobromine, which improves our immunity and keeps the cells in our body safe from free radicals.
However, make sure you consume dark chocolate in moderation as it is high in saturated fat and calories.
Broccoli is one of the most supercharged immunity boosting foods that is packed with vitamins A, C, & E, fiber, antioxidants and minerals. According to a study conducted by UCLA (University of California in Los Angeles), broccoli can significantly help to boost the aging immune system. The UCLA researchers believe that broccoli “is a radical new way of thinking in how to increase the immune function of elderly people to possibly protect against viral infections and cancer.” The study found that sulforaphane, present in broccoli, helps to fight free radicals and prevent us from falling sick.
Another 2017 study revealed that “We evaluated the innate immuno-stimulating activities of hot water extracts of various vegetables using the silkworm muscle contraction assay system, and found that broccoli, Brassica oleracea var. italica, contains a strong innate immunostimulant.”
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Garlic is a part of every cuisine in every culture across the globe. Not only it has immune-boosting properties, garlic is also praised for its anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants which battles free radicals and prevents various diseases and conditions. Garlic also helps to reduce blood pressure and helps to improve your arteries, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
One study showed that garlic is rich in allicin (sulfur-containing compounds) which helps to decrease the risk of catching cold and flu.
9. Red bell pepper
These are an excellent source of vitamin C. The anti-inflammatory properties of red bell pepper helps to prevent various diseases like tumour progression and atherosclerosis. Moreover, these are also packed with beta carotene which helps to keep your skin and eyes healthy. So make sure you add this to your list of immunity-boosting foods to have on your table.
10. Sweet potatoes
These vegetables are packed with a type of antioxidant known as beta carotene. Beta carotene is a great source of vitamin A and helps to protect your skin against damage from UV rays. Moreover, sweet potatoes consist of approximately 30% of our daily vitamin C requirement and 120% of our daily vitamin A requirement with only 100 calories. These nutrients are essential for our immune response. Sweet potatoes, apart from being fat-free and cholesterol-free, are also a rich source of fiber.
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But that’s not all.
Apart from these top 10 immunity boosting foods, there are many other foods that you can add to your diet to improve your immune system. Take a look:
- Green tea
- Sunflower seeds
- Citrus fruits like orange
- Greek yogurt
- Wheat Germ
- Peanut butter
- Baked beans
- Raisin bran
- Flax seed
- Chia seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Egg yolks
- Raw Honey
Consume a variety of immunity boosting foods
If you are planning to eat more immunity boosting foods to keep yourself and your family safe from flu, viruses and diseases, then ensure that you eat a wide variety of such foods. Consuming only your favorite food from the list above will not be much beneficial even if you eat that consistently. Eating a balanced diet and different types of foods will make sure you stay healthy while improving your immune system. You also need to focus on recommended daily intake and serving sizes as well.