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5 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Add to Your Diet Today

Immunity-Boosting Foods

The immune system protects the body from hazardous infections, viruses, and bacteria, which is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs. It is a critical part of the body’s defence mechanism and is essential for preserving general health and well-being.

You need a powerful immune system to stay healthy and fend off infections. It facilitates the body’s ability to fend against illnesses and infections, hastens recovery time, and delays the onset of chronic illnesses.

Diet is crucial for preserving a strong immune system. A well-balanced diet full of important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help boost immunity and ward against disease.

It has been discovered that a number of foods have immune-boosting qualities that can aid in defending the body against illnesses and infections. Your immune system will stay robust and healthy if you include these foods in your diet.

This post will go over five foods that can improve your immunity right now. Garlic, ginger, spinach, turmeric, and citrus fruits are some of these foods. 

Each of these foods has been proven to have immune-boosting qualities, so including them in your diet can help your body fight off infections and build your immune system.

Foods To Boost Your Immunity To The Next Level

Foods To Boost Your Immunity
Source: Canva

1. Garlic

Garlic
Source: Canva

In addition to being a popular element in cooking, garlic has long been used medicinally. Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese are just a few of the vital minerals that are abundant in it. It also includes allicin and other sulphur compounds responsible for garlic’s distinctive flavour and aroma.

The strong antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic are well documented. It has been used traditionally to treat several illnesses, such as digestive problems, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections.

Research on Garlic’s Immune-Boosting Properties

Garlic has been found to have immune-boosting qualities that can aid in defending the body against diseases and infections. Garlic extract has been shown in a study published in the journal Advances in Therapy to improve immune function and lessen the severity of cold and flu symptoms. 1

White blood cells, which are essential to the body’s immune response, can be produced more readily when taking garlic supplements, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition. 2

Garlic has also been shown to have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, which may help the body fight off infections. A study that was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial 

Chemotherapy indicated that garlic extract was efficient against a range of bacteria, including kinds that are antibiotic-resistant. 3

Ways to Incorporate Garlic into Your Diet

Garlic is a versatile ingredient that can be easily incorporated into your diet. Here are some ways to add more garlic to your meals:

(i) Use garlic when cooking

Stir-fries, soups, and sauces can all benefit from adding garlic. It can be minced and added to recipes for flavour and health advantages.

(ii) Make a garlic toast

For a quick and wholesome snack, toast a slice of bread, rub it with a raw garlic clove, then sprinkle some olive oil.

(iii) Make garlic-infused oil

It is as simple as mixing garlic and olive oil in a jar and letting it sit for a few days so the garlic may impart its taste and nutrients to the oil. Use the oil to season salads or for cooking.

2. Ginger

Ginger
Source: Canva

Popular spice ginger has been used for medical purposes for a very long time. It contains many important nutrients, such as zingerone, shogaol, and gingerol. The main bioactive ingredient in ginger, gingerol, is what gives it its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities.

Traditional medicine has utilised ginger to cure a variety of conditions, such as nausea, indigestion, and inflammation. It is also well known for enhancing the immune system, which makes it a great supplement to a balanced diet.

Research on Ginger’s Immune-Boosting Properties

Ginger possesses immune-boosting qualities that can help the body fight off diseases and infections. Ginger extract can boost immune system performance and lower the risk of respiratory infections. Also, just like garlic, the intake of ginger also results in more white blood cells. 4

In fact, ginger has been demonstrated to possess strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities that can assist the body in fending against chronic diseases. Taking ginger supplements helps lower the body’s levels of inflammation indicators, making it a great addition to a balanced diet. 5

Ways to Incorporate Ginger into Your Diet

Ginger is simple to include in your diet, you can try these methods:

(i) Make ginger tea

Add ginger to your tea to get its advantages. Ginger tea is a well-liked way to consume ginger. Just grate fresh ginger into boiling water and season with lemon or honey.

(ii) Use ginger when cooking

Stir-fries, curries, and soups can all benefit from adding ginger. It can be used in foods to add taste and reap the health benefits by grating, mincing, or slicing it.

(iii) Make ginger shots

Ginger shots are best to take advantage of the medicinal properties of ginger. Just combine fresh ginger, lemon juice, and honey for a quick and simple immune-boosting injection.

3. Spinach

Spinach
Source: Canva

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable with an abundant source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, iron, and calcium. And, it has a lot of antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory.

Numerous health advantages of spinach have been demonstrated, including a decreased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Research on Spinach’s Immune-Boosting Properties

Research shows spinach possesses immune-boosting qualities that can help the body fight off diseases and infections. Adding spinach to one’s diet can boost the body’s generation of white blood cells, which are essential for the immune system’s reaction. 6

Beta-carotene and vitamin C are two antioxidants in spinach that can help shield the body from oxidative stress and inflammation. So, taking supplements of spinach can lower the body’s levels of inflammation indicators. 7

Ways to Incorporate Spinach into Your Diet

A versatile food item, spinach is simple to include in your diet. To include more spinach in your meals, try these ideas:

(i) Use spinach in smoothies

Smoothies can benefit from the addition of spinach because it contains additional nutrients. Combine fresh spinach with your favourite fruits, yoghurt, and milk for a delicious and healthful smoothie.

(ii) Use spinach in your salads

Spinach adds taste and nutrition to various salads and can be used as a base for salads.

(iii) Cook spinach into your meals

You may add spinach to an omelette, pasta dishes, soups, and other foods by sautéing, steaming, or boiling it.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric
Source: Canva

The bright yellow spice known as turmeric is frequently seen in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It has a lot of curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Traditional medicine has utilised turmeric to treat a variety of conditions, such as inflammation, arthritis, and digestive problems. It is also well known for enhancing the immune system, which makes it a great supplement to a balanced diet.

Research on Turmeric’s Immune-Boosting Properties

Turmeric has been found to have immune-boosting qualities that can assist the body in fighting off diseases and infections. The main active component of turmeric, curcumin, can boost immune function and lower the risk of infections. 8 9

Demonstrated to possess significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, turmeric may aid in defending the body against chronic illnesses. Curcumin is a great complement to a healthy diet since supplementing with it helps lower inflammation markers in the body. 9 10

Ways to Incorporate Turmeric into Your Diet

Turmeric is a versatile food that is simple to include in your diet. To include extra turmeric in your meals, try these ideas:

(i) Use turmeric in your cooking

Curries, soups, and stews can all benefit from the addition of turmeric. It has health advantages and can be used as a spice or condiment to add flavour.

(ii) Make turmeric tea

Make turmeric tea to take advantage of the health advantages of turmeric. Simply bring fresh turmeric to a boil in water and flavour with honey or lemon.

(iii) Take turmeric supplements

Daily turmeric capsule supplements help strengthen your immune system and advance your general health.

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits
Source: Canva

Vitamin C, folate, and potassium are among the necessary vitamins and minerals that are abundant in citrus fruits, which include oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes. And, they contain a lot of antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.

Numerous health advantages of citrus fruits have been demonstrated, including a lower risk of developing chronic illnesses, including heart disease and stroke.

Research on Citrus Fruits’ Immune-Boosting Properties

Citrus fruits have been found to offer immune-boosting qualities that can defend the body against diseases and infections. Vitamin C, found in abundance in citrus fruits, is essential for the body’s immunological response. 11 12

The immunological response in healthy people can be improved by vitamin C supplementation. Supplemental vitamin C helps shorten the length and severity of the common cold. 12 13

Ways to Incorporate Citrus Fruits into Your Diet

A flexible food that is simple to include in your diet is citrus fruit. Here are some suggestions for including more citrus fruits in your diet:

(i) Snack on citrus fruits

You can eat citrus fruits as a healthy snack all day long. For a quick and easy nutrient boost, just peel and consume.

(ii) Add citrus food to the salad

Your salads will taste better and contain more nutrients if you add citrus fruits.

(iii) Use citrus fruits in your cooking

You may season or marinate a variety of foods, such as chicken, fish, and vegetables, with citrus fruits.

Ayurvedic Perspective on Immunity-Boosting Foods

Ayurvedic Perspective on Immunity-Boosting Foods
Source: Canva

A healthy immune system is crucial to preserving good health. According to Ayurvedic principles, a strong immune system depends on a healthy digestive system, which is directly related to the immune system.

Ayurveda also acknowledges the significance of including particular foods in the diet to enhance immunity. The danger of illness and disease is thought to be reduced thanks to these meals’ ability to balance the body and boost the immune system.

Some of the key immunity-boosting foods in Ayurveda include:

  • Garlic: Garlic is a fantastic meal for boosting immunity because it is thought to have potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Ginger: It is said that ginger has warming effects that can aid in promoting digestion and strengthening the immune system.
  • Spinach: Because it is so high in antioxidants and important vitamins and minerals, spinach is a fantastic food for boosting immunity and overall health.
  • Turmeric: An effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, turmeric boosts immunity and lowers the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Citrus fruits: Vitamin C, which is necessary for a strong immune system, is abundant in citrus fruits.

How to make recipes with immunity-boosting foods

Ayurveda emphasises the importance of preparing and consuming food mindfully, with an awareness of different foods’ effects on the body and mind:

  • Garlic and Ginger Soup: This soup blends the immune-supporting qualities of garlic and ginger with wholesome veggies for a hearty and soothing lunch.
  • Smoothie with spinach and turmeric: Adding spinach and turmeric to your diet is delicious and simple, and this smoothie offers a variety of important nutrients and antioxidants.
  • Citrus and Turmeric Dressing: This straightforward dressing combines the immune-boosting qualities of citrus fruits and turmeric with healthy fats for a tasty and nourishing complement to salads or roasted veggies.

Adopting these Ayurvedic concepts and dishes into your diet can support a robust immune system as well as general health and well-being.

Summary

Immunity-Boosting Foods
Source: Canva

A robust immune system must be maintained for total health and well-being, and nutrition is a key factor in promoting immunity. It is possible to guarantee that the body has the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to fight off infections and lower the risk of chronic disease by consuming a variety of nutrient-dense meals.

Garlic, ginger, spinach, turmeric, and citrus fruits are five essential foods that have been demonstrated to promote immunity. These meals are nutrient- and antioxidant-rich, assisting in the immune system and bolstering and lowering inflammatory responses in the body.

You may easily and deliciously include these five immunity-boosting items in your diet. While spinach and citrus fruits can be enjoyed in salads, smoothies, and juices, garlic and ginger can be used in soups, stir-fries, and marinades. For enhanced flavour and health benefits, turmeric can be used in curries, roasted vegetables, and dressings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which foods can boost immunity?

Garlic, ginger, spinach, turmeric, and citrus fruits are known to have immune-boosting properties.

How do these foods boost immunity?

These foods contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other compounds that enhance immune function, fight off infections, and reduce inflammation.

How can I incorporate these foods into my diet?

You can add garlic and ginger to your cooking, use spinach in smoothies or salads, include turmeric in curries or dressings, and snack on citrus fruits or use them in recipes.

References

  1. Nantz MP, Rowe CA, Muller CE, Creasy RA, Stanilka JM, Percival SS. Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Adv Ther. 2012 Oct;29(10):950-62.[]
  2. Ankri S, Mirelman D. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes Infect. 1999 Feb;1(2):125-9. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(99)80003-3. []
  3. Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, Flores-Gutiérrez EO, Reyes-Grajeda JP, Carrera-Quintanar L, Ortuño-Sahagún D. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630.[]
  4. Arablou, T., Aryaeian, N., Valizadeh, M., Sharifi, F., & Hosseini, A. F. (2014). The effect of ginger consumption on glycemic status, lipid profile and some inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5(12), 1578–1585.[]
  5. Kim, J. H., Kim, H. Y., Park, E. H., Lee, J. H., & Ryu, J. H. (2012). A comparative study on the immune-enhancing effects of two different types of ginseng and their major components. Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, 9, 1–10. doi: 10.1515/1553-3840.1566[]
  6. Kim, Y., Davis, L. M., & Sullivan, P. G. (2017). The Effects of Dietary Spinach Supplementation on Exercise-induced Oxidative Stress. Journal of Nutrition, 147(11), 2139-2145. []
  7. Kumar, N., Goel, N., & Dubey, G. (2016). Evaluation of the Anti-inflammatory Activity of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) in Mice. Journal of Medicinal Food, 19(11), 1043-1052.[]
  8. Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. doi: 10.1007/s10875-006-9066-7.[]
  9. Aggarwal BB, Harikumar KB. Potential therapeutic effects of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent, against neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009 Jan;41(1):40-59. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2008.06.010. Epub 2008 Jun 19.[][]
  10. Gupta SC, Patchva S, Aggarwal BB. Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. AAPS J. 2013 Jan;15(1):195-218.[]
  11. Wu H, Duan Z, Jiang WG, Liang P. Five Citrus Flavonoids Induce Apoptosis in Human Lung Cancer A549 Cells via Inhibition of mTOR/STAT3/MAPK/ULK1/AMPK Signaling Pathway. J Cancer. 2020 Jan 1;11(2):370-377.[]
  12. Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;(1):CD000980.[][]
  13. Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;(1):CD000980. []