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19 Best Food to Increase Immunity

Your immunity is tightly controlled by what happens inside your body and is a response to everything that happens inside. The surrounding environment also shapes the way your immune system develops. This means that in order to achieve a strong immunity, you need to find the best balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle, adopting healthy habits and creating healthy dietary changes.

Today’s article will explore the best ways to boost and support a healthy immune system, starting with the list of best foods to increase immunity.

Foods to Increase Immunity

  • Immunity can be built with the help of certain foods that combine minerals, vitamins, proteins, antioxidants and other compounds. The list includes:

    • Almonds: Besides being an excellent memory-boosting food, almonds are also known to build immunity. They are a great source of vitamin E and are known to prevent and fight cold. A small handful of daily almond consumption can benefit your immune system.
    • Sunflower Seeds: Rich in magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin B6 and E, sunflower seeds make a tasty addition to your bland salads or breakfast bowls!
    • Green Tea: Green tea contains lesser caffeine. So, it is a great alternative to black coffee or coffee in general! It is rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant shown to increase your immune system.
    • Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains a high amount of theobromine. This antioxidant helps boost immunity and protect your body cells from free radicals, molecules your body produces when breaking down food. Dark chocolate is beneficial. However, it is high in saturated fat and calories, so you should eat it in moderation.
    • Turmeric: Turmeric has been part of Indian cuisine for ages. Organic haldi is anti-inflammatory ingredient, a helping hand in curing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, along with boosting your immunity.
    • Wheat Germ: It is a great mixture of protein, fibre and healthy fat, and a great source of zinc, vitamin B and antioxidants. You can even replace your regular wheat flour with wheat germ.
  • Fruits That Boost Your Immune System

    Every fruit is healthy. However, some fruits are better for building immunity than others. Such fruits include:

    • Blueberries: They are rich in anthocyanin, a type of antioxidant meant to boost your immunity. Some research show that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids had fewer chances of getting a common cold or an upper respiratory tract infection.
    • Citrus Fruits: Usually, when people are suffering from a common cold, they turn to take the help of citrus fruits because they are rich in vitamin C, the best source to build immunity! It is known to produce white blood cells, the key fighters against infections. The best fruit items for developing immunity are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, kiwis, limes, tangerines and clementines.
    • Apple: The peels of apples are made of quercetin, a plant pigment flavonoid that helps boost the immune system and lower inflammation.
    • Pear: Pear has anti-inflammatory flavonoids in its peels that hold the necessary potassium and fibre needed to build your immune system.
    • Papaya: Papaya is also a rich vitamin C fruit with a digestive enzyme called papain which has anti-inflammatory effects. It also holds potassium, folate and magnesium.
    • Pineapple: The vitamin C and manganese-loaded pineapple is another fruit meant to increase immunity. It has an enzyme, bromelain, that helps control diarrhoea, absorb anti-biotics and fight cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes.
    • Watermelon: This immune booster fruit is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A, copper, vitamin B5 and vitamin C. Additionally, it also contains citrulline.
    • Avocado: Avocados are rich in potassium, iron and vitamin E. They are also high in healthy unsaturated fats that help reduce cholesterol and grow immunity.
  • Immune Boosting Vegetables

    • Sweet Potatoes: They are loaded with an antioxidant called beta carotene, a source of vitamin A important for building immunity, making skin healthy and offering protection against skin damage.
    • Garlic: Apart from adding flavour to your food, garlic is known for fighting infections with its immune-boosting properties.
    • Ginger: Just like garlic, even ginger is known to add flavour to your cuisines. But did you know, this power-packed ingredient is great to turn to after getting sick? It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties for reducing sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses.
    • Spinach: Spinach might help boost your immunity as it contains all the necessary nutrients like vitamin C, flavonoids, vitamin E and carotenoids.
    • Tomatoes: This home garden vegetable is rich in vitamin C, integral for strengthening phagocytes and t-cells – your body’s main immunity-building components.

What are the other ways to Develop Immunity?

There are several tried and tested, science-backed ways to improve your immune system for healthier living. We are going to list down the eight best ways to boost your immunity and stay healthy:

  1. Create a Healthy Sleeping Cycle

    Today’s harsh living lifestyle has taken a toll on everyone. With increased stress and an imbalanced work-life situation, everyone has their sleep schedules messed up. Moreover, as we grow older, it gets more difficult to give our bodies adequate rest. But this is the worst mistake anyone could ever make since it negatively affects how our body functions and responds to illnesses. In order to build a strong immunity, doctors recommend a healthy seven to eight hours of sleep.
  2. Exercise Regularly

    Physical activity is not only meant to build your muscles or help you lose weight. It’s an important process for staying healthy and building a great immune system. Exercise stimulates your immune functions by boosting overall blood circulation, making it easier for your immune cells to fight diseases and travel throughout the body.

    It is important to include physical activity in your daily routine, whether it’s about stepping in the gym, practicing a sport on the weekend or working out indoors – just as long as you keep your body active, you are good to go!
  3. Increase Your Water Intake

    There are several reasons why staying hydrated is stressed on. One is, improving your immune system. Hydration plays an important role in not only giving you flawless skin but also supporting the improvement of immunity in your body. Lymph is a body fluid that carries immune cells to fight infections in your body. When you get dehydrated, the movement of lymph slows down, leading to a bad immune system.

    While you might think people who work out regularly might need more water as they lose sweat. But that’s not entirely true. Whether you work out or not, staying hydrated is extremely important because you keep losing water through bowel movements, breathing and urinating. Replacing the lost water for an improved immune system is necessary. So, keep yourself hydrated throughout the day!
  4. Take Your Recommended Vaccines

    Nothing is more effective for keeping a strong immune system than taking recommended vaccines for protection against illnesses. Vaccines smartly train your immune system by helping it recognise and fight-off illnesses. Stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 vaccines and annual flu shots to prepare your body to fight against harmful disease-causing germs and infections.
  5. Add Necessary Vitamins to Your Diet

    Nutrients are the building blocks of our body. When you regularly consume necessary nutrients in the form of supplements, you are giving your body the chance to toughen up its immunity system. Here are all the essential immune-boosting vitamins your body needs:
    • Vitamin E: To fight infections in your body and increase your immune system
    • Vitamin C: To fight free radicals in your body
    • Vitamin B6: To support the biochemical reactions of your immune system
    • Vitamin A: To act like a natural defence against illnesses and infections
    • Folate: To form healthy red blood cells, meant to improve your immunity system
    • Zinc: To keep the inflammation inside your body in control
  6. Maintain a Healthy Diet

    There’s no doubt about the fact that what you give your body will greatly affect the way it functions. This means that you need to find the balance of healthy foods, fruits and vegetables!
  7. Take Control Over Your Stress Levels

    Stress plays a major role in negatively affecting your body. We might not think about it too deeply, but it adversely and indirectly affects our immune system. When going through a period of chronic stress, your body’s natural response to it is initiating stress response. This response system is known to control your stress levels; however, it hinders your immune system and increases your chances of getting an infection.

    It is difficult to manage stress effectively. However, it is equally important to do so since your immunity is also at risk. If you find yourself in extremely stressful situations where it gets difficult to think straight, try deep breathing, meditating or exercising – whatever can act as a medium to divert your mind from the stressful situation.
  8. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol

    Completely quit smoking as it is known to decrease your immune system and make way for contracting illnesses and infections. It changes your immune system’s balance which makes way for autoimmune diseases. Moreover, if you drink alcohol, reduce your intake levels as heavy alcohol can only hamper your immune system, linking to increased infections and illnesses.

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