The foods we eat, have a huge impact on our wellbeing and therefore on our immune system. Our body’s immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends us against infection. This system is wired to keep a record of every germ it has ever defeated. It is then able to recognise and destroy these germs quickly if they show up again. When our immune system is comprised, this capability can be severely diminished. The result can be an invasion of our body with various ailments.
The current Covid 19 pandemic has increased discussions on the importance of a healthy immune system. It is especially important to be aware that currently other than safe physical distancing and proper hygiene practices like frequent hand washing, not much else can protect us totally from this virus. Not even the COVID vaccines, currently being administered around the world can. That said, it is always beneficial to keep our immune system healthy. When healthy it is better able to protect us from various germs that try to invade our body. A healthy immune system offers us, tremendous defence against the COVID 19 virus and indeed other viruses, illness etc.
There are a number of ways to achieve this. They include the foods we eat, our environment, various supplements, sleep etc. I will concentrate only on the former, the foods we eat in this blog.
There are a wide variety of foods that can boost our immune system. Many of these are foods are rich in vitamin C. A few of these foods are:
Popular examples of these fruits are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines. These fruits are rich in Vitamin C, which increases the production of white blood cells. These cells are key to warding off infections.
The thing about vitamin C, is it is not produced or stored by our body, so we need a daily supply of this vitamin for be healthy. This is why a vitamin C supplement is often recommended.
Red bell peppers
These apparently have even more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Indeed than any other fruit or vegetable. Red bell peppers are also a rich source of beta carotene.
This is a very healthy vegetable. High in fibre, vitamins A, C, E and many antioxidants. It is best eaten raw and if cooked, very lightly. Apparently steaming is the best cooking method for this vegetable.
Garlic has been recognised for a long time to be a good infection fighter. It’s immune boosting properties are thought to come from its heavy concentration of sulphur-containing compounds.
Many have found comfort using ginger when unwell. It provides some relief from nausea, sore throats, and may help decrease inflammation.
Many have sworn recently (during the COVID 19 pandemic) about the healing properties of a drink, made of a combination of ginger, garlic and lemon infused in hot water. This combo has apparently been found to clear up congested airways.
Papaya and kiwi fruits
These fruits are high in vitamin C. Again this vitamin boosts our white blood cells, which help fight infection.
Have you wondered why many turn to chicken soup when they feel under the weather? Apparently this soup may help lower inflammation, and so improve symptoms of a cold. Poultry, such as chicken is high in vitamin B6, which is crucial in the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.
The broth made from chicken bones contains nutrients helpful for gut healing and is an immune system booster.
Eating primarily nutrient dense foods, which are real foods is essential to keep our immune system healthy. Indeed it is essential for good health period. There is absolutely no healthy substitute for real foods. None!