Foods to help build your immunity—from a medical student
Dounia, pursuing a medical degree, provides us with many food options that have the potential to boost our immunity.
Food plays a major role in determining a person's overall health and immunity, as certain foods can help the immune system function well and stay strong when trying to get rid of foreign bodies or harmful cells in the body.
With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing around the world everyday, it is necessary—before discussing healthy foods—to remember to adhere to precautionary measures and hygiene standards such as washing hands frequently, physical distancing, and avoiding leaving the house excessively. At the onset of the pandemic, experts added that it is important to improve your immunity, since this is a conscious action and in our control.
Now, we will highlight the most important foods that can potentially strengthen our immune systems and help us build our health and hopefully beat COVID-19.
Most people turn to Vitamin C for preventing many ailments. It is believed that this vitamin increases the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infection. Vitamin C is specifically found in citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, and lemons.
Red pepper contains twice as much Vitamin C as citrus fruits. Red peppers are also a rich source of beta-carotene, or Vitamin A, which directly promotes a stronger immune system and healthy skin.
Broccoli is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is a storehouse of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants.
Ancient civilizations realized the value of garlic in fighting infection, and this is due to the heavy concentration of compounds it contains, such as allicin, which reduces inflammation and has antioxidants.
Ginger Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after an illness, and it helps reduce inflammation, particularly sore throats. Ginger also helps reduce nausea associated with infectious diseases.
Spinach Spinach is rich in Vitamin C, and is loaded with several antioxidants and beta-carotene. Cooking spinach lightly boosts its Vitamin A content and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
Almonds Almonds are rich in fat-soluble Vitamin E, which makes almonds an important component in the proper absorption of fats. Nuts are generally full of vitamins. An appropriate amount of peeled almonds a day is enough to provide you with the daily recommended amount of Vitamin E.
Turmeric This bright yellow spice has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory substance, specifically to treat arthritis.
Green tea Green and black teas are full of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. However, green tea is superior to black tea in that it contains even more powerful antioxidants. The Epigallocatechin gallate in green tea has been shown to enhance immune function. Green tea is also a good source of amino acids, which may help produce antibacterial compounds in the body's cells.
Eggs Eggs can help boost the immune system because eggs are rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to improve health, especially for those over the age of forty.
Chia Seeds Loaded with antioxidants and a variety of nutrients, chia seeds have a unique ability to absorb liquids and take on a gel texture. They provide a healthy amount of fiber, protein, fats, and micronutrients.
Water It is essential to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the mucous membranes hydrated and reduce the chance of catching the flu or a cold.