Your immune system is one of the most essential parts of your health. Without it, you wouldn’t be reading this.
Your body is constantly exposed to disease-causing pathogens on a second to second basis and the only reason you’re not constantly coughing, sneezing and aching is that you have a powerful defense mechanism at your beck and call.
This complex array of hormones, proteins and fighter cells is always checking and patrolling your body’s internal system for invaders to make sure you stay clean and healthy.
But how does it all come together? What makes your immunity tick?
How Your Immune System Works
Your immune system is a group of organs and substances that work together to prevent the effects of infections, toxins and body malfunctions
The organs involved include your lymph nodes, bone marrow, and thymus which produce and circulate cells and hormones responsible for immune reactions such as inflammation and fighter cells such as white blood cells.
When infection or foreign material is detected, antibodies are produced to ward them off. Your body also undergoes inflammation as a response signaling more help and support.
When you get injured, especially when an open wound is concerned, your body deploys a plethora of substances and defense cells such as platelets which induce blood clotting, limiting the entry of foreign invaders.
Your immune system relies on a steady supply of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals to help the production and maintenance of all components as well as for their optimal function.
Examples of nutrients essential to immune function include:
In this article we’re going to look at several foods and supplements you can rely on for these and other immune-boosting nutrients in abundant supply.
It’s great to have these supplements and foods in your diet whether or not you feel sick, but they are especially important to consider when you’re feeling a bit down.
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And with that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best immune-boosting foods and supplements.
Top 6 Immune Boosting Foods And Supplements
1. Apple, Carrot, Orange Juice
Each one of these on their own is a great food to include in the diet when considering your immunity.
But combined, apple, carrot and orange provide a second to none immune booster in the form of a delicious and easy to make juice.
High in vitamins A, C and B-6 as well as potassium and folic acid, ACO juice is good for you and isn’t bad on the tastebuds either
BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids are a group of 3 essential amino acids. These aminos are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
They are the most prevalent form of amino acid in your muscle protein which is one of the main reasons you need them.
That means you need them from a dietary source, preferably one with a complete protein profile.
BCAAs are well known for their ability to build and preserve lean muscle, but did you know that they also have a positive effect on your immune system?
You can get enough BCAAs from a diet rich in complete proteins or you can get them in a separate supplemental form.
Beetroot contains many immune essential nutrients.
These include iron, folate, vitamin C and manganese.
Another useful component of beetroots is their phytochemicals which come with an abundance of powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants clear out free radicals which lead to oxidative stress and damage cells and tissues, many of which are essential to the immune system.
This antioxidant activity is an immune function in itself since one of the roles of your immunity is to limit damage and degradation of your body’s functional structures.
Cumin Seed Oil
Black seed oil or cumin seed oil is a well known natural remedy. It has a plethora of health benefits, chief among them being its antimicrobial benefits.
The wide range of phytochemicals in this oil has powerful anti-viral, antibacterial and antifungal benefits.
This makes cumin seed oil an essential ally in the fight against infection
Ginger is common as a food seasoning, but just as common is its disease-fighting benefits.
Often a go-to when the common cold strikes, ginger’s source of power comes from the active compound gingerol, a strong anti-germ phytochemical.
Raw ginger is your best bet and can be added to a juice such as apple, carrot, orange for an extra immune boost effect.
Garlic, another fragrant and popular ingredient in many dishes also finds its way on this list for its benefits in combating illness.
This bulbous vegetable is a traditional remedy and owes its immune-boosting superpowers to the active chemical allicin
6. Zinc Supplements
Zinc is an important mineral in fortifying the immune system. It is essential so you need it in your diet.
One of its major roles is its involvement in wound healing. Wounds are gateways to infection and zinc helps ward off would-be pathogens from entering the system and causing chaos.
Zinc is often deficient in many foods typical to the western diet, so supplementation might be a great idea.
And there it is, a list of 6 amazing immune-boosting foods and supplements.
These are just some of the things you can include in your diet as part of an immune-boosting protocol.
The trick is always to maintain a varied and balanced intake of whole or minimally processed foods as well as plenty of clean water.
Aside from nutrition, your immunity also benefits from healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise, limited alcohol consumption, avoidance of smoking and limited exposure to disease-causing scenarios.