Balanced diet has a crucial impact on immune system, although diet alone can’t fix a weak immune system, there are certain important factors that should be taken care of along with a proper diet. Improper sleep, sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, psychological stress can directly harm & weaken immune system.
During this pandemic it is extremely essential to strengthen our immune system well for our safe guard. Here are 7 super foods to keep various diseases at bay and boost immune system effectively. Some of them are kitchen essentials and are easily available at home.
These super foods in common have been in use since ancient times, almost all of them are anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective in nature. Enormous studies and researches have reported that including these super foods as dietary sources can enhance the function of immune system at a greater extent. Without further ado let’s see which those super foods are.
Since ancient times it is used in home remedies as a cure for general health ailments. Due to its versatile properties this pungent spice has been an integral part of ayurveda. It contains an active ingredient ‘Gingerol’ which is responsible for the effective functioning of immune system and enhances the immune response.
Ginger is an antioxidant rich herb and has phytotherapeutic properties, hence protects cells from free radical damage, attenuates cell death and eliminates toxins through sweat.
Apart from fixing digestive issues it is also useful in regulating blood sugar level and blood cholesterol level. It also improves haemoglobin level, regulates blood pressure and promotes weight loss.
Just a cup of ginger tea every morning can have a profound effect on immune system.
Garlic has enormous health benefits. It is used to treat and prevent cold and flu, strengthen immune system, and regulate blood cholesterol level. It has higher concentration of sulphur and more than 33 compounds of sulphur in it, which supports immune system and improves resistance to virus and harmful microbes.
Allicin is a major antioxidant content in garlic that inhibits the invasion of bacteria, fungi and microbes etc., and kills them. Garlic has a potential to stimulate immune response to fight off harmful microbes. It also enhances the production of certain beneficial enzymes that help keep infections at bay.
Amla is a power house of nutrients and is known for its anti ageing effects. Due to the presence of abundant amount of vitamin-c, it is considered a valuable source for boosting immune system. Amla is one of the best rejuventive herb and cytoprotective, and have phytochemical compounds that inhibit the growth of microbes and increase immunomodulatory effects. Consumption of this berry can possibly reduce inflammations, resist infections and protect cells from harmful bacteria and microbes. It also repairs the oxidative damages of tissues and prevents further damages. It regulates the immune system by stimulating the production of RBC’s and WBC’s and release of cytokines.
Turmeric is a very well known herb for its magnificent therapeutic effects, antiseptic and wound healing properties. It has an active ingredient ‘Curcumin’ a phytochemical and functional compound which is also responsible for the yellow color. The very same compound has a strong anti inflammatory property and immunomodulatory effects. Turmeric has high antioxidant activities which makes immune system even stronger. Antioxidants cause reduction in oxidative stress and cellular damages. Curcumin inhibits the microbes and viruses in the body and enhances cellular resistance.
5. Black seeds (Kalonji)
Kalonji is an annual herb in use since 1st century B.C. It has great importance in unani medicine and is a health elixir. It has anti diabetic and anticancer properties. Most properties of this herb are ascribed to this very component called ‘Thymoquinone’ . This active component increases the production of WBC’s and haemoglobin level for supporting immune system and also controls cellular oxidative damages. It even treats certain skin conditions like vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, pruritis etc., A study has shown, kalonji reduces certain level of virus load in an immuno-defficient condition (AIDS) on regular consumption , hence is an excellent immunity booster.
It is a high quality protein source and an antioxidant rich food. It contains all essential amino acids and has all essential nutrients and micronutrients that are needed for normal growth and development i.e vitamins (Vit B12, Vit E, Vit C, Carotene), Minerals (Calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium) and phytopigments. It can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation and enhances immunomodulatory effects by stimulating the production of antibodies and cytokines, and is able to suppress and prevent inflammations, viral infections, breast cancer, allergies and immune deficiencies and type-2 diabetes and its complications. However few side effects and contra indications have been reported with spirulina use.
7. Moringa oleifera
This miraculous herb has received popularity recently although it has been in use since ancient times. Due to its versatility it has great importance in Indian traditional medicine. It has antibiotic and anti inflammatory properties, it can repair free radical damages and regulates blood glucose levels. Moringa oleifera is a potential source of proteins, Vitamin A, B, C, all 9 essential amino acids, calcium, iron and high antioxidants which play an important role in boosting immunity and enhancing the function of immune system. It can heal a wide range of ailments like, scurvy, respiratory ailments, ulcerative colitis, digestive ailments etc.,