10 Common Food to Boost Your Immune System
#1 Citrus Food
Citrus food is a good choice for your diet as it contains a source of antioxidant and bioflavonoids. The most abundant amount of bioflavonoids is in the pulp and white core that runs through the center of citrus fruits or vegetables. The standard type of food Asian people, for sure, will use onions in our food preparation. Onions contain two flavonoid classes: the anthocyanins that impart a red/purple colour to some varieties, and flavonols such as quercetin responsible for the yellow and brown skins of many other types. Anthocyanins and quercetin possess the anti-inflammatory ability, which can reduce fluid accumulation, neutrophil accumulation and lipid peroxidation. Examples of citrus food are green peppers, lemons, limes, oranges, broccoli, cherries, berries, onions and grapes.
#2 Fish collagen
Fish collagen is a complex structural protein that helps maintain the strength and flexibility of skin, ligaments, joints, bones, muscles, nails and hair. Fish collagen peptides have precise amino acid compositions with a high concentration of three different amino acids: glycine, hydroxyproline, and proline. Collagen polypeptides were prepared from marine fish skin, especially from the skin of codfish. Collagen polypeptides had good moisture absorption and retention properties and could alleviate the damage induced by UV radiation. The action mechanisms of collagen polypeptide mainly involved enhancing immunity, reducing the loss of moisture and lipid and promoting antioxidative properties.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), which is usually known as a medicinal plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, was used in various parts of the world as a herb spice and traditional medicine. In Indian cuisine, leaves are used to ﬂavor dishes or eaten as greens, and seeds are used for seasonings or crushed to prepare curry powders and pastes. The phytochemical analysis of fenugreek revealed several polyphenols investigated by several groups worldwide to study the fenugreek's antioxidant properties. The antioxidative potential of fenugreek is comparable to other well-known antioxidants, such as glutathione and tocopherol.
#4 Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)
Put merely; nutraceuticals are substances that not only nourish but also heal. Virgin coconut oil is considered a nutraceutical food because it contains medium-chain (C8 – C12) fats similar to the fats in the mother's milk that give babies immunity to disease. VCO also possesses anti-inﬂammatory, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties that protect arteries from atherosclerosis and the human heart from cardiovascular disease. VCO protects against infectious diseases, which can boost up our immune system. Published research has shown that natural coconut fat leads to a normalization of body lipids and improves the immune system's anti-inﬂammatory response.
Figs have the highest overall content of minerals, and their calcium content per serving is second to oranges. A single serving contains 20% of the daily value of fibre. More than 28% of the fibre is the soluble variety. Soluble fibre has been shown to help control blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol by binding to it in the digestive tract. A recent study has shown that the addition of a soluble-fibre supplement to the diet can aid in weight loss. Figs also contain zinc, which is highly responsible for contributing to a healthy immune system and helps keep your skin clear by combating inflammation.
Olive oil, a primary constituent of the Mediterranean diet, may affect human health, especially on the immune system, because it reduces low-risk inflammatory activity observed in patients suffering from autoimmune disorders. The administration of olive oil in lipid emulsions possess positive effects on the health condition of immuno-compromised patients. Therefore, this fact acquires crucial importance in clinical nutrition. Interaction between the administration of diets containing olive oil and immune system and determining the effect promoted by this essential component of a Mediterranean diet in the immunomodulation against an infectious agent.
Mushrooms have attracted many food and biopharmaceutical areas, given their well-known nutritional and medicinal values. Grifola frondosa, commonly known as Maitake, is an edible and medicinal mushroom that has been used as food, especially in countries like China, India, Japan and Korea. D-Fraction is a standardized form of protein-bound β-glucans (proteoglycan) extracted from the fruit bodies of Maitake, which has been classified as a dietary supplement. Animal studies and early clinical trials showed that ingestion of Maitake D-Fraction is safe with no toxic or adverse effects and may even provide health benefits and improvements in treating some types of cancer.
Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin C and the phytochemical molecule, which is known as lycopene. The fruits are commonly eaten raw in salads or served as a cooked vegetable. Additionally, a large percentage of the world's tomato crop is used for processing; products include canned tomatoes, tomato juice, ketchup, puree, paste, and "sun-dried" tomatoes or dehydrated pulp. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant capable of fighting free radicals, a type of molecules that can harm your immune system. Some research shows they might help prevent the disease in the pancreas, colon, throat, mouth, breast, and cervix.
Hailed as a superfood, kale is another member of the cruciferous family. High content of vitamins A, C and K, kale is one of the best foods you can list in your diet. Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals found in the retina, which could help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation says research has indicated that eating red, orange, yellow and dark green fruits and vegetables, which are high in phytochemicals, seems to have a protective effect against vision loss. For your immune system: Kale is rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A). This powerful antioxidant may help boost the immune system and possibly protect against some chronic diseases and cancer.
Oats contain beta-glucans, a component that supports the infection-fighting blood cells in our bodies. Other than that, a particular type of fibre in oat called beta-glucan helps immune cells get to a site of infection faster and targets any bacteria they find when they get there to eliminate it better. Plus, oatmeal is high in zinc and selenium, two nutrients that help your immune system fight off infection and help you stay healthy. Eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning can effectively gear up your lymphocytes into rapid response mode, giving you a helping hand to keep the bugs at bay. Oats are also high in arginine, an amino acid that plays a vital role in maintaining immune function.