Fruits and Vegetables which boost your immune system

By Froots

Let me start this post with a quote by Hippocrates –
“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.”
The whole world is facing a health crisis after the outbreak of corona virus. All the authorities and health department are doing their best to cope up with situation. We can play our part by staying at home, wearing a mask and doing things like eating healthy foods and exercise to boost our immune systems. We have prepared a list of foods which can help you build a strong immunity to fight against this disease.

First of all let’s take a look at the Elements which are needed for a good and healthy immunity.

Vitamin C


This vitamin is a must whenever it comes to build a strong immune system. It is an active antioxidant which help us in fighting various heart related diseases or cancers. This vitamin also helps us in fighting cold or flu like symptoms. Not only this, it also helps our body in absorption of iron from the food we eat. It is found in citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, lime), bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, strawberries, tomato, kiwi etc.

Vitamin D


Vitamin D helps us fight any bacterial, viral or fungal invaders in our body. It helps eliminate the foreign organisms which can be harmful for our body. It help us in creating a protective shield around our body. It is known to have healing properties in lung and throat related infections. As we all are staying inside due to the pandemic and our exposure to sun has been limited, it has become essential to complete our requirement of vitamin D through foods. It is present in oranges, milk, soy milk, cheese, eggs etc.

Zinc


This micronutrient is important to boost your immunity. It is vital for the formation of WBCs (White blood cells or corpuscles) which are the soldiers of the army of our immune system. They help us fight different kinds of infections. It is found in foods like legumes—including lentils, beans, and chickpeas, nuts and oats.

Other essential elements are – Vitamin B6, B12, E, folic acid, iron, copper and selenium

Now let’s read about the fruits and vegetables which can help us to build a good immune system and have added benefits too.

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Citrus


Various fruits like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes are included in the citrus group. These carry loads and loads of vitamin C which is the basic building block of your immune system. They increase the white blood cell count and also keep your digestive system healthy.

Turmeric


Our folklores have always narrated the benefits of consuming turmeric regularly. As Indians we have always included turmeric in our daily foods and drinks. Whenever we have cold and cough our mothers used to give a glass full of turmeric milk and we would feel an instant relief. There are countless ways this herb can be useful for us. It carries a compound known as curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties which helps to boost immunity. It also has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It also promotes growth of useful bacteria in our guts.

Basil


Ancient and ayurvedic medicines have always considered basil (tulsi) as an essential ingredient in curing multiple types of diseases. Its leaves are rich in vitamins A, C and K and minerals like zinc, calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. It acts as a natural immunity booster, antipyretic (reduces fever) and analgesic (reduces pain). Remember those ‘kadhas’ we drink in our households during cough and cold. Tulsi is the most essential element in those home made medicines. It can be eaten raw too as it helps in fighting high blood pressure, gastric disorders, cardiac issues and arthritis.

Parsley


This herb is used for enhancing flavours in our food. It contains vitamin A, K and C. It also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, folate, iron and calcium. These elements are essential in strengthening our immunity.

Cherry tomatoes


As their red colour, these vegetables are very good for our blood. They consist of beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamins C, E, B and K. They also contribute some minerals including calcium and magnesium. They help in relieving inflammation and boosts are immune system. The main benefit of eating tomatoes is that they prevent the blood from clotting which avoids strokes.

Lettuce


This vegetable is not just meant for weight loss regimes or salads. It also packs a bundle of vitamin A and C which are necessary for proper functioning of immune system. It controls your blood sugar levels which is very useful for diabetic patients. It consists of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.

Swiss chard


This leafy green vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains vitamins K, A, and C, magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fibre. This vegetable also comes in multiple colours like red, white, yellow and green. Now wouldn’t that be both fun and healthy to eat?

Broccoli


This vegetable is like the jack of all. It has very high amount of protein as compared to other vegetables. It is high in many nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C and K, iron, and potassium. These elements will definitely boost your immunity.

To conclude, all these foods should be included regularly in your diet in a balanced form. Deficiency of any of the essential element might lead to certain health related problems. Try and consume these immunity boosting foods as uncooked or raw. Cooking means heating them up which will lead to breakdown of their protein structures and other elements. The cooked vegetables might not give you all the benefits they are capable of. These food may help you fight the ailments in a more efficient way. Consumption of healthy food is worth a thousand medicines.

Don’t wait for something bad to happen. As the old saying goes – “Prevention is better than cure”. We are at your service to provide you with fresh vegetables to keep you healthy and fit, why not take advantage of it?

References

Ali, H.I., Al-Shawi, S.G. and Habib, H.N. 2019. The Effect of Nutrition on Immune System Review Paper. Food Science and Quality Management, 90: 31-35.

Aranow, C. 2011. Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of investigative medicine, 59(6): 881-886.

https://www.narayanahealth.org/blog/boost-immune-system-against-coronavirus-covid-19-infection/
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