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Immune system boosters

প্রকাশিত: রোববার, ডিসেম্বর ২০, ২০২০


Immune system boosters

Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong.

If you’re looking for ways to prevent colds, the flu, and other infections, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Plan your meals to include these 15 powerful immune system boosters.

An important note

No supplement will cure or prevent disease.

With the 2019 coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than physical distancing, also known as social distancing, and proper hygiene practices can protect you from COVID-19.

Currently, no research supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.

Foods That Boost the Immune System

1. Citrus fruits

Most people turn straight to vitamin C after they’ve caught a cold. That’s because it helps build up your immune system.

Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections.

Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

Popular citrus fruits include:

Because your body doesn’t produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. The recommended daily amount for most adults is:

  • 75 mg for women
  • 90 mg for men

If you opt for supplements, avoid taking more than 2,000 milligrams (mg) a day.

Also keep in mind that while vitamin C might help you recover from a cold quicker, there’s no evidence yet that it’s effective against the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

2. Red bell peppers

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If you think citrus fruits have the most vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable, think again. Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain almost 3 times as much vitamin C (127 mgTrusted Source) as a Florida orange (45 mgTrusted Source). They’re also a rich source of beta carotene.

Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help you maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.

3. Broccoli

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Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as fiber and many other antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate.

The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all. ResearchTrusted Source has shown that steaming is the best way to keep more nutrients in the food.

4. Garlic

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Garlic is found in almost every cuisine in the world. It adds a little zing to food and it’s a must-have for your health.

Early civilizations recognized its value in fighting infections. Garlic may also slow down hardening of the arteries, and there’s weak evidence that it helps lower blood pressure.

Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin.

 

5. Ginger

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Ginger is another ingredient many turn to after getting sick. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may help with nausea as well.

While it’s used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.

Ginger may also decrease chronic painTrusted Source and might even possess cholesterol-lowering propertiesTrusted Source.

6. Spinach

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Spinach made our list not just because it’s rich in vitamin C — it’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.

Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking makes it easier to absorb the vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid, an antinutrient. Check out some spinach recipes here.

7. Yogurt

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Look for yogurts that have the phrase “live and active cultures” printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases.

Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kind that are flavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.

Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, so try to select brands fortified with this vitamin. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

Clinical trials are even in the works to study its possible effects on COVID-19.

img-banner - blankpixel_rickett_hl_middle_28548. Almonds

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When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, this powerful antioxidant is key to a healthy immune system.

It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats.

Adults only need about 15 mg of vitamin E each day. A half-cup serving of almonds, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides around 100 percentTrusted Source of the recommended daily amount.

9. Sunflower seeds

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Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorousmagnesium, and vitamins B-6 and E.

Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

Sunflower seeds are also incredibly high in selenium. Just 1 ounce contains nearly halfTrusted Source the selenium that the average adult needs daily. A variety of studies, mostly performed on animals, have looked at its potential to combat viral infections such as swine flu (H1N1).

10. Turmeric

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You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. This bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

ResearchTrusted Source shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. Curcumin has promise as an immune booster (based on findings from animal studies) and an antiviral. More research is needed.

11. Green tea

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Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant.

In studies, EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved.

Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells.

12. Papaya

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Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find doubleTrusted Source the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single medium fruit. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.

Papayas have decent amounts of potassium, magnesium, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.

13. Kiwi

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Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

Vitamin C boosts the white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.

14. Poultry

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When you’re sick and you reach for chicken soup, it’s more than just the placebo effect that makes you feel better. The soup may help lower inflammation, which could improve symptoms of a cold.

Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains nearly one-third of your daily recommended amount of B-6.

Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.

Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

15. Shellfish

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Shellfish isn’t what jumps to mind for many who are trying to boost their immune system, but some types of shellfish are packed with zinc.

Zinc doesn’t get as much attention as many other vitamins and minerals, but our bodies need it so that our immune cells can function as intended.

Varieties of shellfish that are high in zinc include:

  • oysters
  • crab
  • lobster
  • mussels

Keep in mind that you don’t want to have more than the daily recommended amount of zinc in your diet:

  • 11 mg for adult men
  • 8 mg for most adult women

Too much zinc can actually inhibit immune system function.

 

 

More ways to prevent infections

Variety is the key to proper nutrition. Eating just one of these foods won’t be enough to help fight off the flu or other infections, even if you eat it constantly. Pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intake so that you don’t get too much of a single vitamin and too little of others.

Eating right is a great start, and there are other things you can do to protect you and your family from the flu, cold, and other illnesses.

Start with these flu prevention basics and then read these 7 tips for flu-proofing your home. Perhaps most importantly, get your annual flu vaccine to protect yourself and others.

 

 

Written & Compiled By:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kazi Nawshad Hossain

Head,

TRANSFUSION MEDICINE DEPARTMENT,JEWMCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are five of the worst foods for your immune system.

 

 

Having a strong immune system is essential for good health

·         White bread. American nutritionist Josh Axe asserts that White bread, cookies, cakes, and other products made with refined flour affect the immune system. ...

·         Candies. ...

·         Potato chips. ...

·         Processed fruits. ...

·         Processed oils.

Aug 29, 2020

 

5 foods that weaken your immune system

 

 

The immune system is in charge of protecting us from bacterias, viruses, and parasites that live in our daily environment, as mentioned by Harvard’s School of Public Health. Through its defense mechanisms, the body prevents the entrance of pathogens or eliminates them when they have already entered our organism.

There are foods that are able to stimulate our immune response, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, but there are also products whose usual consumption makes us more vulnerable to diseases.

Here are five of the worst foods for your immune system.

White bread
American nutritionist Josh Axe asserts that White bread, cookies, cakes, and other products made with refined flour affect the immune system. Medical News Today explains that these foods lose bran and germ during their elaboration process, which eliminates most part of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals present on whole grains.

Hence, they become easy-to-ingest products but with a high-calorie input and are low in nutrients. These characteristics can contribute to gaining weight and related complications, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions.

Candies
A review of studies published by the Nutrients magazine determined that processed sugar in candies increases the body’s inflammation. This causes an immune system response and increases the production of free radicals, which are molecules that can harm healthy cells in our bodies.

Free radicals are linked to health conditions such as cáncer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and arthritis.

Moreover, research by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that eating 100 grams of sugar reduces the ability of immune cells to fight bacterias. This effect lasted for up to five hours after eating sweet foods. Hence, it is not a good option to eat this kind of product throughout the day.

 

Recommended: The ultimate guide to healthy eating during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Potato chips
A study performed by the University of Bonn showed that a diet rich in salt causes deficiencies in the immune system. Researchers reported that excess sodium increases the activity of the kidneys to get rid of it and reduces the body’s response against bacterial infections.

The daily intake recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is less than 5 grams per day. In the case of Mexico, people eat between 7 and 9 grams of salt every day, according to information from the National Institute for Public Health. This amount comes mainly from processed foods like chips, which are high in saturated fats and low in nutrien

 

Processed fruits
Harvard’s School of Public Health says that every human being has billions of microbes in charge of keeping the adequate functioning of our body. Most of these microorganisms live in the large intestine and are essential to digest carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins.

However, a diet high in sugars can alter this process. Kellman Wellness Center mentions that dehydrated or canned fruits contain added sweeteners that feed bacterias that are harmful to the intestinal flora.

Likewise, dehydrated fruits cause an increased wish to consume sweet foods, whose consumption can affect the immune system and thus, reduce the protection against diseases. Therefore, it is best to choose presentations with no added sugar.

Recommended: How to boost your immune system

 

Processed oils
According to Hyperbiotics, natural oils are healthy due to their high content of Omega 3 acid fats and vitamin E. However, commercial oils go through a refining process in which they lose their nutrients and change their molecular structure.

Therefore, eating food that was fried with refined oils causes an increased production of free radicals that are able to harm the body’s tissues, generate inflammation, and make the immune system vulnerable to infections.

Health blog Healthline adds that some commercial oil brands contain trans fats. These ingredients are linked to a higher risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Check the label of foods before buying them to avoid products that are harmful to your health. Combine a balanced diet with other healthy habits like physical activity and sleeping well.

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