Immunity Enhancers: Natural Foods To Boost The Power Of Immunity During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Nowadays our beautiful world is facing the cruel onslaught of nature because of a deadly disease called COVID-19 which already has done a lot of damage to humanity. It is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered virus called coronavirus. It spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or nose discharge when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is contagious and transmitted from one to another when a normal person comes in close contact with an infected one or touches any surface which has the coronavirus on it already. We have been smothered by the coronavirus scare as it has no cure presently though efforts are in progress to find one fast. The entire world has been shaken hard and life has been messed up totally. Man is going through the roughest patch and finding it hard to control the situation gone so haywire. The question now remaining in front of mankind is how to beat this deadly challenge being given to us by this unwanted guest amongst us? In this period we all need to unite, come together, and fight with the disease bravely and sincerely. The first thing that we can do in this regard is to become healthier and stronger from within and the foremost thing to do then is to have a strong and active immune system. By immunity, I mean the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells. There are many such foods found in nature’s reserve which help us to replenish our requirement of immunity boosters. Some such food products are—

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1. Citrus Fruits-Citrus fruits have immunity-boosting properties. It helps you build your immune system. Because vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections.Citrus fruits include -Grapefruit, Lemons, Oranges, Limes, Clementines, Tangerines. Our body doesn’t produce or store it. And we need it daily for continued wellbeing and health.

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2. Broccoli-Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. It is packed with vitamins A, C, E, antioxidants, and fiber. It also contains potent antioxidants like sulforaphane. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables to be put on the cooking platform. The key to keep in the power and nutrition intact in it is not to cook it too much, even not cook it at all.

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3.Garlic- It is a common ingredient found in almost every cuisine of the world.cIt adds a special, distinct flavor to food and is also is a must-have ingredient for health. It helps lower blood pressure and slows down the hardening of the arteries. Garlic’s properties come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin.

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4.Spinach– It is a very nutritious green leafy vegetable packed with many antioxidants and beta carotene which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune system. It contains antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C, Vitamin E.Vitamins C, and E help support the immune system. It must not be overcooked because lighter cooking enhances its vitamin and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.

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5. Ginger-It helps to decrease inflammation and reduces sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. It also helps to decrease nausea. It is used in many sweet desserts and it packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of the immune system to help fight diseases. Plain yogurts are a better option than preflavored and sugary ones. You may sweeten the Palin yogurt with fruits and a drizzle of honey. It is a great source of vitamin D so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D.Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system and boosts our body’s natural defenses against diseases.

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6. Turmeric-It is an ant-inflammatory spice used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The presence of high amounts of curcumin which gives turmeric its yellow color helps to decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.

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7. Green Tea-Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Green tea has large amounts of epigallocatechin gallate or ECGC a powerful antioxidant that enhances immune function. Black tea goes through a fermentation process that destroys most of the EGCG. And green tea is steamed and fermented and thus the EGCG is retained and preserved. It is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine which may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in our T-cells.

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8.Almonds– Vitamin E is a 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 like almonds are packed with the vitamin and have healthy fats.

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9.Papaya– It is another fruit loaded with vitamin C.There is 224% of daily recommended vitamin C found in a single papaya. It has a digestive enzyme called Papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. It has decent amounts of potassium, B vitamins, folate which are very beneficial for overall health.

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10. Kiwi-Like papayas, kiwis have a ton of essential nutrients including folate, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C.Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection.

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11. Sunflower Seeds-These are full of nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B-6. They also have a lot of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important for regulating and maintaining immune system function. Some foods rich in it E are avocados and dark, leafy greens.

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12. Poultry-Chicken soup is such a feel-good food when we are down with fever or sickness. It helps to combat cold. Poultry, like chicken and turkey, are rich in vitamin B-6. Vit B-6 plays a very important role in many chemical reactions happening in the body. It is also vital to form new and healthy red blood cells. Chicken stock and broth made by boiling chicken bones have gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients good for gut healing and immunity.

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13. Shellfish-Some types of shellfish have zinc in them which smoothes the functioning of the immune system. Some varieties of shellfish high in zinc are crab, clams, lobster, mussels. Adult men should have 11 mg and women should have 8 mg of zinc in their diet. Too much zinc can be harmful too.

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14. Blueberries-These contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. It has been found by research that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids did not get upper respiratory tract infection or common cold than those who did not.

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15. Dark Chocolate-It contains an antioxidant called theobromine which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body’s cells from free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that the body produces when it breaks down food or comes into contact with pollutants. Free radicals can harm the body’s cells. Though dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat so should be taken in moderation.

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16. Oily Fish-Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other such oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Long term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. It is good for a healthy immune system.

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17. Sweet Potatoes-It is rich in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant that gives the skin of the potatoes the orange color. Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A.It helps to make skin healthy and may even give protection against skin damage from ultraviolet(UV)rays.

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18. Kefir-It is a fermented drink that contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria for health. It boosts the immune system. It can help with—fighting bacteria, reducing inflammation, increasing antioxidant activity.

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19. Red Bell Pepper-These are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C.Stir-frying and roasting both preserve the nutrient content of red bell peppers better than steaming or boiling.

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20. Pumpkin(Green and Red)-It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has very low calories and it boosts the immune system. It also protects eyesight, lowers the risk of certain cancers, and also promotes heart and skin health.

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21.Goat MilkIt is a powerhouse of protein,healthy fats,vitamins,iron and other such essential nutrients.It keeps the bones and teeth stronger due to the calcium content in it.It is a rich source of selenium which is a key component in boosting the immune system.

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22.Rock Sugar(Tal Misri)-Rock sugar,Palm sugar or Tal Misri is a natural sweetener absolutely free from chemicals and bleaches.It is made from the sap of the Palmyra Palm or Date Palm and so is known as Palm Sugar or Tal Misri.It has medicinal properties and is often used to control and treat many health problems like high blood pressure,asthma,breathing problems,arthritis,diabetes.It’s good for infants and growing children and is a rich source of minerals like calcium,iron etc.It helps in building immunity.

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23.Gooseberry-It is also called Amla or Indian Gooseberry.It is an antioxidant,has phenols,flavonoids,tannins.They contain about twenty times more vitamin C than oranges.It stimulates the salivary glands and is good for diabetes,high cholesterol,digestive health,heart health,coughs and throat inflammation.

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24.Drumstick-It is also called Moringa Oleifera.It is a storehouse of nutrients while the leaves are the most nutritious part of it.It has calcium,iron,zinc,selenium,magnesium.It’s fresh pods and seeds are a rich source of oleic acid,a healthy fatty acid known to promote heart health.The leaves have lot of proteins in them.The dry powdered leaves are a good source of essential amino acids.It strengthens bones,augments the immune system,promotes gut health,regulates hypertension,is good for kidneys,lowers the risk of cancer,improves liver health,cures edema,fights infections,regulats diabetes and promotes healthy vision.

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25.Drumstick Leaves-Drumstick leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant.They pack lots of essential minerals and nutrients in them.The leaves when dried and powdered are a good source of essential amino acids.Moringa leaves have essential vitamins like vitamin B-complex,C,K and Beta Carotene.leaves have minerals like calcium,iron,zinc,manganese,magnesium,proteins and dietary fibre.These are a powerhouse of antioxidants Quercetin and Chlorogenic Acid.Moringa leaves supplement enhance blood antioxidant levels.

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26.Flaxseed-Flaxseed is used as a dietary supplement to prevent constipation,diabetes,high cholesterol,heart disease,cancer.It has nutrients like Lignans,antioxidants,fibre,protein,polyunsaturated fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid or omega-3.It is called a ‘functional food’ which means a person can eat it to boost their health.It helps to prevent constipation,diabetes,high cholesterol,heart disease,cancer etc.

Variety is the key to nutrition. Eating just one of the given foods won’t keep you away from diseases, even if you eat it routinely. Serving sizes and recommended daily intake of a mix of nutritious foods in the right proportion is needed for balanced health. So to stop this doom grabbing us from everywhere we need to eat a balanced diet having every nutritional ingredient in right proportions daily. We need to keep the healthiest immune system if we want to win this war against life-threatening diseases and live happy, being free.