12 foods that help boost immunity

Foods that increase immunity are mainly fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, oranges and broccoli, but also seeds, nuts and fish, as they are rich in nutrients that help in the formation of immune cells. .

These foods also help to protect the body’s cells against changes that can lead to problems like cancer, in addition to helping to fight infections, whether bacterial, fungal or viral, and reduce inflammatory processes that may be happening in the body.

Thus, some foods with excellent properties that can be indicated to increase the functioning of the immune system are:

1. Strawberry

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, a type of vitamin that helps to strengthen the body’s natural defenses, as it increases the production of cells in the immune system, increasing resistance to infections.

Some studies indicate that vitamin C can be an important nutrient in the prevention of respiratory and systemic infections, being recommended to consume between 100 to 200 mg of vitamin C per day, in order to prevent diseases. Other foods rich in vitamin C are, for example, broccoli, acerola, orange or kiwi. See other foods rich in vitamin C to include in the diet.

2. Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, C and other antioxidant compounds that help in the development and strengthening of the immune system. According to several studies, vitamin A has a therapeutic effect in the treatment of various infectious diseases, and it is important to include foods rich in this vitamin in the diet.

Check out a list of foods rich in vitamin A to add to your diet.

3. Salmon

Because it is rich in omega 3, salmon favors the regulation of defense cells of the immune system, in addition to having strong anti-inflammatory properties that improve all health in general, especially the cardiovascular system. See other foods rich in omega 3 .

4. Sunflower seeds

Because it is rich in vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant, sunflower seed helps to protect the body’s cells against toxic substances, radiation and free radicals. 

In addition, these seeds are also rich in zinc, a very important mineral for the proper functioning of the immune system.

5. Natural yogurt

Natural yogurt is rich in probiotics that are “good” bacteria for the intestine, helping to regulate the immune system’s response to an infectious agent, in addition to strengthening and increasing all the body’s defenses.

Check out other health benefits of probiotics.

6. Nuts

Dried fruits, such as almonds, peanuts, ParĂ¡ nuts or cashew nuts, are rich in zinc, which acts in tissue repair and wound healing.

In addition, zinc also plays a key role in the development and activation of T lymphocytes, which are very important defense cells for the immune system.

7. Spirulina

Spirulina is a type of seaweed used as a nutritional supplement as it has several compounds that exert immunostimulating and antioxidant properties, such as inulin, chlorophyll and phycocyanin, which help to improve the immune system because they stimulate the production of defense cells in the body, in addition to to have anti-inflammatory properties.

This supplement can be found in powder form, and can be added in juices and vitamins, for example, or consumed in the form of capsules. See how to use spirulina and learn about other benefits.

8. Flaxseed

Regular consumption of flaxseed, whether in the form of seed or oil, promotes the increase of the body’s defenses, since it is a food rich in omega 3, lignans and fibers, which activate and stimulate the cells of the immune system, exercising an anti- inflammatory.

Flaxseed can be used in the preparation of cakes, breads, vitamins, juices or can also be added to yogurt or salads.

9. Garlic 

Garlic is one of the best known and most used foods to increase the body’s defenses. This is because it has a sulfur compound called allicin, which has antimicrobial activity, inhibiting the growth and proliferation of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

In addition, it also helps to eliminate toxins and pathogenic bacteria that affect the normal gut microbiota, as well as decreasing the body’s inflammatory response, regulating and activating the immune system response.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric is a root that has a compound called curcumin, which acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. In addition, it stimulates the production of T cells by the immune system, which are the cells responsible for cellular immunity and which act by destroying infected cells and activating macrophages.

This root can be consumed in powder form to flavor food, however it can also be consumed in infusions or in capsules. Learn more about turmeric and its benefits.

11. Almonds

Because it is rich in vitamin E (24 mg per 100 g), the consumption of almonds has immunomodulatory properties, since this vitamin, besides acting as an antioxidant, helps to regulate and stimulate the cells of the immune system, such as T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells decreasing the incidence of infectious diseases.

For this reason, consuming 6 to 12 almonds a day as a snack or salad, could help increase the body’s defenses.

12. Ginger

Ginger is a root that contains gingerol and other compounds that have antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to prevent bacterial, fungal and viral infections, as well as the development of several chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

This root can be used in its natural form or as a powder to flavor food, and it can also be consumed in tea or capsule form.

Foods that boost baby’s immunity

Foods that boost a baby’s immunity can be:

  • Fruits in general, especially orange, apple, pear and banana;
  • Vegetables , such as carrots, squash, tomatoes and zucchini;
  • Natural yogurt .

These foods, in addition to helping to strengthen the baby’s immune system, are also easily digested by the baby’s body and do not cause allergies.

Check out other  tips from our pediatrician to increase immunity in the baby .

Foods that boost immunity against herpes

Foods that increase immunity against herpes are fruits and vegetables, such as papaya, beet, mango, apricot, apple, pear, fig, avocado and tomato, as they are strong antioxidants and help in the production of immune cells, helping to fight against disease virus. Other foods that increase immunity against herpes are:

  • Sardines, salmon, tuna and flaxseed – rich in omega 3, important in the regulation of immune cells;
  • Yogurt and fermented milk – it has probiotics that increase the activity and production of defense cells in the body.

In addition to these foods, it is also important to consume fish, milk, meat, cheese, soy and eggs, as they are foods rich in the amino acid lysine, which reduces the replication of the herpes virus.

Another precaution to be taken is, during crises, to avoid foods such as chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sesame, almonds, peanuts, corn, coconut, grapes, oats, wheat or orange juice, as they are rich in the amino acid arginine, which increases the virus replication. To prevent herpes attacks. See more details on how to feed herpes .

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