Knowing how to boost your immune system with the food we eat can play a crucial role in preventing bacterial and viral infections.
As we face unprecedented challenges on a global scale with regards to COVID-19, it has become more important to look after our health and that of our loved ones.
How to Boost Your Immune System with Food
For the first time in our country’s history, we are currently in the first week of a three-week lockdown period.
This means that we are not permitted to leave our homes for anything that is not essential. It also means that we now have the opportunity to prepare wholesome meals to nourish our bodies and strengthen our immune systems.
Our bodies depend on the immune system to fight off infection and a diet lacking in essential nutrients does not support the immune system and its crucial functions.
Foods to Boost Your Immune System
Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable cells that cause damage to the immune system.
There is evidence that shows that vitamin C can be extremely helpful in boosting the immune systems of individuals who are under immense stress.
The following foods contain vitamin C:
- Kiwi fruit
- Citrus fruit such as grapefruit, lemons, clementines, tangerines, limes and oranges
- Green and red peppers
Another powerful antioxidant, vitamin E can assist in building a strong immune system, especially in the elderly.
The following foods contain vitamin E:
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanut butter
- Swiss chard
Zinc is a mineral that plays a crucial role in protecting the body in various ways, from strengthening the surface of the skin, right down to the maintaining healthy levels of white blood cells.
The following foods contain Zinc:
- Baked beans
- Raisin bran
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
These are pigments found naturally in a number of plants that act as powerful antioxidants. When we consume carotenoids, our bodies convert them into vitamin A which helps to regulate the immune system.
The following foods contain carotenoids:
- Sweet potato
Probiotics are the good bacteria found in our guts that maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria.
This good bacterium plays a vital role in the production of antibodies and can optimize the body’s response to viral infection.
The following foods contain high levels of probiotics:
- Plain yoghurt
Soups and broths are a great way to prepare immune-boosting meals on a budget. You can use all your off cuts veggies and even last night’s left overs to make a wholesome and nutritious meal.
Click here to see how to boost your immune system with these easy soup recipes.
How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally
In addition to eating more of these immune system booster foods, there are other things we can do to improve our bodies ability to fight off viral infection:
- Get enough, good quality rest
- Drink enough water
- Exercise regularly, even if its gentle exercise
- Spend 15 minutes a day in the sun (with the appropriate sun protection)
Bocadillos Restaurants in Port Elizabeth
As we face uncertain times in the face of COVID-19, it has become more important to look after our health and the health of our families.
By eating nutrient-dense food, we can help our body fight off viral infections such as COVID-19. In addition, it’s absolutely crucial that we all remain indoors and only leave our homes for essential goods or services.
The Bocadillos team fully supports the lockdown period as our country’s only fighting chance to flatten to curve.
For more information on how to boost your immune system with food, please feel free to contact us.