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8 Immune-Boosting Foods You Should Have at Home

As the COVID-19 situation is still going on, you might feel anxious and overwhelmed with the increasing fatality rate around the globe. One of the easiest ways to fight this pandemic is by practicing social distancing, keeping your hygiene, and maintaining proper nutrition. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, your immune system needs a sufficient amount of protein, critical fatty acids, and at least 12 vitamins and minerals that will maintain a healthy immune system. Fortunately, there are dozens of ways to keep your immune system optimal, which can keep you healthy during this uncertain time. First thing first, consume immune-boosting nutrients that can be found in various fruits, veggies, and dairy products. Plan your daily meals with these eight powerful immune-booster foods you should have at home:

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1. Citrus

Citrus fruits give our bodies a boost of several essential vitamins, especially vitamin C. Not only boosting your immune system, but vitamin C may also improve skin quality and increase antibodies. You can quickly get your daily intake of vitamin C from a combination of strawberries, oranges, red and green peppers, grapefruit, cauliflower, kiwi, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. One medium orange has around 70 mg, and grapefruit contains 90 mg of vitamin C. Drink lemon water daily to reduce weight gain. Squeeze half a lemon to 200ml of warm water and garnish with mint leaves or cucumber slices. Not only citrus, but red bell peppers also turn out to contain double as much vitamin C as citrus. Pair it with hummus or guacamole, red bell peppers will boost your immune system.

2. Sunflower Seeds

Vitamin E also plays a significant role in maintaining your immune system. It is also high in antioxidants and nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin B-6, and phosphorus. Vitamin E will boost the activity of your immune cells to fend off invading viruses and bacteria. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains around half of the daily recommended intake for vitamin E. Blend sunflower seed into smoothies or oats with other fresh fruits. Seeds like chia, flax, pumpkin, and sesame work too. 

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is high in anti-inflammatory properties, which also boosts immune cell activity and improves antibody responses. Research also proves that a high concentration of curcumin in turmeric may help decrease muscle soreness from exercise. Put a mix of turmeric and black pepper onto soup, broth, or cooked veggies also create the depth of flavor on your foods. 

4. Garlic

Research shows that garlic will boost immune cell function in your body. Newer studies have found that healthy adults who consume garlic extract for 90 days had reduced cold and flu severity levels and fewer symptoms. Garlic may also help lower blood pressure. Add garlic to cooked veggies, soup, or broth. Besides boosting your immune system flavors, it also gives an incredible taste.

5. Green Vegetables

Green veggies provide tons of crucial nutrients to help the immune system function, including vitamins A. C, anti-inflammatory antioxidants, and folate. Green veggies also provide bioactive compounds that optimize immune cells. Saute vegetables along with black pepper, garlic, and turmeric for immune booster. You can also blend leafy greens such as kale or spinach into a smoothie. Spinach and kale are good sources of beta carotene, which are essential for a healthy immune system.

6. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate is another food that supports immunity since it’s high in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. The flavonoid antioxidants in pomegranate juice also help to fight viruses and cold. Blend it into pomegranate juice and add some to water or chamomile tea. You can also blend into frozen smoothies and add fresh fruits or seeds.

7. Milk

Protein found in milk is one of the essential nutrients for immune cells and antibodies. It also has a role in helping our immune system do its job. Strengthen your immune system with turmeric milk tea that has been pretty popular on social media. Heat your milk on the stove and add turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper, then boil until all the ingredients are combined.

8. Bananas

Bananas are a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals that affect the immune system. Bananas are also a good source of probiotics and prebiotics, which help boost microbiome, which will support our immune system. One medium banana contains 30% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-6., 11% of the ideal intake of vitamin C, and 6% of the daily intake of folate. There are tons of ways to eat bananas, from eating it raw, turn it into a smoothie, or even ice cream!

Variety is the key to proper daily nutrition intake. Eating just one of these foods won’t be enough to maintain your immune system. Also, pay attention to serving sizes and recommended daily intake. Besides eating right, there are various ways to strengthen your immune systems, such as exercise, get enough sleep, meditate, and many more. 

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