The immune system protects us from bacteria, viruses and fungi that bombard our everyday lives. It helps to fight against disease and infection. It does this by identifying non-self and self. 70% of your immune system is in your gut. There are many constituents that make up our immune system. They are the bone marrow, spleen, lymph system, thymus and the red and white blood cells. The immune system can overreact and can attack the body’s own tissue. This is called an ‘autoimmune response’. Conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune diseases. Lowered immune function is also linked to chronic fatigue, allergies, and parasite infections.
What causes of low immunity?
• Diets high in saturated or hydrogenated fat
• High sugary foods
• Nutrient deficiencies
• Poor gut flora
• Lack of fruit and vegetables
• Lack of essential fats such as fish
• Excessive alcohol, drugs or smoking
• Chemical pollutants
• Lack of sleep
What Symptoms of low immunity?
• Allergies and food sensitivities
• Feeling very tired all the time
• Frequent colds or flus
• Sore throat
• Swollen glands
• Aching muscles
12 Best Foods To Boost Immune System
Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects against infection. When eaten with garlic and oregano tomatoes can pack a powerful immune boosting punch.
Much of the immune-boosting properties of garlic come from its sulfur-containing compounds which are effective against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections. They also enhance the immune system and have anti-tumor and antioxidant features, which help guard cells from everyday wear and tear.
Oregano is one of the highest antioxidant herbs due to its high content of phenolic acids and flavenoids. Oregano can help protect against the common cold, influenze, fevers and indigestion. When used with tomatoes and garlic it creates a synergistic effect for even more immune system health.
Zinc is very good at protecting the body against colds and the flu. Oysters are a good source of zinc. Having a zinc deficiency can impair a number of white blood cells making the body highly susceptible to infection, but getting too much zinc can be harmful.
Broccoli is one of those “superfoods” as it is high in Vitamins A, C, and E. As mentioned under Tomatoes, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is affective because it produces B-cells. These are antibodies that destroy bacteria in the body and, in turn, keep us from getting sick. Vitamin A helps the proteins that regulate cell-to-cell communication, which is the foundation of the immune system. Broccoli is also high in glucosinolates which stimulate the body’s immune system
Turmeric is a yellow spice that many people use in cooking. It is also present in some alternative medicines. Consuming turmeric may improve a person’s immune response. This is due to the qualities of curcumin, a compound in turmeric.
7. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a type of antioxidant that gives the skin of the potatoes its orange color. Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A. It helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
8. Green tea
Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, you can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee. Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system. As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold.
9. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, an antioxidant. In the same way as other antioxidants, vitamin E improves immune function. It does this by fighting off free radicals, which can damage cells.
Almonds are also excellent source of vitamin E. They also contain manganese, magnesium and fiber, may benefit the immune system.
11. Oranges and kiwis
Oranges and kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, it may improve the function of the human immune system.
Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system.