Fortunately, germs, bugs, and untold diseases can’t stand up to the natural immunity our body possesses. However, our immune systems can be lowered by both physical and emotional factors, making us more prone to getting sick. You can help your body stay strong by keeping as physically active as you can in addition to healthy eating. Also contributing to the immune system’s inability to ward of illness is a slew of physical imbalances. For your immune system to function at its best, it needs the right ingredients. That means eating certain types of healthy foods.
The Immune System and Vitamins
Our immune system works best when it has the right vitamins with which to function. Here are the vitamins your immune system loves, in abundance:
- B vitamins: The entire spectrum of B vitamins are crucial to the health of your immune system. These are the proteins that notify your body of the presence of harmful intruders. The growth of white blood cells is ensured by B vitamins
- Vitamin C: Pretty much in all areas, our immune system is helped by the antioxidant known as vitamin C. When the immune system has to respond to invasion, vitamin C helps raise the number of anti-bodies produced. White blood cell production is also stimulated by vitamin C while helping to protect those cells from free radical damage.
- Vitamin E: Throughout your body, vitamin E keeps cell membranes healthy. This helps to boost the immune system’s effectiveness.
- Vitamin A: Just like with vitamin E, healthy cell membranes are encouraged by vitamin A. Specifically, it helps to keep germs and viruses at bay through the cells in our respiratory tract, mucous membranes and skin.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
To help our body’s immune system fight off infections and harmful illnesses, a natural level of free radical molecules is necessary. However, our bodies can suffer significant harm when our natural antioxidants are outnumbered by the number of free radicals. To help maintain a healthy balance, antioxidants can be found in foods like fresh vegetables and fruits. Effective antioxidants include vitamins C, E, B, and A.
Want to Boost Your Immune System?
The following foods can help boost the immune system of seniors:
- Bell peppers – extraordinarily high in vitamin C
- Persimmon – consider substituting these for bananas in your banana bread recipe
- Garlic – not only good for cardiac health, but wards off fungus, infections, viruses, and bacteria
- Watermelon – full of glutathione, a polysyllabic antioxidant
- Cremini mushrooms – not only improves immune system function but combats fatigue
- Beets – contains vitamins B6, C, and B-9
- Broccoli – contains vitamins A, C, and antioxidants
- Spinach – packed with folate and iron
- Chicken soup – experiment with various recipes with lots of vegetables
- Carrots – rich in vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene
- Tea – superb disease fighting properties
The good news is that most of those foods are both nutritious and delicious. Have some fun looking up recipes to combine as many of them as possible.