Best food to boost immune system

Best food to boost immune system

Immunity is the keyword now. Immunity is defined as the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells.

Our body shows signs of a strong immune system pretty often. One example is when you get a mosquito bite. The red, bumpy itch is a sign of your immune system at work. The flu or a cold is a typical example of your body failing to stop the germs/bacteria before they get in. Our body starts showing signs of a weakened immune system like having lot of stomach related troubles, wounds are slow to heal, getting frequent infections, feeling tired all the time.

Before understanding the best foods to boost immune system let us first understand the habits that can damage our immunity.

Top 10 Habits That Damage Your Immunity

  • Being a night owl (poor sleep habits)
  • Excessive sugar intake
  • Alcohol consumption reduces production of WBCs
  • Tobacco addiction
  • Too much caffeine (stimulates the nervous system which raises cortisol that suppresses the immune system)
  • Eating junk food in excess
  • Improper hydration
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive exercise
  • Social relationships

If you have fall under any of the above category then do try to bring in changes in your habits as these might damage your immunity and the risk of getting attacked by the germs become more stronger. Let us now look at the natural food that are present in our kitchen which will help to increase the immunity thereby keeping us healthy.


  • Citrus Fruits: Rich in vitamin C and increases the production of WBCs. Oranges, grapes, amla, apples, pears are compulsory to include in daily diet.
  • Red bell pepper: These are rich source of betacaroteine and are excellent antioxidants. They contain up to twice as much vitamin C as the citrus fruits do. Red bell peppers not just help you have a stronger immune system but they also help you maintain healthy skin.
  • Sweet Potato: One of the richest natural sources of beta-carotene, a plant-based compound that is converted to vitamin A in our body. Vitamin A is critical to a healthy immune system, and low blood levels have been linked to reduced immunity.
  • Garlic: Adds zinc to food. It helps to resist or destroy viruses and other microorganisms.
  • Ginger: Contains gingerol and rich antioxidant that enhances the immune response.
  • Carrots: Both vitamins A and C found in carrot juice act as antioxidants and protect immune cells from free radical damage
  • Spinach: Rich in vitamin C and also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
  • Yoghurt: Is an excellent probiotic containing live bacteria. Yoghurt inhibits a range of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the gut.
  • Almonds: Almonds are a source of 15 nutrients such as magnesium, protein, riboflavin, zinc, etc. In addition to this, they are also high in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to support pulmonary immune function. Vitamin E is also known to offer protection against infections caused by viruses and bacteria.
  • Turmeric: Super powerful ingredient present in the Indian kitchen. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity.

The above article is shared with Mumbai Live by Bhavani Swaminathan.

A nutritionist, professor, researcher, and founder of Aakanksha, Desire For Wellness, Bhavani Swaminathan is here to help people live healthy through diet. M.Sc in Food & Nutrition, Calcutta University, M.Phil, University of Mumbai and Pursuing Ph.D. from the University of Mumbai, this Tamilian born dietician has a very simple take on food, “home-cooked meal is a labour of love”.

Dedicated and passionate for her cause she aspires to aid people struggling with health issues to achieve a good level of mental and physical well-being. With a strong belief that fitness of mind and body is a perpetual journey and not a destination, she believes mindful eating can help lead a healthy and happy life.

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