Immune Boosting Foods: Improve Immune Response Naturally
A depressed immune system increases the body’s susceptibility to various disorders. Enhancement and support of the immune and defense mechanisms are the key steps to develop resistance to diseases. This article will provide important insights into the role of immunity and foods that can help enhance immunity.
What is Immunity?: Innate Vs Acquired Immunity
Immunity refers to an internal ability of the body to protect itself from infectious diseases and illnesses. The immune system of the body is classified into two categories. The first category is innate or non-specific immunity which is present since birth and is all encompassing and protects against a wide range of infections. The second category is Acquired immunity, which is specific and develops in response to an infection or a disease. Acquired immunity provides better protection against a specific parasite or bacteria, due to higher sensitivity.
Importance of the Immune System: Need to Improve Immune Response
Poor immunity can result in recurrent chronic infections, like the common cold, influenza, or sinusitis, occur only when the immunity levels are low. Repeated attacks of Urinary tract infections or eczema and dermatitis are also attributed to poor immune system
Consequently, a vicious cycle sets in – a deteriorated immune system leads to infection, the infection causes further impairment to the immune mechanism, which further reduces the resistance. To enhance the immune mechanism of the body, it is essential to break the cycle.
A poor immune response is also linked with a higher risk of developing cancers and tumors. A strong cell mediated immune response can help in controlling bacterial and parasitic infection while a strong humoral immunity, helps immunoglobins protect the body against viral infections.
Immune Boosting Foods: Tops Foods for Immunity
Optimal immune system functioning necessitates a healthy and wholesome diet. Incorporating whole grains and cereals, fresh vegetables and fruits, and pulses and legumes helps keeps the immune system working efficiently.
- Yogurt: Yogurt has a powerful ability to boost the immune system. Yogurt contains Bifidobacterium lactis, which increases the concentrations of helper, activator and total T lymphocyte cells and natural killer cells in the body. Yogurt helps to phagocytize (i.e. engulf) and wipe out invading infectious agents as well as fatal tumor cells.
- Lime: Lime is packed with vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant and immune booster. Vitamin C peps up the functioning of the defense system of the body and reduces vulnerability to infections. It is also a potent free radical scavenger and destroyer, which prevents cancers.
- Tomato: Tomatoes are loaded with carotenes. Carotenes are renowned for their immune-fortifying properties.The immune-boosting ability of the carotenes is because of their capacity to defend the thymus gland from damage. The gland is highly vulnerable to free radical damage by drugs, pollutants, stress, radiation, and infection. When the thymus gland gets impaired, its capacity to monitor the immune system diminishes. Carotenes in tomatoes protect the thymus and boost immune levels appreciably.
Immune System Foods: Improve Immune Response
In addition to fruits and vegetables, there are certain spices and herbs which have also been known to improve immune response. These foods are often called " immune booster foods",
- Bell pepper: Bell peppers are also chock full of carotenes. Additionally, they supply liberal amounts of vitamin C. These agents enhance the functioning of the white blood cells, as well as augment the anti-viral and anti-cancer properties of the immune system.
- Garlic: Garlic is the most powerful anti-microbial food. It has a really long history as an infection fighter. The anti-microbial effect is due to allicin present in garlic. Garlic is effective not only against cold, influenza and Candida, but also against tuberculosis and botulinum. What’s more, garlic offers strong protection against cancers. Allicin protects the cells of the body against cancer, and also stops the growth of cancer cells once they develop.
A health promoting lifestyle, optimum diet, regular exercise, adequate stress management and an intake of immune system fortifying agents helps support the immune levels considerably and keep illnesses at bay.