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20 Immunity-Boosting Foods

As we age, we sometimes find it easier to catch viruses or other ailments. Our immune system seems to depreciate with time, often with no warning. How can we boost our immune systems and help our senior loved ones boost their immune systems to keep them healthier?


Types of Immunity

Our immune system is a complex system that protects our bodies against harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. The immune system also helps to protect us against some diseases. People have two kinds of immunity: innate and adaptive.


Innate Immunity

Innate immunity is the first defense against the various toxins and pathogens we are exposed to daily. The protection with innate immunity comes from barriers to pathogens. The natural barriers of innate immunity are the skin, mucus, stomach acid, enzymes found in sweat and tears, and cells that attack the pathogen or anything else entering your body.


Adaptive Immunity

The adaptive immune system learns to recognize pathogens in the body. This portion of the immune system is regulated by cells and organs like the lymph nodes and the spleen. As a foreign substance comes into the body, this system goes into action and creates antibodies that attack and destroy the harmful cells. Then, the immune system adapts and creates a new way to combat pathogens.


Dietary Solutions to Help Boost Immunity

Changes to your diet may boost your immunity by providing nutrients you’ve been missing. Sometimes these nutrients are vitamins. Another nutrient that you can easily be missing is minerals. Rather than take multiple supplements in an attempt to increase those deficient nutrients, you can make simple changes to your diet to help boost immunity.

  • Probiotic foods: This group of foods helps to restore our gut health. It includes yogurt with live cultures, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables.

  • Prebiotic foods: This group consists of foods such as onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, bananas, and seaweed. Be sure to include these foods in your diet daily.

  • Vitamin D: Often, those with depressed immunity also lack specific vitamins such as vitamin D. In fact, scientists link vitamin D deficiencies to the development of certain ailments.

Maintaining a healthy diet is the best way to boost natural immunity. Some of the foods recommended for everyone, especially those with compromised immunity, to add to their diets include:

  1. Blueberries

  2. Dark chocolate

  3. Citrus fruits

  4. Red bell pepper

  5. Garlic

  6. Ginger

  7. Turmeric

  8. Spinach

  9. Yogurt

  10. Almonds

  11. Sunflower Seeds

  12. Green tea

  13. Papaya

  14. Kiwi

  15. Poultry

  16. Fish

  17. Shellfish

  18. Broccoli

  19. Sweet potatoes

  20. Kefir

These 20 foods aid in the development of a healthy immune system. They provide vital nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, and antioxidants that we need in our diet.


The Takeaway

Our immune system is the system that protects our bodies from pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. Incorporating certain foods into our diets can help boost that immune system by adding crucial nutrients that we often miss without realizing it.


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