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Six Foods That Help Boost Immunity

Maintaining the proper functioning of the immune system is essential to avoid several diseases, such as flu, colds and COVID-19. And it goes without saying that in recent years, concern about immunity has greatly increased, right? But that doesn’t mean you should use self-medication and supplements to extend this protection.

One of the best ways to protect the body against the action of invading agents, such as viruses, fungi and bacteria, is through food! A balanced diet can guarantee all the nutrients necessary for the body to defend itself and fight infections and inflammatory processes that may be happening, even before you notice the first symptoms.

Want To Know What Some Of Them Are? So Keep Reading, And We’ll Tell You!

But before you start, remember that any change in diet needs to be closely monitored by a nutritionist. Benefits may even be the same for everyone, but the ideal amount of each food varies according to each person’s needs!

Now yes, let’s go!

1. Acerola

When we talk about vitamin C, it’s normal to think of oranges first, right? But it is not by far the richest fruit in this nutrient. Acerola has the second highest concentration of vitamin C, second only to camu-camu, of Amazonian origin. With just three units a day, it is possible to guarantee more than a thousand milligrams of the vitamin, which helps to increase the production of immune system cells, strengthening the body’s natural defenses and increasing resistance to infections and other diseases.

Therefore, acerola can be a good alternative if you are looking for a quick way to overcome vitamin C deficiency. Other options, with a slightly lower concentration, are cashew, carambola, papaya, guava, kiwi, mango and strawberry. Just remember to consult a nutritionist to find out which is best for you, as some of these fruits, such as cashews, should not be consumed daily to avoid constipation.

2. Kombucha

Never heard of that word? Calm down; we’re not speaking Greek! The origin of kombucha is Chinese, and has been popularly known for its therapeutic benefits for more than three thousand years. That’s because it’s a tea that goes through an intense fermentation process, getting slightly carbonated. With this, some enzymes and vitamins strengthen the immune system.

In addition, the benign bacteria (probiotics) present in kombucha contribute to intestinal health, which is directly linked to the body’s defences, as 70% of the immune system is found in the intestine, according to a study published by the British Society of Immunology. If you do not like tea, another option is natural yogurt (made only with milk and yeast), which has the same properties as kombucha.

3. Sweet Potato

A favorite of athletes and bodybuilding fans, sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidant compounds that help develop and strengthen the immune system, in addition to having a strong concentration of vitamin A. This vitamin helps prevent premature aging, maintains the health of the vision and is responsible for cell renewal. 

Other benefits include combating cardiovascular disease, infections and more routine problems such as flu, allergies and colds. You can also find vitamin A in a variety of foods. Of vegetable origin, good options are pumpkin, tomato, watercress and spinach. Already of animal origin, the richest options in the nutrient are liver, egg yolk and fish oil.

4. Salmon

Rich in omega 3, salmon has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a great ally for health, especially cardiovascular health, helping to prevent problems such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. It also helps to regulate the defense cells of the immune system and promotes the proper functioning of the brain, improving memory and concentration. For those who don’t like salmon, other good fish options are mackerel, anchovies, tuna and sardines.

As for vegetarians and vegans, the good news is that there are several vegetable sources of the nutrient with even higher concentrations than salmon, as is the case with chia and linseed seeds, soy and canola oils and walnuts. There is also the option of combining more than one ingredient, such as using the oils above to roast the fish or covering it with a layer of flaxseed flour.

5. Garlic

This one has already earned the status of mothers’ favorite. After all, who hasn’t needed garlic tea when they’re sick? But the benefits of garlic go far beyond popular belief, see? That’s because he’s rich in allicin, a compound with antimicrobial activity that helps prevent the proliferation of bacteria, fungi and viruses.

In addition, it has high concentrations of manganese, calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins and several other nutrients. Therefore, it is not surprising that a study published by the National Library of Medicine (United States) revealed that daily consumption of garlic could reduce the number of colds by up to 63% and reduce symptoms by up to 70%.

But calm down, and you don’t need to drink the famous garlic tea! For health maintenance, just use it as a seasoning for food in everyday life. You can mix it with turmeric and ginger, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and help lower the need for salt to flavor food.

6. Dark Chocolate

Now you have an excuse for your daily dose of chocolate! But it’s not just any chocolate, see? While traditional (milk) chocolate can trigger inflammatory responses in the body due to the high concentrations of sugar and milk, dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa, can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. Blood pressure.

All this is due to the powerful combination of flavonoids and zinc, which contributes to increased immunity in addition to having anti-inflammatory properties. Other options rich in zinc are beans, chickpeas, red meat and shrimp. However, they lack the flavonoids in dark chocolate, which also offers good doses of copper, iron, selenium and other vitamins and minerals.

ALSO READ: WHAT IS HEALTHY EATING? HOW TO ADOPT THE MAIN HABITS

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