Coronaviruses occur mostly in animals and rarely do they cross over to humans. However, when they do, they could be devastating to entire populations. A case in point is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a rising death toll in all countries across the globe.
Social distancing and sanitizing your hands often could keep the virus away. These measures are not enough though. The coronavirus has been shown to greatly affect people with weakened or not fully developed immune systems. You need to boost your immune system to fight the virus just in case you come into contact with it. So here are the 10 best natural foods and drinks to take to boost your immune system against coronavirus.
There is mounting evidence that tea, especially green such as chamomile and mint tea help to strengthen the immune system. Tea has powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in the body hence maintaining the structure and integrity of cells to ensure that they function properly. One of these cells optimized by antioxidants is, of course, the white blood cells that help fight germs in the course of an infection.
Tea also maintains the balance of bacteria in the gut which affects digestion and metabolism. A poor balance of gut bacteria would lead to low energy levels and a weakened immune response due to poor digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. Drink more tea today to protect yourself from coronavirus, a cup a day keeps the doctors away!
Chicken, turkey, duck, and geese; these are the common poultry animals available for consumption. These foods carry a tonne of immunity-boosting benefits thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects found in their protein and broth. You have to make soups with them for an improved immunity-boosting effect.
Normally when the body is affected by respiratory tract infections, the respiratory tract becomes inflamed and the nose becomes stuffy due to an immune response in the tissues affected. A study by the American Journal of Therapeutics showed that a compound known as carnosine works with the immune system to fight infection while inhibiting inflammation. It, therefore, helps to fight and relieve the flu.
8. Shittake Mushroom
The Shittake is an edible mushroom that originated from East Asia. Traditionally it was consumed for its medicinal value which has been confirmed through scientific research. The mushroom has a wide assortment of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that fuel bodily functions such as absorption of food.
They include vitamin B, vitamin D, niacin, selenium, and other essential amino acids. All these work to enhance immune system response in fighting viral infections such as the coronavirus. It will also help the immune system fight cancerous cells before they develop into tumors. If you have access to this superfood, consider yourself lucky since it is in high demand.
7. Cruciferous Vegetables
These are vegetables in the family of ‘Cruciferae’ which is a Latin word meaning ‘cross-bearing’. Their flowers are in the shape of four petals that resemble a cross. They include kale, broccoli, spinach, garden cress, cauliflower, turnip greens, beet greens, mustard greens, and cabbage.
These vegetables are among the most dominant food crops high in Vitamin C, iron, phytochemicals, fiber, and many other vital nutrients. They contain antibacterial and antiviral agents such as glucosinolates that not only boost immunity but help fight cancer. They also contain anti-inflammatory compounds such as sulforaphane. If you can’t eat them then blend and drink them into smoothies, either way, they will be beneficial.
6. Fruit Contains Lycopene: Tomato, Watermelon
Lycopene is the natural pigment that gives fruits and vegetables that distinctive red or pink color. It can be found in abundance in tomatoes, watermelons and some proportions in pink grapefruit, pink guava, wolfberry, and rosehip. The compound is a powerful antioxidant that functions to protect the cells against oxidative damage.
One group of cells that benefit from this is the pathogen fighting cells present in the blood known as lymphocytes. It also enhances the communication between cells enabling them to respond faster to external threats such as viruses and bacteria. Whenever you see red in fruits and vegetables, you should eat it, know that’s it will be good for your immune system.
5. Citrus Such As Lemon, Orange, Blueberry
Citrus fruits are the types that grow on flowering trees and shrubs. They are characterized by a central white pith that holds together juicy segments. Examples are oranges, lemons, blueberry, grapefruit, and mandarins. Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C that increases the production of white blood cells that fight infections.
It also prevents the oxidation or damage of cells that could leave your tissues and skin vulnerable to open pathogens. Frequent consumption of the citrus fruits would, therefore, help to boost your immune system directly and indirectly. Certain citrus fruits are bitter because of the acid they contain. The good news, however, is that you can squeeze and make naturally flavored juices out of them.
4. Yogurt & Milk
Milk and yogurt have almost similar vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B, Vitamin D, and calcium. Yogurt has additional folic acid due to the fermentation it has undergone. Yogurt helps in the flourishing of friendly bacteria in the gut to help fight off the fungus that may be growing in your body.
Milk, on the other hand, contains vitamin D that helps in the regulation of your immunity so that it does not overreaction during infection and lead to serious symptoms. Hence yogurt and milk help to support, enhance and take the strain off the immune system so that it can focus on more dangerous threats such as foreign respiratory viruses and bacteria.
3. Whole-Wheat Flour, Brown Rice, And Beans
Whole grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat flour, and beans have several micronutrients and naturally occurring phytochemicals. The compounds in rice and wheat have been shown to help increase the amounts of memory T cells. These are the cells in your immunity that remember the pathogens previously encountered so that they can produce the antibodies to fight them effectively when they occur again.
Beans, on the other hand, are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and protein for the fast repair of damaged cells including the white blood cells. To keep coronavirus at bay, consume natural grains to derive all their essential immune-boosting nutrients.
2. Fresh Vegetable Soup
Vegetable soups contain a rich mix of minerals, micronutrients, and vitamins from all the vegetables and condiments used in their preparation. Common ingredients for vegetable soups include carrots, onions, turmeric, ginger, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin cucumbers among many others.
All these nutrients are useful in the manufacture of white blood cells and their repair. They also prevent oxidative damage that may leave cells and tissues especially those on the skin and internal organs exposed to harmful pathogens. Soup is easy and fast to prepare since all you need is water, chopped up vegetables and heat. Take as much soup as you can to keep hydrated too during flu and viral infections such as the coronavirus.
Fish and especially fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are the greatest sources of Vitamin D and essential fish oils such as omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help to increase the activity of the white blood cells. They also play a vital role in the production of immune regulating compounds.
The body is therefore protected from diseases and the immune system is kept from overacting to allergens and infections. Vitamin D in the fish functions to reduce inflammation so that the body can heal quickly during infections. The protein in fish help to repair damaged tissues and cells and help in quick recovery from diseases. Fish is a full-stack combo to boost your immunity against coronavirus.