Immune boosters are supplements, food substances or a range of activities (such as regular exercise, quality sleep or rest) that can help strengthen the natural defense system of an individual against infectious diseases.
Despite the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic across different countries in the world, statistics from medics have shown that over 90% of people who die from the virus are people with immunocompromised or weakened immune systems. Whether they are old or not, having underlying medical conditions or not, they all had one thing in common – weakened immune system!
While the role of a strong immune system at this time can not be ignored, it is important to note that no supplement will cure or prevent the virus.
Building a good immune system goes beyond taking dietary supplements. As stated earlier, it also involves activities like regular exercise and rest among other things.
With the current coronavirus pandemic, it is equally important to understand that no supplement, diet, or other lifestyle modification other than social distancing and proper hygiene practices can protect one from the COVID-19 virus.
However, this article focuses solely on well-researched food supplements that can help strengthen the general body defense mechanism.
Here are food supplements that are known for their immune-boosting potential.
Spinach is very rich in vitamin C. It contains folate which repairs body DNA and makes new body cells. It is also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of body immune systems. You can get the best out of it when it is cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients.
Almost all citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which is believed to increase the production of white blood cells (the disease-fighting cells) in the body. These fruits also contain a large amount of citric acid and other plant compounds that have health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help boost one’s immunity against common cold or Flu. Common examples include oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemon, and limes.
Pawpaw fruit (Papaya)
Pawpaw fruit is very rich in vitamins A, C and E. Research has it that one can find 224 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single pawpaw. They also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Pawpaw fruits have decent amounts of Riboflavin, flavonoids, carotene, and folate, all of which have an overall benefit to one’s health.
Garlic is rich in sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin which naturally destroys bacteria and infection. This, in turn, supports your immune system. Research suggests that consuming garlic may help reduce the risk of becoming sick and staying ill. It may also lower blood pressures and slow down the hardening of the arteries.
Ginger contains a high amount of antioxidant which prevents stress and damage to the body’s DNA. It may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses. Ginger may also help decrease nausea.
Green or Black Tea
Irrespective of the tea type, whether white, green, or black. Each delivers disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants seek out cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them. Green tea has been found to be a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, a germ-fighting compound in human cells.
Broccoli is a non-starchy edible green plant rich in potassium and vitamins A, C, and E. It is also a great immune-booster because of its richness in antioxidants. It is readily available in most grocery stores.
Almonds are very rich in vitamin E which is important for the maintenance of the immune system, particularly as we get older. Almonds also help lower blood sugar, reduces blood pressure, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. It is also rich in other nutrients like magnesium, fibre, and protein.
While these listed fruits or food supplements can strengthen your body defense mechanism because of the nutrient they contain, nothing beats the fight against coronavirus than safety hygienic practices, self-isolation, and social distancing.