We now know that bacteria and viruses cause many illnesses. Our body has an innate ability to fight these antigens with the immune system. The immune system seems to be linked to so many aspects of our life, and one that you have the most control over is the food that you eat. Here are five foods that are known to help strengthen our immune system.
Fish and, more specifically, tuna is an excellent source of selenium. One ounce of tuna can provide around 30 mcg of selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and is one of the essential minerals for our health and immunity. The daily intake recommendation is 55 micrograms of selenium for an adult. Other fish and seafood are usually between 12 mcg and 20 mcg of selenium per ounce. Salmon is also an excellent choice to help the immune system. It contains a lot of “healthy fat” (omega-3), which is known to strengthen the immune system and reduce the risks of heart disease.
If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, lentils are a great substitute to fish. One cup of lentils can provide around six mcg of selenium. They are also a good source of immune-boosting nutrients, fiber, and protein.
Another vegetable that has a similar effect on our immune system as zinc is garlic. Garlic has the ability, according to some research, to keep a cold at bay (and maybe vampires?). Some studies even demonstrate that individuals who were living with cancer were able to boost their immune system by increasing their intake of garlic.
Berries, in general, are packed with antioxidants. Blueberries are at the top of all the fruits and vegetables for the number of antioxidants it contains. Not only does research show the power of blueberries on our immune system, and linked to a lower risk of stomach fat, cholesterol, heart diseases, and cancer.
Sunflower seeds are very high in vitamin E. One ounce can provide 76% of your daily intake, which is 15 milligrams. Vitamin E is also a potent antioxidant like selenium, which help fight infection since it enhances the immune system.
These foods are ingredients that you can add to your meals, especially when you approach the flu season. You can make a salad with lentils and sunflower seeds with homemade garlic dressing for it.