Top 10 Natural Immunity Boosters
Let’s be clear: there are no quick fixes to immunity. It’s something that has to be built by following a healthy diet and lifestyle, and taking care to eat whole, unprocessed foods.
Some people may be deficient in certain nutrients, which require them to take supplements (like Vitamin D). But you don’t always have to rely on supplements - there are natural ways to boost immune system using herbs, spices and ingredients in your kitchen, along with certain exercises.
We show you the best way to boost immune system with the right natural immune booster foods.
Here’s a list of natural immune booster fruits, vegetables, spices and lifestyle changes you can indulge in, to keep your system in top shape!
Haldi is a natural immune booster food. Curcumin, found in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties, and both turmeric powder and root are good for runny nose, congestion, sneezing etc.
The body does is unable to absorb the active ingredients in turmeric (curcumin and theracurmin), so the turmeric must be combined with a fat of some sort like milk, and and black pepper.
1 cup milk
1 inch long piece turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced
3 whole black peppercorns
Whisk the milk, turmeric, peppercorns and 50 ml water in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil
Reduce heat and simmer until the favours have melded, for about 10 minutes.
Strain into a mug and enjoy.
There are several natural remedies for immune system and haldi doodh or turmeric milk is one of the best. You may add some raw honey for sweetness if you like, and if you cannot consume milk, the same can be made with coconut milk or almond milk.
If you are looking to improve immune system, then this is a concoction that works well. An ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits, including the ability to combat stress, this herb helps stimulate the lymphocyte, or the white blood cells to fight infections and viruses.
Regular intake of Ashwagandha strengthens the immune system. It is also known as a “sleep-inducing” herb, which in turn helps in bringing the cortisol (stress hormone) level down in the body.
A combination juice of carrot, beetroot, amla and tomato works wonders for your immunity. This juice is loaded with vitamins and minerals: potassium, magnesium, nitrate, Vitamin B9, folate, Vitamin C and beta-carotene, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which are known to support a healthy immune system.
These nutrients help support the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts and help lower the risk of infections. Amla or Indian gooseberry is a rich source of antioxidants, which helps boost immunity. If you want, you can add a touch of black salt (kala namak) for extra taste.
4.Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Boost immune system naturally with this wonder nutrient. When it comes to immune balance, Omega 3 fatty acids play a dynamic role, including:
- Controlling inflammation in the body;
- Balancing immune cells;
- Regulating the production and secretion of cytokines and chemokines (the molecules secreted by cells that attract immune cells into the site of infection and regulate their activation and suppression);
- Supporting Macrophages, (the specialised cells involved in the detection & destruction of bacteria and harmful organisms).
Omega 3s are of two types: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (found in fish oil) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant-based foods such as walnuts and flaxseeds).
The best sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids include chia seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, fatty fish like salmon and mackarel, etc.
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Vitamin A is a natural infection fighter and protective vitamin. It can be found in both animal and plant-based foods, from meat and dairy to plant carotenoids. You can include vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and dark green leafy vegetables for your Vitamin A intake.
It is a water-soluble vitamin - meaning the body does not store it, and must get it from a daily intake of Vitamin C rich foods like amla, lemon, bell peppers, oranges, etc.
It is well known for being a potent antioxidant and having positive effects on immune function.
A strong and powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage.
Get your daily dose from a fistful of nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Selenium is a nutrient that has powerful effects on the immune system, helping prevent infections. It is a potent nutritional antioxidant that strongly influences inflammation and immune response.
There are several animal sources of selenium, like tuna, meat, liver and cottage cheese. But there are just as many options in the plant kingdom, like radish leaves and drumstick (moringa) leaves.
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9. Deep Breathing
Apart from calming your nerves and your mind, deep breathing helps boost immune cells and fights the progression of autoimmune diseases. Stress is often linked to inflammation in the body, poor gut health and hormonal imbalance.
Slow, deep and mindful breathing is the best way to turn down the stress response in the body and get more oxygen to the cells. Morning is the best time for deep breathing - but you can do it any time during the day or right before you sleep.
Even 5-10 minutes of slow, mindful breathing breaks during the day can trigger positive immune responses. Deep breathing exercises also work to lower stress levels and improve posture and hormonal balance.
Traditionally known as Kavala Graha or Gandusha, the practice of oil pulling helps get rid of oil-soluble toxins in the body. While it helps wash out the harmful bacteria from your mouth, it doesn’t kill the good bacteria in the gut like antiseptic mouthwashes.
A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system. Oil pulling also prevents cavities and improves gut health. All you have to do is take 10 ml of cold-pressed coconut oil or sesame oil and just swish it in your mouth for about 10-15 minutes.
After swishing it in your mouth, spit into the trash bin because your sink can get clogged because of the oil. (To be done before brushing your teeth).
These are some the best practices and ingredients to boost immune system naturally. For more tips on nutrition and immunity, subscribe to the Nutrition By Lovneet blog. You can also follow us on Instagram @lovneetb
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How can you boost your immune system naturally?
You can boost your immune system naturally with the right combination of natural immune boosters, a balanced diet that’s rich in fibre, proper hydration (both in the form of water and by consuming hydrating fruits and vegetables like watermelon and cucumber), enough sleep, and exercise.
How can you build up your immune system?
You can build immunity with herbs and spices that are readily available in your pantry, like turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, mulethi and more.
How can you improve your immune system?
You can improve your immune system with the right diet of whole, natural foods that contain immune-boosting properties, along with the right amount of diet and exercise.
How can you make your immune system stronger?
You can make your immune system stronger with a regular intake of immune-boosting foods on a daily basis. You can take an immunity tonic - or indulge in an immunity ritual - first thing in the morning or at bedtime.
Anything from chewing curry leaves and garlic on an empty stomach, to drinking turmeric milk and wheatgrass juice helps.
How can you increase immunity with home remedies?
You can increase your immunity with home remedies like turmeric milk, ashwagandha milk, coriander seeds water, wheatgrass shots, ginger shots and even mulethi-saunf kadha.
You can prepare mulethi saunf kadha by taking 2 inches mulethi stick, 2 tsp fennel seed and 1 1⁄2 cup water. Then, boil the mulethi stick and fennel seeds in water for 10-15 minutes. Drink warm.
You can find recipes for immunity-boosting home remedies here.