Every day brings a new challenge and your body deals with many stresses that can be of environmental, physical, or emotional nature. The immune system works 24⁄7 to put up with different influences and protect your health, but you have to do your part to ensure it performs optimally. Your immune system keeps the body free from illness and infections and, fortunately, you can make it stronger with wiser lifestyle choices, starting with your diet. Fruits are highly beneficial for your immunity. Keep reading to find out what immune boosting fruits to go for.
Kiwi, named after the national bird of New Zealand, has high nutritional value and low-calorie content. The fuzzy fruit contains folate, copper, potassium, and vitamins K, C, and E. Interestingly, one kiwi (about 69g on average) provides 77% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C, thus making it a better source of this micronutrient than oranges and lemons.
It is needless to mention that Vitamin C is widely known for its tremendous ability to improve your immune system and protect you from viruses and infections. A study from the Advances in Food and Nutrition Research found that kiwi influences a number of biomarkers of oxidative stress and beneficial immune responses to reduce the severity of symptoms of respiratory tract infections. Scientists from New Zealand explain that positive impact of the fruit on immunity is due to Vitamin C, carotenoids, polyphenols, and dietary fiber.
Blueberries belong to the group of the most nutritious berries and they pose as the best source of antioxidants. Valuable nutrients you can find in these delicious berries fiber, Vitamin K, manganese, and Vitamin C (24% of recommended daily value). A research published in the Molecular Nutrition found that pterostilbene from blueberries works in synergy with Vitamin D and improves immune function.
Along with stronger immunity, blueberries neutralize free radicals that cause DNA damage, improve heart health, lower blood pressure, among many other things. Of course, they prove to be an amazing addition to fruit salads, juices, and other desserts.
Red grapes were cultivated, for the very first time, 8000 years ago in an area, we know today as the Middle East. This fruit, which is technically a berry, contains antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and B6. The above-mentioned study which found that antioxidant from blueberries boosts immune function; also found that red grapes do the same. Resveratrol from red grapes also works together with Vitamin D to raise the expression of human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide that is involved in immune function.
Red grapes also slow or prevent the development of different types of cancer including lung, mouth, esophageal, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, and colon. Plus, it protects your heart, relieves constipation, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Strawberries are abundant in antioxidants, various nutrients and plant compounds that benefit your health. They consist of high water content (91%) which is why they are ideal for juicing. Strawberries contain potassium, folate, manganese, and Vitamin C.
High levels of Vitamin C in this delicious fruit are the primary reason behind its positive impact on your immune system. Regular consumption of strawberries improves cardiovascular health. Additionally, they may slow down the digestion of carbs and decrease the spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Citrus fruits are, by far, the most well-known fruits with the beneficial impact on the immune system. Lemons, oranges, and other members of this family like grapefruit, tangerines, limes, and clementines are abundant sources of Vitamin C which gives immunity a boost and fights infections. Vitamin C has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, but it also acts as an antioxidant that protects your immune cells against harmful compounds. That explains why getting sufficient amounts of this vitamin is a great way to strengthen the immune system and reduce the likelihood of infection.
Of course, there is always a possibility to obtain Vitamin C through supplements, but you should still strive to consume fruits rich in this vitamin. Why? It is because these fruits also contain many other important nutrients that benefit your health. Plus, citrus fruits are incredibly refreshing.
Papaya is yet another fruit rich in Vitamin C. A growing body of evidence confirms that Vitamin C reduces the risk and duration of common cold. What’s more, individuals with lower levels of this vitamin in the body usually are more prone to cold.
In fact, you can get 224% of the daily recommended amount of this micronutrient from a single papaya. That is amazing! Moreover, papayas contain papain, a digestive enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects. This explains why people who live in tropical areas consider papaya as a natural remedy for digestive illnesses. They also have a decent amount of potassium, B vitamins, and folate, which contribute to overall health.
Aronia is a berry originating in North America were Native Americans from Potawatomi tribe used it to cure colds. Unfortunately, this berry is largely overlooked which is unfair because it is incredibly nutritious.
Aronia is abundant in antioxidants like anthocyanins and procyanidins. Numerous health-promoting characteristics are associated with aronia berries including antioxidant, antimutagenic, anticancer, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antiviral, antibacterial, radioprotective, and immunomodulatory.
A study whose findings were published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology found that natural polyphenols extracted from aronia berries have the ability to modulate non-specific and specific immune defenses in insulin-deficiency diabetes.
We take our immune system for granted and only think about boosting its strength during the flu season. The truth is; your immunity fends off diseases and viruses and keeps you healthy; which is why it deserves more attention. Since the immune system is active non-stop, then you also have the responsibility to consume foods that make it stronger and more efficient. Consumption of fruits and vegetables is always a great way to get the stronger immune system and this article mentioned seven great examples. You can eat them raw, in fruit salads, juices, use your imagination and enjoy.