Despite the active immunization of the population against Covid-19, the virus continues to spread actively. Unfortunately, there are no products that could prevent infection. However, if you correctly approach the composition of the diet, you can strengthen the immune system and help it resist any disease. For example, as in the epidemic of influenza, and in the epidemic of coronavirus infection, the body needs additional sources of vitamin C.
During an outbreak of morbidity, it is necessary to observe social distance, do not ignore hygiene rules, and wash your hands regularly. In combination with a strong immune system, these measures will help, if not avoid, then easily transfer the infection. Moreover, it is possible to make the first changes to the diet today. We have compiled a list of 29 products to boost immunity.
1. Chicken broth
Chicken broth and chicken soup is a product that not only saturates, but charges with positive emotions. Warm food fills the body with energy, allows you to feel inner comfort. The rich chicken soup seems to return to childhood, to a mother who takes care of her baby with tenderness.
Scientists from the University of California (Los Angeles) have found out that chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect. It helps to relieve irritation from the upper respiratory tract, which always accompanies colds. Moreover, scientists have found that chicken soup can reduce nasal congestion.
2. Ginger tea
Ginger tea has been a popular drink for colds for many hundreds of years. Its reception helps to ease the course of the disease and eliminate unpleasant symptoms.
Scientists have found out that ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to cope faster with colds, including those caused by a viral infection. These data were published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. Scientists are of the opinion that inflammation has a negative effect on the immune system as a whole, and ginger prevents this process.
Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which in case of illness provides the body with tremendous support. It is used not only during the cold season, but also as a preventive measure, in order to raise immunity.
Scientists from the National Center for Epidemiology and Public Health (Australia) it was found out that taking vitamin C can reduce the risk of developing colds in people who are under the influence of negative factors, for example, under the influence of cold. In addition, its entry into the body helps to carry SARS easier and faster
Turmeric is not just a spice that can give a dish a rich color and aroma, but also a means to strengthen immunity. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant with pronounced anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists have found that curcumin from turmeric activates the production of T cells, which are necessary for the body to fight pathogens, including viruses and bacteria. It is T cells that are the main helpers of the immune system. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Immunology
Surprisingly, the most ordinary water is almost the main helper of the body during the illness. Scientists practicing at the Mayo Clinic have proven that taking enough water a day helps to remove mucus that accumulates in the respiratory tract during colds. Science has long known that during illness the body loses more fluid, and dehydration negatively affects the condition of all systems. Therefore, it is impossible to allow a shortage of water in any case.
6. Greek yogurt
Next in the list of products for immunity is Greek yogurt. It contains probiotics that help the body fight various diseases by maintaining the immune system. In addition, the product is rich in protein – the main building material for new cells.
Scientists have analyzed several studies that studied the effect of probiotics on the body and found that they can reduce the risk of developing a cold and ease the course of an existing disease. They published their findings in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, where they said that people who receive probiotics every day are less at risk of contracting colds.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help the body to tolerate colds and related symptoms more easily. Scientists from the University of Auckland have proved that the flavonoids included in blueberries reduce the risk of infection with respiratory diseases by 33%. To get the effect, the product must be eaten regularly.
8. Tea with ginseng
This drink is not only delicious, but also healthy. It can be used for the treatment and prevention of colds. Scientists have found that ginseng helps speed up recovery and reduce the symptoms that cause flu and SARS. The results obtained during the study were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C. A medium-sized tomato contains about 16 mg of it. Ascorbic acid has been proven to strengthen the immune system and help the body fight various diseases.
German scientists have found out that vitamin C is necessary for the normal functioning of T cells and phagocytes – the main assistants of the immune system. It has been proven that ascorbic acid deficiency leads to a decrease in the body’s resistance and increases the risk of infection with various infections. The results of the research were published in the journal Medizinische Monatsschrift Pharmazeutin
Wild salmon meat contains substances that help the body fight colds and minimize the risk of complications. Scientists have found out that in order to prevent colds, adults and children need regular intake of zinc into the body. A scientific article was devoted to this topic in the Journal of Family Practice. It was found that zinc prevents the transition of the disease into a severe form, reduces the intensity of cold symptoms if its intake was started on the first day after the appearance of signs of infection.
In another study, it was found out that taking zinc can prevent infection with SARS in children aged 6.5 to 10 years. All subjects received 15 mg of zinc daily for 7 months. Compared with children from the control group, during the flu and cold season, they were sick less often.
11. Dark chocolate
Bitter chocolate is a healthy treat that helps to cope with a cold. It contains theobromine, which relieves cough caused by infection. Scientists have found out that this antioxidant is necessary for people suffering from bronchitis. The results of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.
12. Red pepper
It’s no secret that red pepper (aka cayenne pepper) contains an impressive amount of vitamin C, which is able to protect against colds. In 2013, a review of several studies was published in the Harvard Health Letter. Scientists are of the opinion that with a daily intake of 200 mg of vitamin C, the risk of infection with SARS is reduced by 2 times. If the disease does occur, ascorbic acid will help speed up recovery by 8% in adults and by 14% in children.
In order to prevent colds, it is necessary to include broccoli in your diet. This was proved by scientists from the University of California (Los Angeles). They found out that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables increase the body’s natural resistance to various infections. This is due to the substance included in their composition called sulforaphane. Under its influence, genes and enzymes responsible for the fight against free radicals are activated in the body. Thus, it is possible to prevent the development of the disease at an early stage.
14. Olive oil
The effectiveness of olive oil in the fight against inflammatory processes and in strengthening the immune forces of the body has been proven by scientists. Their works were published by the famous scientific journal British Journal of Nutrition. This is possible thanks to the polyunsaturated fatty acids that are part of the oil. They have a complex effect on the body, stimulating the body’s defenses.
15. Green tea
Everyone knows that green tea is a dietary product that helps to quickly get rid of excess weight. However, not everyone knows that the drink is no less effective in fighting colds. A study on this topic was published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology. Scientists have found that flavonoids and antioxidants included in its composition have anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating effects.
Catechins from green tea have the ability to fight viruses and bacteria, including those that cause the flu.
Spinach leaves can be called a superfood for health. They contain a huge amount of fiber, helping to normalize the process of digestion of food.
Spinach also contains a lot of vitamin C, which helps to fight colds, speed up recovery and reduce the severity of symptoms of the disease.
17. Whole grain bread
Scientists conducted a study during which they found out that whole grains help to cope with inflammation and increase the number of beneficial gastrointestinal microflora. It is known that 70% of immunity depends on the state of the intestine, which is why it is so important to normalize its work. It is possible to suppress the activity of pathogenic bacteria and improve the body as a whole by eating whole-grain bread. Scientific results on this topic have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The yolk of a chicken egg is rich in nutrients that help boost the immune system. It contains vitamin D, which the body needs daily for normal functioning.
In winter, scientists conducted an experiment in which participants took vitamin D every day. It was found that they were less likely to suffer from ARVI, compared with the control group. The results of the study were published in the journal JAMA.
The benefits of garlic for the immune system were known to our distant ancestors. However, scientists have recently confirmed this scientifically. They found out that people who ate garlic for 3 months were less likely to get SARS (24 cases versus 65). A review of the study was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
“An apple a day and you don’t need a doctor” is not just a well-known saying, but a truth proven by scientists. They found out that apples really help prevent the development of colds, as they are rich in phytochemical antioxidants. Once in the body, these substances stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. The results of a study on this topic were published in the Nutrition Journal.
Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which is effective in fighting various diseases. Scientists have found that with its daily intake in the amount of 50 mg, the risk of developing a cold is reduced by 28%. Interestingly, the study was conducted with the participation of smoking men over 65 years old who lived in gas-polluted cities. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
22. Tuna meat
Tuna contains zinc, which is a powerful stimulant of the immune system. Scientists have proved that its intake into the body can reduce the clinical manifestations of colds. The study involved people who received 75 mg of zinc daily. All of them recovered earlier than the patients from the control group. The results of the experiment were published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Rosemary’s ability to reduce inflammation and have an antioxidant effect on the body has been proven by scientists. They associate the herb’s ability to heal the body with the fact that it has an effect on the gastrointestinal tract. Normalization of digestive processes and improvement of intestinal flora has a positive effect on the state of the body as a whole.
24. Bone broth
Broth on the bone makes any soup healthier, enriching it with nutrients. Its use in food helps to reduce inflammation and ease the course of colds. Therefore, this dish must be present on the table during the seasonal surge of infectious diseases.
Oysters are a source of zinc, which is necessary for the body in everyday life and during illness. Scientists have found out that this trace element helps fight infections and prevents infection with SARS.
26. Natural honey
The use of honey during the illness helps to alleviate its symptoms and speed up recovery. Scientists have found that it helps to reduce pain and sore throat. In addition, honey has an antibacterial effect, helping to cope with the disease. The results of the research were published in the Iranian Journal of Fundamental Medical Sciences.
27. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds have an anti-inflammatory effect, help fight colds and acute respiratory infections. Their reception heals the body as a whole, and the intestines in particular. It’s no secret that the state of the immune system directly depends on the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Thanks to the intake of pumpkin seeds, toxins are eliminated from the body.
The product is rich in B vitamins and vitamin E. And it also has a lot of zinc and magnesium. 50 g of pumpkin seeds contain 10 g of zinc and 300 mg of magnesium, which have a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect and help the body fight colds. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a source of magnesium and iron (7.5 mg per 50 g). Therefore, they must be present on the menu during the cold season.
Mushrooms are a product for increasing immunity. Scientists from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida conducted a study in which participants ate shiitake every day. The experiment lasted 4 weeks, during which an increase in the number of T cells and an increase in their activity were detected. It is known that T-cells are the main helpers of immunity in the fight against infections. There was also a decrease in proteins that stimulate the inflammatory process, which had a positive effect on the course of the disease.
29. Anise tea
Anise tea is not only delicious, but also useful, as it has an anti-inflammatory and antifungal effect. Scientists have found that the plant helps fight viral infections, and also contains antioxidants that boost immunity. The results of scientific research were published in the publication International Scholarly Research Notices Pharamacology.