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Foods that can increase your immune system

As we grow old most of us must notice our immune system gets weak. Our recent lifestyle is mostly the cause of our decreasing immune system. We can very easily increase our immune system by changing our food habits a little bit. There is a variety of food that can increase one’s immune system. A person suffering from a decreased immune system may face problems such as getting sick frequently. This article is to help you to improve the immune system.

As we grow old most of us must notice our immune system gets weak. Our recent lifestyle is mostly the cause of our decreasing immune system. We can very easily increase our immune system by changing our food habits a little bit. There is a variety of food that can increase one’s immune system. A person suffering from a decreased immune system may face problems such as getting sick frequently (generally cough and fever). As a person with a less immune system gets sick frequently they also suffer from anxiety, hypertension depression, etc. This article is to help you to improve the immune system. As most of us know vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals. It sometimes becomes difficult to choose which vegetable to have. Several vitamins and minerals such as potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E are very important for our good health.
 Some types of food that can boost your immune system by 25% are listed below, 
1. Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is said to increase the production of white blood cells which helps fight infections and smoothens skin. In general, the scientific study recommends 60 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day for normal healthy adults and the intake of vitamin C must not be more than 2000 milligrams per day. Popular sources of citrus fruits include grapefruit, oranges, limes, clementines, etc.

2. Yogurt: Yogurt is a very good source of vitamin D and other nutritional values. Vitamin D is said to regulate the immune system and boost our body’s natural system. It is a better idea to have plain yogurt rather than pre-flavored yogurts. You can add healthy fruits and honey to plain yogurt. A study suggests an average intake of 10-20 micrograms per day is adequate for a normal healthy adult. Other nutritional contents of Yogurt are water, protein, carbs, sugar, and fat. 

3. Nuts: Nuts are a very good source of essential nutrients and dietary fibers. Some of the essential nutrients are vitamins B, vitamin E and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, anti-oxidants, etc. There is different variety of nuts that contains different nutritional values. 
Almonds contain protein, calcium and vitamin E. Cashews contain plant-based iron. 
Hazelnuts contain fiber, potassium, vitamin E. 
Pine nuts contain vitamin E and amino acids. 
Pistachios contain protein, potassium, and antioxidants. 
Chestnuts contain fibers and vitamin C. 
Several studies indicate that consuming about 30 grams of nuts per day may reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30-50% and reduce the risk of death from heart disease by around 20%. 

4. Turmeric: From ancient times turmeric is known to have various medicinal values that can improve immunity. Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Several research shows that there are high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. 

5. Broccoli: Broccoli is a green vegetable packed with vitamins A, C, and E, other antioxidants and fiber. There are three main varieties of broccoli they are, Calabrese Broccoli, Sprouting Broccoli, and Purple cauliflower. 91 grams of raw broccoli contains Carbs (6 grams), Protein (2.6 gram), Fat (0.3 grams), Fiber (2.4 grams), Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B9, and Potassium. Broccoli can be consumed in both forms cooked or raw both are perfectly healthy but they provide different nutrient values.

6. Spinach: Spinach is packed with various antioxidants and beta carotene, which increase the immune system’s ability to fight against infections. Spinach is more healthy when consuming fresh than cooked. However light cooking of spinach enhances its Vitamin A. Spinach is also a source of Vitamin C. 

7. Fish: Fish is a source of low-fat high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins. Fish is also rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Some variants of fish can help in weight loss and maintain a healthy weight. Many studies show that people who eat fish have a slower rate of mental decline it is also said to help in sleep quality. 

Different vitamins and minerals required in our daily life,
NameSourceIntake
CalciumFish, Seafood, Low-fat milk, Spinach, OatmealAge 19-50: 1,000 mg/day
Women age 51+: 1,200 mg/day
Male age 71+: 1,200 mg/day 
PotassiumPotato, Beans, Yogurt, TomatoAge 19-50: 2300 mg/day
Women age 51+: 2600 mg/day
Male age 71+: 3400 mg/day 
MagnesiumPumpkin, Artichokes, Beans, Brown rice, NutsMale age 19-30: 400 mg/day
Male age 31 and up: 420 mg/day
Women age 19-30: 310 mg/day
Women age 31 and up: 320 mg/day 
Vitamin APumpkin, Carrots, Sweet potato, Spinach, Organ meat (liver)Men: 900 mg/day Women: 700 mg/day 
Vitamin COrange, Kiwi, Papaya, Broccoli, Sweet potatoesMen: 90 mg/day Women: 75 mg/day 
Vitamin DYogurt, Cheese, Salmon, Tuna, Fortified milkAge 1-70: 15 mg/day Age 70 and older: 20 mg/day  
Vitamin EAlmonds, Hazelnuts, Avocado, Peanut, Spinach15 mg/day
** The above date represents a referential value. Please contact your dietician before following any of this. 
 Apart from having a nutritious and healthy food one must follow the following things to boost their limit a little bit more. 
• One should keep themselves away from smoking as smoking disrupts the working function of the lungs. 
• Regularly have one or two fruits because fruits are a good source of vitamins. 
• Exercise on a regular basis which helps in maintaining a healthy weight and physical condition. 
• Try to minimize stress and depression as they can cause high blood sugar levels and heart diseases. 
• Take an adequate amount of sleep. 
• Maintain hygiene such as wash hands frequently and cook meat and vegetable thoroughly. 
• If you drink, try to minimize it as drinking affects liver function. 
Immune system
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Nutrition
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Life style and stay healthy
Samiran Panda
Lecturer
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