5 Fruits To Make The Immune System Strong | Hea Boosters
Reviewed and edited by Manasa Vanga, Nutritionist & Certified Fitness Expert
The immune system is the body’s primary defence mechanism. It is the first line of defence against harmful foreign objects and keeps you safe from any bacteria, viruses, injuries and infections that the body might encounter. When your immune system is weak or compromised, you tend to fall sick often and take longer to recover. Several factors contribute to keeping your immunity levels high, and good nutrition is prime amongst them.
Research has proven that certain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc play a critical role in helping your immune cells identify and deal with the threats mentioned above. Of these, vitamin C, owing to its water-soluble nature, tends to be excreted the fastest and therefore needs frequent and constant replenishment.
The daily recommended amount for Vitamin C for men and women is 40 mg and for lactating and pregnant women is around 80 and 60 mg, respectively. Fortunately for us, this vitamin is abundantly available in a large variety of foods, the tastiest of which are often fruits. India has a lot of fruits that are easily available across the country and contain enough vitamin C to maintain your immunity at good levels too.
Here are 5 fruits that can make your immune system strong:
- Citrus fruits: Oranges are exceptionally good at any time of the year and are packed with immune system-boosting vitamin C. A Clementine orange has approximately 35 mg (87.5% of the daily value that women need when they are not pregnant or lactating) of vitamin C; half a grapefruit contains 44 mg and juice of one lime contains 13 mg of Vitamin C
- Apples: As the old adage goes an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are a great source of fiber and natural sugars; this is known. But do you know that an apple’s skin contains quercetin, a type of plant pigment (flavonoid) that also helps boost the immune system and reduce inflammation? A small apple contains around 6.9 mg of vitamin C and is an easy addition to any meal in any season.
- Strawberries: A cup of strawberry halves (152 grams) holds 89 mg of vitamin C. They also contain a mix of manganese, flavonoids, folate and other beneficial antioxidants, all of which play an important role in the body’s immune response too.
- Kiwi: One medium-sized kiwi contains 64 mg of vitamin C. Kiwis can reduce oxidative stress, address cholesterol issues and most importantly, improve your immunity. They also contain 0.1mg of Zinc in 100 gm.
- Pomegranate: They have antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumor properties and are a good source of vitamin C, (28.8 mg), vitamin E(1.7 mg), and folic acid. In addition to aiding your immunity, eating pomegranates every day also keeps your blood pressure in check and smoothens digestion.
In a post-pandemic world, vitamins C, D, E, A and zinc catalyze your body’s immune response and give you the very best shot at an impregnable defense system. Micronutrients like these allow your body to fight viral (and other) infections faster and more efficiently.
Thus, it is really important for you to ensure that you get a regular supply of them, whether it is by adding these fruits, other foods, or even supplements that boost your immune system to your regular diet and routine. Combine good nutrition with exercise, sleep, hydration, and refraining from smoking and alcohol consumption and you’ve got yourself a winning formula for a healthy immune system.