One of the main reasons for the rapid rise in the number of vegans around the world is the health benefits offered by the plant-based diet. Plant foods provide a lot of nutrients that can help in improving your overall health and prevent several chronic health disorders.
Health experts today are recommending including more plant-based foods in your diet because these foods can provide several healthy nutrients that can improve your immune system and make it strong to fight against several health disorders.
Here is the list of some of the best plant-based foods that could help to boost your immune system.
Broccoli is packed with a wide range of nutrients that could help in improving your immune system. It is very rich in several vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It also contains a good amount of fiber and several antioxidants, which makes broccoli a great addition to your plant-based meal plan. Health experts may suggest cooking broccoli as little possible to keep its nutritional power intact. Some studies have shown that the best way to keep the nutrients intact in vegetables is steaming.
You might have heard the health experts suggesting taking foods that have a high amount of vitamin C when you catch a cold. This is because vitamin C is very beneficial in building your immune system and it can also help in increasing the production of white blood cells to effectively fight infections. Most of the citrus fruits are very rich in vitamin C. Since the human body does not produce or store vitamin C, we have to take it daily from our diet. It is recommended that women should take 75 mg of vitamin C daily and men should take 90 mg of vitamin C.
Garlic is a very common ingredient in most of the cuisines all around the world. Apart from improving the taste of the dishes, it offers a lot of health benefits. Some of the studies conducted on garlic have shown that it can slow down the hardening of arteries. It is believed that the presence of a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin is the main reason for the immune-boosting properties of garlic.
Spinach is very rich in vitamin C and it is also packed with several healthy antioxidants and beta carotene. Both antioxidants and beta carotene have the ability to increase the infection-fighting properties of the immune system. As we mentioned earlier in the case of broccoli, cooking as little as possible is the ideal choice for keeping the nutrients intact in spinach. Also, it is easier to absorb vitamin A and release other nutrients from oxalic acids, an antinutrient, if the spinach is cooked as little as possible.
For many years, this yellow spice has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that turmeric contains curcumin that helps to decrease muscle damage that occurs during exercise. Several studies revealed that turmeric has antiviral properties and helps in boosting the immune system.
Papaya is another fruit that is loaded with vitamin C that can improve the functioning of your immune system. The vitamin C content in papaya is almost double the daily requirement of vitamin C. One of the digestive enzymes present in papaya, papain, has anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight several inflammatory disorders. The fruit also contains an adequate amount of folate, magnesium, and potassium, which improves your overall health.
Red Bell Peppers
Vitamin C is present in high amounts in red bell peppers. Around 127 mg of vitamin C is present in just one ounce of red bell peppers. Therefore, they are very beneficial for your immune system. Studies have shown that including red bell peppers in your plant-based meal plan helps in improving your skin health. It also contains beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
In many parts of Asia, people eat ginger when they are sick. Several studies have shown that ginger has many therapeutic properties. It will help in reducing inflammation and alleviate nausea. Its anti-inflammatory properties will help in getting rid of sore throat and several inflammatory diseases. Ginger is also used in alleviating chronic pain and lowering the cholesterol levels in your body.
Almonds are a great source of many vitamins, especially vitamin E. This powerful antioxidant is very essential for a healthy immune system. Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is only absorbed into the body in the presence of fat. Fortunately, nuts like almonds are packed with several healthy fats. Half a cup of almonds provides around 15 mg of vitamin E, which is exactly the daily requirement of vitamin E for adults.