There are many ways to keep yourself healthy and safe amid the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, and one of these is simple to do: by boosting your immune system. The immune system is basically your body’s defense system. Through multiple organs and specialized cells and tissues, it is constantly on the lookout for bad bacteria, viruses, parasites and other “invaders,” mounting a complex attack once they are spotted.
Immunity-boosting dietary supplements can help, but if you want to experience protection in full, you can start by following a nutritious, well-balanced diet — coupled with proper hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. One way to do it is by consuming drinks that are scientifically-proven — directly or indirectly — to boost your immunity.
Experts note that malnutrition is a significant cause of poor immune function. Regularly consuming drinks that contain vital nutrients can play a role in preventing illness and help people recover from it. These nutrients include:
- Protein, which supports the immune system’s ability to withstand and recover from attacks by infectious agents
- Vitamin A, which helps support immune functions, such as assisting mucous cells that line essential organs and production of antibodies that fight off specific infections
- Vitamin C, which supports your body’s ability to produce infection-fighting white blood cells
Since staying hydrated is a great way to boost your immune system, it is a given that beverages play a vital role in maintaining your health.
Best Immunity-Boosting Drinks
Water is a simple yet powerful drink that you should take lots of. Your body needs it to function effectively, and this applies to the immune system and its many and diverse components.
Your mouth and throat, for example, are on the front lines of your body’s defenses, but they cannot do their jobs effectively without proper hydration.
Immunity-boosting drinks need not to be complex, expensive or made in a blender, but should be non-caffeinated and low in sugar, and water fits all criteria.
Green tea is rich in plant-based antioxidants called polyphenols, among which are immune system-supporting catechins.
Tomato juice is rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C.
Smoothies combine various nutrient-rich foods into one nutritious (and tasty) beverage. For example, people add the following ingredients to smoothies:
- Protein, found in nuts, seeds and dairy products
- Vitamin C, found in oranges, strawberries and tomato juice
- Vitamin A, found in spinach, carrots and apricots
One immunity-boosting smoothie to try is the one recommended by the Physicians’ Committee For Responsible Medicine. It is made using the following ingredients, all mixed in a blender for one minute or until smooth as desired:
- 1 peeled orange
- 1 cup of grapes
- 1 peeled banana
- 1 cored pear
- 1 cup of soy, almond or rice milk
- 2 cups of fresh kale or spinach
- Ice cubes (optional)