Best Foods to Eat (and what to avoid) for a Healthy Immune System

Categories: Health

foods to boost immune systemSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

The world is in a critical time as the coronavirus or COVID-19 is spreading across the globe. Some people are worried about their health and how the coronavirus could affect them. Keeping your immune system strong by supporting it with healthy foods could help boost your immune system and maintain good oral health as well. Your dentists in Los Gatos, Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, is sharing the best foods to eat and what to avoid for a healthy immune system to help fight the effects of the coronavirus and other illnesses.

Immune System 101

Your immune system consists of cells, tissues, organs, and proteins. Each part of the immune system works together to fight off pathogens, which are bacteria, viruses, and other germs that cause infections. When your immune system is exposed to one of the pathogens, your immune system is automatically triggered, releasing antibodies. The antibodies attach themselves to antigens on the pathogens and destroy them.

Foods That Boost Your Immune System

Eating specific foods could help your body naturally fight against colds and other infections. According to a 2016 study, foods that are rich in flavonoids, which are mostly found in plants, help reduce upper respiratory infections as they have antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects in humans.

Common foods that contain flavonoids include:

  • Blueberries
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Turmeric
  • Oily Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Green Tea
  • Kefir
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Red Bell Pepper

Eating more of these foods daily could help boost your immune system and keep your body ready to fight respiratory infections and other illnesses.

Foods to Avoid That Do Not Help Your Immune System

  • Candy – Although delightful at times, candy is high in sugar content and will not help strengthen your immune system. It could cause damage to your teeth and gums, leading to cavities and gum disease.
  • Cakes and Pastries – Fruit filled cakes or pastries may seem like they could help your immune system because of the fruit. Still, they also contain a high amount of sugar that could lead to oral health concerns.
  • Processed Foods – Many processed foods are robbed of their natural and beneficial ingredients during the processes of preparing them, such as exposure to light, heat, or oxygen. Nutrients could also be cleansed from food as liquids are introduced to the cooking process. Therefore, processed foods provide little to no nutritional value to help build your immune system.
  • Empty Calorie Foods – Many empty calorie foods are harmful to your teeth because they contain high levels of sugar or acids that could destroy your dental enamel, the outer coating of your teeth. Weakened dental enamel, causes favorable conditions for cavities to form. Also, empty-calorie foods could increase your risk of developing gum disease and other health conditions.

Avoiding these foods could help increase your overall health as they could interfere with the responsibility of your immune system to keep you well. Also, with these foods, you have an increased risk of dental problems that could occur, such as gum disease, that your body will fight using your immune system. Therefore, to boost your immune system and remain healthy, general dentists in Scotts Valley at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry recommend that it is best to skip these foods or limit their consumption.

Dentists in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California

As the coronavirus continues to surge throughout the country, it is important to take care of your immune system. Having a boosted immune system means you are less prone to infections that affect your overall health and gum disease. If you experience a dental emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic, please call (831) 438-4411 to arrange an appointment with Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry. We proudly serve the Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley communities.tem