Top 7 Nuts And Seed To Increase Your Immunity
A strong immune system is needed to fight against infections, flus, and viruses. What are some of the nuts and seed that we should consume to increase our body’s immunity? Read this article to find out more.
Sunflower seeds contain phosphorous, copper, magnesium, and vitamin B-6 and vitamin E. Copper is needed for the growth of white blood cells which help to strengthen the body’s defense system and prevent infections. Hence, copper in sunflower seeds helps to boost the immune system. Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins needed for the immune system, as it is an antioxidant that is found in higher concentrations in the immune cells. Vitamin E helps to protect against the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids found within the membranes of the immune cells. These fatty acids oxidize due to high metabolic activity and the fight against harmful pathogens. Thus, vitamin E protects the fatty acids against free radicals, which prevents immune cell damages and hence strengthens the immune system.
Almonds have relatively high concentrations of vitamin E. For every 100 g of almonds, there are 25.63 mg of vitamin E present. This amount is around half of a person’s daily requirement of vitamin E. As mentioned, vitamin E is crucial for the support of the immune system as it helps to reduce oxidative stress and damage to the immune cells. Hence, almonds are one of the top nuts to consume to fight against flu and infections. Almonds provide other health benefits as well, such as lowering blood sugar levels for people with diabetes and promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Although cashew nuts are high in fats, however they have high amounts of zinc. Zinc is essential because the lack of it will affect the immune system. For every 100 g of cashew nuts, there are 5.6 mg of zinc present. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the US, even a mild zinc deficit can lead to the decline of immune functions. Zinc is thus an important mineral in the functioning of the immune system as it produces antioxidant enzymes, and it is also involved in the action of the immune system regulators. Hence, cashew nuts are one of the best choices to strengthen the immune system, due to the high levels of zinc present.
Brazil nuts are known for their high selenium content, which supports thyroid functions and helps to produce thyroid hormones. Selenium also helps to boost immune functions as they are an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress in the body, which also reduces inflammation and hence boosts immunity. High levels of selenium are especially needed to boost the immunity of people with HIV, tuberculosis, influenza, and hepatitis C. Thus, Brazil nuts are also a good choice to strengthen the immune system, due to the high levels of selenium present.
Walnuts contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is derived from food but not the human body as the human body cannot produce it. ALA is a fatty acid which is beneficial for humans as ALA helps to reduce inflammation and promotes heart and brain health. Walnuts also have more antioxidants than almonds that are needed to prevent immune cell damage.
Chia and flax seeds
Flax seeds and chia seeds are superfoods that contain high amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy fats necessary for heart health and the reduction of cancer risks, amongst many other benefits. Iron is needed to boost immunity as they help the body to transport oxygen, which plays a role in supporting immunity processes. Flax seeds contain copper, which is needed to form red blood cells and support the absorption of iron and hence ultimately supporting immunity functions. Chia seeds contain more iron than flax seeds, at 7.72 mg of iron per 100 g, and hence are beneficial for the purpose of supporting the body’s immune system.
Pistachios contain high amounts of vitamin B6 which is necessary for a healthy immune system. There is 1.7mg of vitamin B6 per 100 g of pistachios and a serving of pistachios provides about 37% of the daily required intake of 1.3 mg of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed for the production of hemoglobin that transport oxygen from the bloodstream into cells and ensures that the lymphoid glands are healthy. These processes enable the production of white blood cells that help to defend the body from infections and hence boosts the body’s immunity.
In conclusion, these nuts and seed provide the necessary vitamin E, and minerals such as zinc, iron and selenium for a healthy immune system. You may consume them on their own or check out our blog for ways to incorporate these nuts into our diet. Some of the useful articles are: Brazil nuts recipes, pistachio cookie recipe, ways to eat chia seeds article and almond flour recipe.