Before we delve into which berries can help you boost your immunity, let’s understand what immunity is. It can be defined as a complex biological system associated with the capacity to recognize and tolerate whatever belongs to our system, and to recognize and reject what is foreign or outside material. Many cells, along with the lymphatic system, play an important role in maintaining the Immunity of our body. Some types of white blood cells, like phagocytes and lymphocytes help the body remember the invaders and destroy them.
How Does the Immune System Work?
When the body senses foreign substances (called antigens), the immune system works to recognize the antigens and get rid of them. B lymphocytes are triggered to make antibodies. Phagocytes do the phagocytosis (invade foreign substance). After they’re made, antibodies usually stay in our bodies in case the same germ attacks our body again. This is the reason why when someone gets sick with a disease, like chickenpox, they usually won’t get sick from it again.
How Do Berries Boost Immunity?
Berries appear to have immune-boosting benefits due to their polyphenol content, a type of plant antioxidant that gives berries like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, elderberries, raspberries and gooseberries their vibrant color. Polyphenols are linked with preventing cell damage and they interact with our gut bacteria to reduce inflammation, enhancing immune response, this in turn, plays an important role in the prevention of underlying inflammatory conditions, like cancer.
Some berries that can help one improve immunity, which are readily available in India include:
- Elderberry: Eating elderberry is a natural way to improve your immunity. They contain strong antioxidants and vitamins which makes them helpful in keeping inflammation at bay and they also help reduce stress levels. Notably, inflammation and stress are two major factors behind a weak immune system. Consuming elderberries daily can protect you against various cardiovascular disorders as well.
- Blueberry: These berries are known as immunity boosting superfoods. Blueberries are rich in an antioxidant called flavonoids. They help in limiting damage to the body cells and improve immune function. Moreover, blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium, which are associated with strong immunity.
- Strawberry: They contain antioxidants and also have vitamin C, which can keep you healthy. It can also help you get rid of the flu and cold. Moreover, its ability to fight against free radicals in the body can make your immune system strong. Its nutritional value for heart patients is very good as it is low in LDL.
- Blackberry: They contain vitamin A, which serves several functions in the body, which includes supporting the immune system. Apart from that, it also supports the growth and maintenance of teeth and bones, as well as keeping skin healthy. It can also help you maintain healthy eyes.
- Cranberries: They are a good source of Vitamins C, K, A and have strong antioxidant properties. It can not only help you boost the immune system, but can also work against cardiovascular diseases and inflammation. Cranberries also benefit oral health, as the vitamins prevent bacteria from damaging teeth. They are very high in fiber as well, which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Some others include Mulberry, which acts as a blood cleanser, grapes which are good for healthy skin and gooseberry is a heart healthy food! Make it a habit to include berries in your diet in order to overcome and lower the risk of several diseases.
We hope this article helps you choose berries which boost your immunity and improve your health! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.