In this article, you will learn about the many foods that fight infection. Throughout life, the body is in a constant battle against pathogenic microorganisms and foreign substances that attack it, which are called antigens.
The combination of tissues and cells responsible for defending the body from these antigens is referred to as the immune system. There are foods that fight infection in the body particularly because they:
- Improve the function of the immune system: the healthy functioning of this complex defense system against infectious agents and foreign substances requires specific nutrients:
- Antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E)
- Trace elements such as iron, selenium, zinc, and copper.
These nutrients must be included in the diet of those suffering from any infection.
- It contains antibiotic substances: These foods help the immune system combat infectious agents.
- Promote the purification of the body: They are foods that increase the elimination of waste products through the kidneys, the liver, and the skin. The best foods that fight infection are listed below.
Foods That Fight Infection
ACEROLA: When it comes to immune-boosting foods, this fruit tops the list thanks to its elevated doses of vitamin C, which increases the production of interferon, a protein that inhibits the spread of viruses and stimulates the immune system and halts the growth of normal cells.
Because of these properties, the acerola is highly recommended for all types of infectious diseases, particularly those of viral origin (flu, colds, etc.) and as a complement to the prevention and treatment of cancer.
BORAGE: A great addition to the list of foods that fight infections, it is recommended particularly in these instances:
- Viral infections such as flu and eruptions accompanied by fever (measles, German measles, etc.). Borage facilitates the elimination of blood impurities through the urine and perspiration, aids rehydration, provides mineral salts and helps reduce fever.
- Upper respiratory infections, such as colds, pharyngitis, and bronchitis. It soothes the mucosa and facilitates expectoration.
- Intestinal infections: Highly recommended as a first solid food in cases of gastroenteritis and colitis.
- Renal disorders (nephritis, kidney stones), gout, arthritis, and obesity because of its diuretic and purifying action.
KIWI: This fruit stimulates the immune system because of its vitamin C content, potentiated by the presence of many other vitamins and minerals that make it much more effective than pharmaceutical preparations. The fact that kiwis are a winter fruit and can be stored quite easily for weeks or even months in the refrigerator, they are a great addition to the list of natural foods that fight infections because they’re beneficial in preventing colds and flu.
Vitamin C does not destroy viruses, nor does it prevent flu. It does, however, strengthen the body’s resistance and help mitigate the disease’s effect, making it less severe and shorter. Eating kiwis regularly (once a day, at least) is beneficial for anyone suffering from any type of infectious disease, whether in the acute phase or in recovery.
LITCHI: Litchis are highly recommended in cases of infectious diseases, as a complement to a specific treatment. Additionally, eating litchis regularly stimulates the immune system and helps prevent disease.
ORANGE: Although this fruit needs no introduction, it is still the most recognized and known foods that fight infection. Oranges should always be a part of the diet of anyone with an infectious disease or those who wish to avoid them. Studies show that at least four oranges a day (about 250 mg of vitamin C) are needed to achieve results. It is important to note that vitamin C or eating oranges cannot prevent colds or flu. However, they have been proven to shorten the length of the disease and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Oranges have the following effects on infections, thanks to the combination of vitamin C and the other natural chemical substances they contain:
- They increase the disease-fighting capabilities of the white blood cells.
- They increase the number and longevity of white blood cells. This is attributed to the combined effect of folic acid and vitamin C.
- They slow, but not completely halt the development of viruses within human cells. The orange’s flavonoids, together with vitamin C, are responsible for this action.
- They increase the production of interferon, an antiviral protein produced within the body itself.
Thus, eating oranges daily is indicated for not only colds and flu, but for any type of infectious disease, including those associated with childhood, and even AIDS.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia Of Foods and Their Healing Power. Trans. Annette Melgosa. Vol. 2. Chai Wan: Editorial Safeliz, 2005.348, 367, 358, 357, 366, 362-363.