Did you know that certain foods, specifically the nutrients within them, can support your Immunity?
It’s true, you can build up your defenses from the inside by strengthening your immune system. A healthy diet won’t prevent viruses, but it can help strengthen your immune system for sure. The best diet is a minimally-processed, mostly plant-based diet — one that’s about 75% plant foods. You can reap the potential benefits of these foods by incorporating them into your daily eating plan. https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/weight-loss
Berries are naturally high in vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants that can be enjoyed fresh or frozen. Elderberries have long been an old flu remedy. The small berries pack quite a punch of healthiness into your body, offering a slew of antioxidants that will also fight off inflammation. These berries are filled with nutrients including vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants such as phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. Plus, they are also rich with immune-boosting agents. There’s no downside to these tasty berries. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/elderberry
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens the immune system and keeps your skin smooth and elastic. The vitamin C boost found in citrus fruits is commonly the primary reason people seek them out in terms of health. The immune system is rewarded with more white blood cells when you have plenty of vitamin C in your diet. You can easily boost your vitamin C intake significantly by eating more kiwi fruit, berries, citrus and capsicum, without needed to resort to vitamin supplements. Citrus fruits also have good amounts of other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly, including B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper. Additionally, they are rich in plant compounds that have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Red Bell Peppers
Citrus fruits aren’t the only excellent source of vitamin C. Red bell peppers surpass the vitamin C potentia l of any citrus fruit you can find. They have nearly three times as much per portion. The vitamins in red bell peppers are also great for maintaining healthy skin.
Probiotic & Probiotic Cultures in Yogurt
There is growing evidence to support the claim that a healthy gut promotes a heal thy immune system. One way to keep a healthy gut, or gastrointestinal tract, is to be sure you are eating enough probiotics. Research suggests that a flourishing network of gut bacteria can help your immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and harmful invader organisms. As with any bacteria, you want to avoid overpopulating your gut with the same type of bacteria. It is recommended to reach out for probiotic formulas that contain at least 3 to 6 bacterial strains. You may want to consider switching your probiotic supplements every once in a while to get different set of bacteria.
If you like yogurt, select the one containing live microbial cultures. Low fat and low sugar yogurts are preferable. Zero fat products are usually packed with sugar. Dairy is considered cold and phlegm producing in Eastern nutrition. If you are someone who suffers with reoccurring common colds, allergies or experiences stuffed sinuses or phlegm, postnasal drip or poor digestion and loose stools, you may want to consider goat yogurt that is easier to digest. Fermented foods are also an excellent alternative to yogurt, with high probiotic content.
Whole grains (including oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat) do their part by supplying nutrients like folate, magnesium, selenium and iron to your immune system. A study published in BMJ Gut suggests that whole grains can help regulate inflammation, which contributes to the development of a multitude of diseases, including type 2 diabetes. It is important to select whole grains that are not stripped of their kernel and are not highly processed. You can make your whole grains easier to digest by soaking it in water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar prior to cooking.
All types of nuts and seeds (plus their butters), avocados and olives (and their oils) and oily fish (such as salmon and sardines) help regulate your body’s inflammatory process. Depending on the specific food, it may also supply key nutrients (such as selenium, vitamin E, zinc, iron or magnesium) that are involved in optimal immune cell functioning. Olive oil, which is highly anti-inflammatory, is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties may help your body fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in salmon and chia seeds, fight inflammation as well.
Researchers are discovering that this common ingredient may help kill bacteria and viruses. When possible, consume fresh garlic as opposed to relying on garlic capsules/supplements–the jury is still out as to whether these have the same effect. Garlic is great for immunity, but it also helps to slow the hardening of arteries. Cultures have used garlic as a healing additive for hundreds of years, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.
EGCG, a powerful natural antioxidant, is the secret sauce that makes green tea a helping hand in fighting off myriad conditions. It works by reducing free radicals from forming in your body, which protects your cells from damage. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28864169/
You can’t go wrong adding broccoli to your diet. One cup of broccoli provides as much vita min C as an orange. The veggie is also high in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. It’s full of healthy vitamins your body needs to stay strong. Short boiling time or steamed broccoli preserves the vitamin content and is easy to digest than its raw version.
This sweetener has been used as an antibiotic for centuries. It was believed that ancient Romans would apply it to their eyes when they had a bout of conjunctivitis (“pink eye”). Turns out, they were on to something: honey has been found to prevent the growth of bacteria. Add it to your tea or as a topping on your whole grain pancakes or waffles or in your yogurt. It has also been suggested that a teaspoon of local honey per day may help dealing with seasonal allergies.
A good source of vitamin D and an underutilized immune-boosting food. In fact, clinical researchers discovered improved immune responses in cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy and radiation after consuming mushrooms. Shiitake is an excellent choice of mushroom to boost immune system due to its high nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids.
May help our immune cells win the battle against colds and the flu. Ginger is antibacterial so it helps support the immune system and it can help to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach. Add fresh ginger to your stir-fry recipes or as part of a salad dressing.
A fall and winter favorite that’s high in vitamins A and C, a one-two punch when it comes to knocking out bacteria and viruses. Full of beta carotene and vitamin A, the antioxidants found in sweet potatoes benefit not only your immune system, but also your heart, teeth and vision.
They’re also an easy way to add more fiber to your diet, and fiber intake has been associated with improved mood and memory. Sweet potato is a well-liked food in Eastern nutrition and often recommended to people with poor digestion, frequent bloating and loose stools.
Typically found as a bright yellow powder, this immune system booster is often used in Asian curry dishes. According to a research published in the journal PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), curcumin, a compound found in turmeric is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that helps boost immunity. Turmeric, in addition to its antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, is also prebiotic that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut. You may also find turmeric supplements, but be careful with these – many have failed quality testing but are still available on store shelves.
Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac, but they’re also rich in zinc. Zinc strengthens your immune response by helping white blood cells reproduce more rapidly. White blood cells are the primary specialized cells of your immune system and they contribute by destroying disease-causing microorganisms. Oysters are also an excellent source of protein and iron.
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