15 Foods That Boost the Immune System

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Herbs and immunity Several herbs have extensive folk histories that indicate they can help us fight a variety of diseases. Spices; Cinnamon, cloves, star anise. Anti-inflammatories see a whole list here. Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Common sense dictates a host of things we can do to reduce our risk of catching the dreaded bug doing the rounds. April 18, at 2:

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The best foods for boosting your immune system

Have you been looking for ways to boost your health naturally, safely and without harmful drugs or treatments? Are you ready to make optimal health a top priority in your life and need a partner to help you get there?

After receiving your email request, we will schedule a free, minute phone consultation, at your convenience, to help us get acquainted, and begin to your journey to a healthier, happier life free from harmful drugs and unnecessary treatments… like a flu shot. The Risks of Taking Vaccines The good news: Among the serious side effects stemming from receiving a flu shot that require immediate medical attention: Hives Weakness Dizziness Breathing difficulties High fever Racing heart Despite the long list of serious side effects, statistics about Americans who are sickened or die due to vaccines meant to protect them are virtually impossible to find.

Back to protecting your health during the colder months, here are some safe and natural steps you can take today to strengthen your immune system every day of the year and forget the flu shot: Improve your daily diet to include more fruits, vegetables and meats, ideally from organic sources. Remember to stay away from immune-depleting processed foods, full of enriched, fortified ingredients like genetically modified products that do nothing good for your health.

These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits instead. Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D , so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D.

When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, research shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.

Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine.

L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells. Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects. Papayas have decent amounts of potassium , B vitamins, and folate, all of which are beneficial to your overall health. Like papayas, kiwis are naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K , and vitamin C.

It helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.

When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. Incorporating specific foods into the diet may strengthen a person's immune response. Read on to discover 15 foods that boost the immune system. A healthful, balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well. The following foods may help to boost the immune system:.

Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person's immune system.

A study noted that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract's immune defense system. Researchers found that people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not. Dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine , which may help to boost the immune system by protecting the body's cells from free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that the body produces when it breaks down food or comes into contact with pollutants. Free radicals can damage the body's cells and may contribute to disease. Despite its potential benefits, dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so it is important to eat it in moderation. Turmeric is a yellow spice that many people use in cooking.

It is also present in some alternative medicines. Consuming turmeric may improve a person's immune response. This is due to the qualities of curcumin, a compound in turmeric. According to a review , curcumin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Salmon, tuna, pilchards, and other oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

According to a report , long-term intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis RA. RA is a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a healthy part of the body.

Broccoli is another source of vitamin C. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. For these reasons, it is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene , a type of antioxidant that gives the skin of the potatoes its orange color.

Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A. It helps to make skin healthy and may even provide some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet UV rays. Spinach may boost the immune system, as it contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants, including:. Vitamins C and E can help support the immune system. Research also indicates that flavonoids may help to prevent the common cold in otherwise healthy people.

People use ginger in a variety of dishes and desserts, as well as in teas. According to a review, ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and is likely to offer health benefits. However, more research is necessary to confirm whether or not it can effectively prevent illness. One review looked at whether taking garlic supplements containing allicin reduced the risk of getting a cold. The group of participants taking a placebo had more than double the number of colds between them than those taking the garlic supplements.

However, the researchers concluded that more research is necessary to determine whether or not garlic can help to prevent colds. Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine, so people can enjoy it as an alternative to black tea or coffee.

Drinking it may also strengthen the immune system. As with blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of a cold. Kefir is a fermented drink that contains live cultures of bacteria that are beneficial for health.

Initial research suggests that drinking kefir may boost the immune system. According to a review , various studies have shown that regular consumption of kefir can help with:. The majority of the research that supports this was carried out on animals or in a laboratory. Researchers need to perform additional studies to understand how kefir may prevent disease in humans. Sunflower seeds can make a tasty addition to salads or breakfast bowls.

They are a rich source of vitamin E , an antioxidant.

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