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Boost Your Immune System

Topic: Wellness

Foods & Tips to help Immune System

When flu season is in full swing, having a strong immune system is the best way to protect against illness. Having a weak immune system will increase your likelihood of becoming sick, and increase the possible severity of the sickness. When a contagious virus spreads, people may look for preventative measures to protect personal health, and the health of loved ones. 

Immune System

The immune system includes the thymus, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract and spleen. Here are several ways to build up and strengthen the immune system to protect yourself against disease.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important Vitamins for boosting your immune system. Your body doesn’t store or produce Vitamin C, so you need to keep up your daily intake. Good Sources for Vitamin C are; 

  • Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Grapefruits & Lemons)
  • Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries & Cranberries)
  • Vegetables (Bell Peppers, Spinach, Kale and Broccoli)

Probiotics

Beneficial bacteria are good for your stomach health. You can get probiotics from fermented food and drinks. Pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and yogurt are some of the most common probiotic foods that people use to boost their immune system. 


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Beef

Yes, lean beef contains Zinc which is very important for the development of white blood cells. White blood cells can recognize and destroy invading bacteria, viruses and others (1). All you need is about 3 ounces of lean beef (chuck roast) to get about 60% of your Daily Values (DV).

Another excellent source for Zinc is Oysters & Crab. The RDA for Zinc is 11 mg for adult males and 8 mg for adult females and your body doesn’t store zinc, so you need to keep up you daily intake (2). Don’t like any of these foods try a Zinc Supplement.

Vitamin D

The best way to get Vitamin D is the Sun, which is a natural immune booster for your body. A low level of Vitamin D increases likelihood of a respiratory infection (3). Ten to Fifteen minutes a day of sun exposure can give you a healthy dose of Vitamin D. If you have little time available in the sun or burn easily try using a Vitamin D Supplement

Nutrients

Whole foods are natural and unprocessed. Fresh food that is unprocessed contains the highest nutrient content to improve your health. Changing your dietary habits to include more fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds and mushrooms is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself from illness. 



Garlic

Garlic is a flavorful immune booster that can help prevent illness or reduce the severity of symptoms experienced. Raw garlic contains the compound allicin, which is activated when you crush or chop it. Eat the garlic raw for the most immune-boosting properties.

Cooking garlic changes the compound. You can cut or crush the garlic, wait ten minutes and then cook the garlic to receive more allicin than cooking immediately. 

Medicinal Mushrooms

Some gourmet mushrooms are medicinal and beneficial for your immune system. Eating fresh mushrooms or making tea with mushroom powder are two ways to get the most immune boosting benefit. 

ChagaLions ManeShiitakeMaitakeReishi, and Turkey Tail are considered the most medicinal of all gourmet mushrooms. Any oyster mushroom is also considered nutritional and useful for protecting yourself from disease. 

Turmeric/Ginger

This immune-boosting powerhouse duo are some of the main ingredients in curry, the predominant sauce in many Asian dishes. Both roots help to fight inflammation and are used as medicine during illness. 



Get Enough Sleep

Sleep affects more than just your energy level for the day. It is important to structure your schedule to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep in order to have the strongest immune system. Staying in quarantine with your kids and working from home can make that difficult, but it is important to schedule enough time for adequate rest. 

Reduce Alcohol and Tobacco Use

Staying at home during a viral quarantine might encourage you to consume more of these products, especially if you are working less hours.

Consumption of alcohol and tobacco increases your likelihood of bronchitispneumonia, and other lung infections. Those with respiratory conditions are most likely to be infected with the virus, and are also more likely to have complications from the illness. 

Conclusion

When it comes your Immune System, you can’t fool around because one day it might have to save your life. Protecting yourself against a Viral, Bacterial, Fungal or Parasitic Infections should be top priority. Old proverb says, “an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.”

References

  1. William Boisvert, PhD an expert in nutrition and immunity at The Scripps Research Institute.
  2. Zinc - https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/
  3. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759054

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Disclaimer: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases.

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