Keeping your immune system happy and healthy is easy to do by simply focusing on your diet. You may experiment with natural immune-boosting foods but remember to avoid foods that could slow down your efforts. Consuming too much alcohol or sugary foods can be very dangerous to your overall health.
Consuming foods that help boost your immune system can benefit your overall health greatly, as well as maintaining a healthy weight, routine exercise and staying hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illness and infection. This system contains a complex network of cells and proteins that defend the body against infection. It keeps a record of every single microbe or germ, so that it can recognize and destroy the microbe in a fast manner if it enters the body again.
Boost Your Immune System by Adding These Foods and Herbs to Your Diet:
- Garlic has been used as a natural medicine for centuries against respiratory infections, colds, cough, and influenza. Garlic contains sulfur, which is a compound that acts as an antibacterial and antiviral agent.
- Echinacea is an herb often used by Chinese herbalists in teas for its immune-boosting properties. Many other herbal teas include immune-boosting qualities. For example, licorice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Try drinking Echinacea tea when you feel a cold coming on.
- Vitamin C supplies the body with strong antioxidants that can help strengthen its natural defenses. While most people know that vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as oranges, what many people don’t know is that green and red bell peppers, broccoli and kale all contain even more vitamin C per serving than one orange. Add these different foods into your meals to help strengthen your immune system.
- Yogurt and Probiotics are live active cultures that increase white blood cells that help search and destroy the bad bacteria and viruses in the body. The bacteria located in our gut are essential for effective and healthy digestion.
- Green Tea contains an important amino acid that helps fight illness, called Theanine. Theanine can assist in decreasing irritated nerves and help calm them. The immune system requires a critical component called antioxidants, which are included in most teas.
- Protein contains zinc. Zinc enables the body to fight off infections and is necessary for white blood cells to do their jobs in assisting the immune system.
- Healthy, quality oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, provide “good fats” known as fatty acids, which have numerous health benefits. Avoid oils high in saturated and trans fats such as canola and vegetable oil, as they interfere with cell metabolism of sugar compounds, increasing the likelihood of certain illnesses such as diabetes.
To reduce risk of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, be sure to maintain good nutrition in your lifestyle. Also, including good hygiene, hand washing, and avoiding those who are sick can bring lasting benefits to your overall health.
Taking these precautions and eating a diet rich with quality, healthy food will help to improve immune strength and help the body to avoid infections and diseases.