If you are looking to shake the pesky colds and flus that make the colder months unbearable, look no further than your diet to aid your immunity. Your immune system helps your body create, store and distribute white blood cells that combat the bacteria and viruses that cause the cold and flu. Here are seven foods that you can consume to boost immunity.
Oranges, lemons, grapefruits and tangerines are some of the fruits high in Vitamin C, which has been a well-known natural food that helps fight the common cold. Vitamin C helps build up your immune system and fight infections, which has made it the choice of many when starting to fight illnesses. It is recommended by Dr. Paul Zickler of YesWellness to take 2000 mgs of Vitamin C to boost your immune system during cold and flu season.
The elderberry has a long history of medicinal use stemming from its healing abilities. Civilizations as old as the ancient Egyptians realized the power of this fruit. This lesser-known berry contains anthocyanidins, chemicals that are known to stimulate the immune system. Studies have shown that supplementing with elderberries can reduce the duration and symptoms of a cold in air travellers by two days. Finding raw elderberry can be a challenge, but luckily they can be found in syrup or extract form.
At times, our body’s immune system can be overactive and as a result have negative health consequences. Ginger is the root that helps balance the immune system and restores it a more optimal state. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial food (bacteria-killing), ginger can also eliminate congestion, alleviate throat pain, kill viruses and settle your stomach. The use of ginger originates from Asia, where it is a staple used to fight colds and the flu.
Yogurts, the non-pasteurized kind, are rich in probiotics, which are live and active bacteria that keep your gut healthy. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that help combat the bacteria that are responsible for diseases and sicknesses. The two types of bacteria in your gut are constantly in combat and probiotics helps out the bacteria that have a beneficial effect on your immune system. Stress and improper dieting are two common causes that inhibit immune system functions and considering that most the cells responsible for your immune system are in your intestines, it is important to keep your gut healthy.
This strong-tasting relative to the onion contains allicin, which helps fight infection and bacteria. As a low-calorie addition to a meal, garlic contains powerful sulfuric compounds used to wipe out bacteria and infection. In fact, it was used in both wold wars to fight gangrene!
A substance as basic as tea can help boost your immune system. In a Harvard study, the amino acid, L-theanine, was shown to be abundant in the blood of people who drank 5 cups of black or green tea in a day. L-theanine is present in tea and enhances the body’s immune response. Find out more to draw a general link between L-theanine and a strong immune system.
Mushrooms, which are rich in many important vitamins and minerals, have long been known to carry amazing benefits for a healthy immune system. Types of mushrooms can increase the production and function of white blood cells, making them more aggressive on infections. In addition, mushrooms can boost our immune cells that help control our body’s response to pathogens. Some examples of mushrooms with immunity-boosting effects are shiitake, reishi, chaga and maitake.