Super Foods to Strengthen Your Immune System
Our bodies are made to defend against all sickness and disease from the common cold to cancer. We can strengthen and make our immune systems more powerful by eating immune building foods.
The immune system is filled with protective cells called white blood cells. There are many and all work to kill bacteria, pathogens, eat harmful cells, and neutralize toxins including metabolic waste. Some even make antibodies.
Our bodies must constantly regenerate and build new white blood cells, especially when harmful toxins enter.
If we want to truly defend ourselves, there are nutrients from foods that you certainly don't want to miss out on. By eating a diet to build the immune system, you will keep your body ready to defend itself anytime the "bad guys" come to visit.
For starters, it is a good idea to know that white, refined sugar has an adverse effect on the immune system - it can literally stop it from working.
Junk foods and processed foods are not much better as they contain no natural nutrients that your body can use to make the white blood cells when needed. In addition, they are full of the harmful toxins that your immune system will have to battle leaving less to fight outside invaders such as bacteria and virus.
Here are the super foods that help strengthen and build your immune system. Adding these foods to your diet while limiting junk and processed foods can keep you healthier for the coming flu season.
Fresh Whole Vegetables are full of phytonutrients that your body uses to keep your immune system strong. These phytonutrients stimulate the release of enzymes within our bodies to protect cells and rebuild damaged cells.
They also fight cancer. Our bodies come into contact with carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) every day. We also constantly make cells, and some rogue cells may reproduce themselves leading to damage or cancer of an organ.
In many cases our bodies' recognize and attack these out-of-control cells. Phytonutrients help our bodies do this and can also shut down pre-cancerous cells and neutralize carcinogens. No vitamin pill can give you this power!
The best veggies for an immune building diet include; carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, kale, red and green peppers, broccoli and the dark leafy greens such as turnip greens, collard greens, spinach and romaine lettuce.
Fresh Whole Fruits are also full of phytonutrients. They are immune building and natural detoxifiers of the body. Fruits are full of antioxidants and enzymes that protect our cells from damage.
Many of the berries and red apples are high in flavonoids that protect us from heart disease.
Fruits to help build immune system include; pink and red grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, red apples, red grapes, bananas, cranberries, tomatoes, mangoes, tangerines, nectarines, peaches, oranges and watermelon.
Omega 3's are healthy fats that have an immune building quality. They are anti-inflammatory and help prevent auto-immune disorders. They are needed in order for the body to absorb certain vitamins.
Foods containing Omega 3's include; ground flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Good Bacteria found in the intestinal lining keep your immune system healthy. These healthy organisms stimulate the immune system, increase antibodies, and inhibit the absorption of pathogenic organisms such as e.coli and salmonella.
Be sure that you and your children consume healthy, live bacteria especially at times of illness. Foods containing good bacteria are; yogurt (check the label for live bacteria), and fermented foods such as homemade sauerkraut, miso and kifir.
Folate is essential for preventing damage to blood vessels and brain cells and ensures DNA integrity. The dark leafy greens are high in folate and include the following; spinach, romaine lettuce, mustard, turnip and collard greens, and kale.
Use these immune building foods and have a happy and healthy holiday season.
Cindy has been a Certified Nutritional Counselor for 15 years. Learn more about how to strenthen your immune system and even how a colon cleanse can help to keep your body healthy all year long.