Foods That Boost Your Immune System
[toc] It is worth the effort to include more foods to help you lose weight and can boost your immune system, because a healthy immune system can keep you out of the doctor's office while also helping you maintain a healthy weight. There are several foods that you should consider eating on a regular basis for their many health benefits and immune boosting effects, and these foods have the added bonus of helping you maintain a healthy weight. Many nutritionists believe that there is a link between weight gain and the health of your immune system; essentially when your body is stressed, your immune system is overactive or not functioning properly, and you are eating the wrong foods, it is easier for you to put on weight.
Immune system boosting food #1 - Oranges
Oranges are one of the best foods that can boost your immune system because they contain a large amount of Vitamin C and electrolytes. They can help you fight a current bacterial or viral infection and they may shorten the duration of the infection slightly and also reduce the symptoms. Orange juice contains several other key vitamins and minerals including iron, Vitamin A, folate, and copper. Vitamin A helps the body produce new white blood cells and destroy pathogens, and folate helps the body with white blood cell production as well. You can find fresh oranges almost anywhere year round and they are one of the most potent immune boosting foods out there.
Immune system boosting food #2 - Kale
Kale is widely considered to be a "superfood" and it also happens to be one of the top immune system boosting foods. Kale is thought to benefit the immune system in many ways. It helps reduce inflammation levels because it contains omega-3 fatty acids which relieve the symptoms of autoimmune disorders and problems. Kale has a high concentration of important nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, copper, vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, iron, folate, and many other minerals and vitamins that ensure the proper function of the immune system and white blood cell production. In particular, kale is good at fighting the effects of chronic low level inflammation, which is thought to be associated with chronic obesity or abdominal fat gain.
Immune system boosting food #3 - Blueberries
Blueberries have many health benefits, but one of their main benefits is their immune system boosting effect. Red grapes and blueberries have compounds called stillbenoids that increase the expression of the CAMP gene which is used by the body to fight bacterial infections. The compounds in blueberries are necessary for this important gene along with an adequate intake of Vitamin D. Blueberries are high in bioflavonoids and phytonutrients which help the body repair oxidation damage and protects the cells of the immune system from injury. Blueberries also have an "anti-aging" effect on the immune system and ensure that the cells of the immune system are not stressed or overactive which can lead to high inflammation levels and other health issues that can result in weight gain.
Immune system boosting food #4 - Spinach
Spinach is also considered to be a superfood along with kale and blueberries, and there are several reasons why. Spinach is also one of the top immune system boosting foods because it has a high amount of anti-oxidants which protect the cells of the immune system from oxidation related damage and keeps inflammation levels low. Spinach is also has high levels of beta carotene which is an important nutrient for white blood cells because it is a precursor to vitamin A, and it is high in key vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate and iron which are used for white and red blood cell production. Spinach is rich in chlorophyll which helps the body remove harmful heavy metals which can lead to a wide range of health and immune issues, and chlorophyll also reduces high inflammation levels.
Immune system boosting food #5 - Yogurt
Yogurt has several health benefits including and important nutrients including protein, vitamins B-2 and B-12, magnesium and potassium which help maintain a healthy immune system. They also contain probiotics, or live strains of "good bacteria" that ensure that the gut functions optimally. The good bacteria in yogurt boost the immune system by ensuring that harmful bacteria do not overgrow in the gut and cause digestive issues and inflammation. It is thought that harmful bacterial overgrowth can lead to several different problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues and eating yogurt on a regular basis can prevent these issues. Yogurt also contains high levels of vitamin D which is important for CAMP gene expression and can help the body fight bacterial infections.
Immune system boosting food #6 - Almonds
Almonds may help the body fight off viruses and they are rich in another important vitamin for the immune system, vitamin E. A handful of almonds has about half of the daily recommended value of Vitamin E. Vitamin E prevents free radicals from building up in the body that can impair the immune system and cause chronic inflammation. Almonds have zinc which is an important mineral for increasing T cell production and maintaining a stable immune system. They also have selenium which helps the body produce cancer fighting cells and is an essential mineral for proper immune function. Almonds are also associated with weight loss and a wide range of cardioprotective benefits. They are also rich in B vitamins and niacin, both of which are important for helping the body fight through periods of stress such as illnesses or psychological stress which can temporarily lower the immune system.
Immune system boosting food #7 - Garlic
Garlic is a potent immune boosting food and has been used for thousands of years to help reduce the symptoms of viral and bacterial infections. The sulfuric compounds in garlic help the body fight infection, and there are over 100 different sulfuric compounds in a clove of garlic. Similar compounds can be found in shallots, leeks, onions, and kale, but garlic has a particularly high concentration of immune boosting sulfuric compounds. Allicin, thiosulfinates, and ajoene are three of the most powerful immune boosting compounds found in garlic that can help the body ward off infections quickly. Like many of the other immune boosting superfoods, garlic is rich in antioxidants and helps the body ward off the effects of aging and oxidation related damage, and antioxidants help keep the cells of the immune system healthy. Garlic may also reduce levels of H. pylori, a harmful bacteria that is thought to be associated with stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, and it may help reduce the onset or duration of the common cold. Eating raw crushed garlic is the best way to get all of its vital nutrients and sulfuric compounds in their natural form, and if it is cooked the cooking should be kept to a minimum if possible.