Giving the body its super human ability to stop virus attacks is not something you will see made into a TV series. Although, maybe, I can see it… Avocado man defeats evil processed chips… well maybe it won’t make it to TV. Great thing is you can affect your immune system by what you eat. I have the proof… Grandma always told me, “You are what you eat!” and we do call “Junk Food” junk for a reason. Do you need anymore proof? Well…
Okay all that fun aside, there is truth there if you want it!
Studies have shown that a diet lacking in nutrients and fresh vegetables causes you to become deficient in many nutrients. Here is a quote from, Viruses, Immune System, Secret Improvements.
“Malnutrition causes a decline in immune function and increases susceptibility to infection (Brussow 1995; Lotfy 1998; delaFuente 1998). Likewise, a vitamin or mineral deficiency can suppress immune system function (delaFuente 1998). Correct choices of supplements, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, probiotics, and botanicals have been shown to boost immunity and may also reduce the risk of disease(s) in healthy Individuals (Kaminogawa 2004)”. – Life Extension Foundation
Not One Item Strengthens The Immune System
It takes a balanced diet to strengthen the immune system, it is not just one food or miracle product. I know this is not lining up with late night TV ads, but while that miracle berry juice from the deep jungles of Brazil may be good for you it does not contain all the nutrition, vitamins and minerals you need for a strong immune system. Hope I have not bashed TV too bad for you, but everything shown on it is not always true! 😉
Do Your Homework To Have A Strong Immune System
Yes that is right you will have to take the time to do your homework. In this case the homework is eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients and fresh vegetables. There is no way around it, your body is made to eat real foods as much as you have to breath air to live. The sooner you give in, the sooner you start to reap the benefits. READY TO GIVE IN? Great, lets talk about some foods that can help build that immune system! You did say YES, right?
Foods That Build Immune Systems
Here is some great news! There are many different foods that build the immune system. You maybe surprised by just how many there are and I bet you can find some you like.
Avocados yum, yum. Avocados have essential amino acids, antioxidants and wonderful fats that help to balance hormone production. Not only do avocados help support your immune system, but they also help with proper adrenal function and health. Here is some neat news! By adding 1/2 cup of fresh avocado, or some avocado oil, to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots, absorption of carotenoids increased by 200-400%.
Mushrooms – Japanese mushrooms, enoki, shitake, or oyster are great immune system boosters. A bonus is they are loaded with ergothioneine a powerful antioxidant. Ergothioneine, which is fairly exclusive to mushrooms, is an sulfur-containing derivative of the amino acid, histidine. Which appears to have a very specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage. And all this wonderfulness does not get destroyed during the cooking process.
Berries are great sources of vitamin C. Rich colored berries like, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries contain wonderful amounts of antioxidants along with great vitamins. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant color, reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis.
Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries. Pomegranates are also a powerful source of phytonutrients, which promote healthy skin.
Nuts are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins and are also a great source of the mineral zinc, which really helps the immune system. Selenium is another mineral that helps the immune system fight off illness and disease and one nut in particular packs a real punch when it comes to selenium… the Brazil nut! Nuts make for great snacks, but do keep to the raw ones, roasting destroys the great antioxidants and vitamins.
Greens, yes you knew I would have to mention these. I am talking about the rich dark colored ones, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage. Eating 1 1/2 cups of greens about 2-3 times a week can do wonders for your immune system, colon, and overall health. Don’t forget that these greens are also powerful at detoxifying.
Sweet potatoes can be sliced, diced, mashed, or even used in a soup. These wonderful yummy potatoes are packed with antioxidants and vitamin A. Vitamin A helps keep the skin healthy and as it is our largest organ, having healthy skin can be one way of helping fight off infection to your body and immune system. Sweet potato is also a good source of carotenoids which also help your immune system battle disease and infection.
Fish! Yes fish can build the immune system. Mackerel and salmon are great sources of healthy fats, in particular omega 3. Fish are also great sources of Zinc. Zinc aids the immune system in replacing damaged cells, so eating some fish each week could help.
Variety Of Foods Build The Immune System
Do you see there are many different foods that can help the immune system get a boost? There are even more we did not talk about. Already there are a wide variety of menus that can be created off the foods we have listed. Be careful and don’t fall into the “same old trap.” We are creatures of habit, which can be a strength, but when it comes to eating it is easy to eat the same few foods again and again. And did you know that this can lead to malnutrition overtime?
Preparing Foods Can Destroy Benefits
How you prepare many of these wonderful foods can hinder their benefits or down right destroy them. Next week we will be talking about how to prepare some of these wonderful foods to gain super benefits for the immune system and body as a whole.