With winter just around the corner, cold and flu season is upon us. While some of us will be lining up to get our flu shots there are many more people who will not be getting the shot. Some people do not like getting flu vaccines, yet are concerned about getting a virus. Does that mean these people are doomed to get sick this flu season? The simple answer is No! If a person can “super charge” their immune system, they can fight off getting a cold and flu. But how does someone “super charge” their immune system? The best way is through the food they eat. Food is one of the best tools a person has to boost their immune system and help fight off disease. Many people do not know that 70 percent of our immune system is found in our intestines and stomach, and eating a healthy diet is how the foundation forms. Because your gut is dominated by different bacteria you have to try and maintain a healthy amount of “good” bacteria in your intestines for a strong immune system. Probiotics are good for that, but you might ask, “what foods need to be in our diets to help build our immune system?”. According to Teresa Cutter, www.thehealthychef.com, the following foods are the easiest foods to add to your diet to boost your immune system. She also suggests, that eating these foods in their closest natural state is whats most healing for your body.
1. Add some Citrus fruits to your diet, such as oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and limes. These fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits can help our bodies defend themselves from bacterial infections. This vitamin helps fight bacteria till the body is rid of them, by attacking the nucleic acid of the virus.
2. Try some Carrots, Kale and Broccoli- Carrots are filled with Vitamin A which helps our immune system gain strength. Just one cup of kale is packed with 350% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A and 90% of the Vitamin C we need. Broccoli is high in Vitamin C and is an immunity boosting power house.
3. There are some Spices that have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and detoxifying properties, particularly Turmeric; Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin is amazing for a person’s digestive system and its helps build the immune system. Turmeric is also rich in manganese, zinc, iron and Vitamin B groups.
4. Try adding seeds and nuts to your diet, particularly almonds, pistachios and cashews, which are a natural source of Vitamin E that help boost your immune system. Seeds and nuts are a rich source of essential fatty acids, amino acids (protein), antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin A, B’s, C and E, zinc, potassium, iron, folate, manganese, calcium and magnesium. Nutritionist Chris Hall suggests that soaking the nuts in water and sea salt can actually make them easier for your body to absorb. This trend which has been coined “supercharging,” lets the nuts start to develop like a planted seed, causing them to release more nutrients. The soak also cleanses any molecules away that make the nuts harder to digest. By pre-soaking natural seeds and nuts in warm water and sea salt over night, this process neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and encourages the production of beneficial enzymes which increase the vitamin and mineral content of the nut, making them easier to absorb. In the morning, drain and rinse well and place them in a low temp oven for a couple of hours – longer if you want a crunchy result.
5. And let’s not forget the good old garlic and ginger…both are considered to be the “warriors” of the immune system. Garlic can protect the body from infections and illnesses and has potent anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-microbial properties that boost the immune system’s functions. While taking a garlic or ginger supplement is common; adding fresh garlic and ginger to your diet is highly beneficial. Scientists at the University of Kuwait found that using garlic extract in mice created an overall increase in antioxidants that was paralleled by the decrease of serum glucose in treated diabetic rats. It actually lowered the systolic blood pressure in treated hypertensive rats as well.
Adding these few foods to your diet is the simplest way to get your immune system into tip-top shape this winter season. Strengthening your immune system through a good healthy diet is an excellent way for a person to fight off all those pesky cold and flues.
Please note: Always consult your physician before introducing any new supplements into your diet.
Written by: Briahna Solares for the 50 Plus Report
Sources: www.byrdie.com, www.thehealthychef.com, www.naturalnews.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, supercharged food