Top Immune Boosting FoodsPublished:January 31st, 2012
Have you ever wondered what you can do to improve your health and immune system? You want what is best for your family and yourself. Read on to find out the top immune boosting foods that are good for you and your family. These foods are packed with nutrients that are beneficial for people of all age groups.
Extract from these dark berries has blocked flu viruses in test tube studies. This fruit is rich in antioxidants and has the ability to fight inflammation.
Mushrooms are rich in selenium and antioxidants. Low levels of selenium have been linked to increased risk of developing severe flu. Mushrooms are also rich in the B vitamins – riboflavin and niacin, which play a role in a healthy immune system. Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects.
Acai berry is rich in anthocyanins, an antioxidant that is linked with fighting cancer and aging process. Acai berries can be found most often in juice or smoothie form, or dried and mixed with granola.
Oysters are rich in the mineral zinc that is found in oysters. Low zinc levels have been associated with male infertility. Zinc has an antiviral effect and is a required mineral for wound healing.
Hydrating and refreshing, ripe watermelon also has plenty of a powerful antioxidant, glutathione. Known to help strengthen the immune system so it can fight infection, glutathione is found in the red pulpy flesh near the rind.
This is another source of immune-strengthening glutathione. Try adding cabbages of any variety (white, red, Chinese) to soups and stews to sneak in extra antioxidants and boost your meal’s nutritional value.
A handful of almonds may shore up your immune system from the effects of stress. A recommended ¼-cup serving carries nearly half of the daily-recommended amount of vitamin E, which helps boost the immune system. They are also a good source of riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that may help you bounce back from the effects of stress.
Grapefruits have a good amount of vitamin C and flavonoids, which is a natural chemical compound that has been found to increase immune system activation.
Wheat germ is the part of a wheat seed that feeds a baby wheat plant, so it is full of nutrients. It has zinc, antioxidants, and B vitamins among other vital vitamins and minerals. Wheat germ also offers a good mix of fiber, protein, and some good fat. Substitute wheat germ for part of the regular flour called for in baked goods and other recipes.
Garlic offers several antioxidants that battle immune system invaders. Among garlic’s targets are H. pylori, the bacteria associated with some ulcers and stomach cancer. Cooking tip: Peel, chop and let sit 15 to 20 minutes before cooking to activate immune-boosting enzymes.
Known as a “super food,” spinach is nutrient-rich. It has folate, which helps your body produce new cells and repair DNA. In addition, it boasts fiber, antioxidants, such as vitamin C, and more. Eat spinach raw or lightly cooked to get the most benefit.
Tealeaves are loaded with disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants seek out cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them. Caffeinated and decaf work equally well and so does the green or black tea.
Sweet potatoes have the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gather up the damaging free radicals. Sweet potatoes also boast vitamin A, which is linked to slowing the aging process and may reduce the risk of some cancers.
Easy to find at the grocery store and incorporate into meals, broccoli is an immune-boosting basic. It is a rich source of vitamins A, vitamin C, and glutathione.