How can you bolster your immune system against pathogenic bacteria and viruses lurking in common areas in your place of work, in public places or in your holiday travels? Your ability to interact with the world around you and remain healthy is dependent to a large extent on the healthy functioning of your immune system.
Your immune system is responsible for fighting foreign invaders ( bacteria and viruses ) to your body and also for destroying cells that have become cancerous in your body. Science has shown that immune function decreases as we age and recent researches suggest that this decrease is also related to poor nutrition.
Medical science research has established that one of the most important factors in supporting a healthy balanced immune system is good nutrition. The main parts of your immune system are the immune cells and they are quite varied and include; the lymphocytes or T-cells, the B-cells, phagocytic cells and soluble factors.
Let us now examine how the World’s Healthiest Foods support optimal immune function.
Dr. Mercola has outlined what is considered the absolute best foods you can eat to help protect yourself. This list is certainly not exhaustive.
1. Whey Protein
Protein in milk is called Whey Protein. Whey is the liquid that separates from the curd during the production of cheese. The liquid is dried into powder in a concentrated form and can be used in that form. Whey protein can help you fight off cold and flu because it contains beta-glucans and immunoglobulins which protects your immune system and support your bodys natural detoxification.
2. Fermented Foods
Eating traditionally fermented foods is essential in boosting your immunity. An example is Kefir. Kefir is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly micro organism that balances your ‘ inner body ecosystems ‘ and strengthens immunity. Examples of other fermented foods are; Natto, Kimchee, Miso, Tempeli, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Yogurt ( mindful of sugar ) and Olives.
3. Organic Eggs
Raw organic eggs are inexpensive and amazing source of high quality nutrients that many people are deficient in, espacially high quality protein and fats. By eating raw orgainc eggs for example, you need not worry about salmonella. To find range of pasture farms, try your local health food store or visit www.localharvest.com
4. Unpasteurized Grass-Fed Organic Milk
Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows contains beneficial bacteria that prime your immune system and can reduce allergies. It is a wonderful source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, zinc and enzymes. It is not associated with any health problems.
5. Grass-Fed Beef
Grass-fed beef is only recommended if you are a protein or a mixed nutritional type. Otherwise, you should not be eating beef. Grass-fed beef have great health benefits for you and the environment. Grass-fed beef is high in vitamin A and vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, zinc and conjugated linoleic acid ( CLA ). CLA is an immune system enhancer.
6. Coconuts and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is excellentforyour thyroid and your metabolism.It is rich in lauric acid which converts in your body to monolaurin which is the actual compound found in breast milk which enhances a baby’s immunity. A great deal of research has been done on the usefulness of lauric acid in adults. When selecting coconuts and coconut oils, make sure that you choose the organic ones that are unrefined and unbleached.
7. Organic vegetables
To fight off pathogens, you can not do any better than eating a variety of fresh organic and preferably raw vegetables for their vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. The amount and types of vegetables you should eat daily will depend on your nutritional type. Make sure the vegetables you choose are fresh. Once they are canned or dried, their value drops to almost zero. See; www.oracvalues.com
8. Blueberries and Raspberries
Blueberries and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. They are potent immune boosters. They contain powerful phytochemicals and they are lower in sugarthan many other fruits.
According to Paul Stamets, a leading authority on the health benefits of mushrooms, mushrooms strenghtens your immune system because they are rich in protein,fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium and other minerals they also contain powerful compounds called beta-glucans that have been known for their immune enhancing properties.
Chlorella is almost perfect as food goes. It is a fresh water algae that acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins, such as mercury and carries them out of your system. The chlorophyll in chlorella, helps you to process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promote the growth and repair of your tissues.
11. Green Tea
Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea and it comes in the form of powder,completely unfermented. It has about seventeen times the antioxidants of wild blueberries. Green taes are also rich in natural chemicalscalled catechins.
12. Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are at the top of the ORAC chart and are incredibly beneficial to your immune system because they are anti-baterial, anti-viral and anti fungal. they are too many to name here. Examples are, garlic, artemisia, turmeric, black pepper, oregano and cinnamon.
13. Wheat Germ
This is the part of a wheat seed that feeds a baby wheat plant and it is rich in nutrients. It is a wonderful source of zinc, antioxidants and the B vitamins. Wheat germs delivers a good mix of fiber, protein, and some healthy fats. In recipes, you can substitute some of the regular flour with wheat germ to boost your immunity.
1. Nutrition Science News, Jan., 2001
2. Time Magazine, Aug. 21, 2009
3. Mercola Health Articles, 2016
4. Internet Antioxidant Database