Immune system boosting foods increase the number of white blood cells in our bodies. They also eliminate toxins that drag our system down and reinforce our defensive barriers. With flu season upon us, it’s important to consume foods that boost the immune system function. Here are a few good choices…
- Mushrooms: Selenium, Antioxidants, as well as B Vitamins Riboflavin and Niacin, give mushrooms a powerful role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Animal studies show they have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-tumor effects in the body. Selenium increases the natural killer cells and mobilize cells that fight cancer.
- Oysters: The Zinc found in oysters helps wounds heal faster, revs up production of white blood cells, and increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells. The incidence and severity of infections decrease with regular zinc consumption, although too much zinc supplementation can have the opposite effect.
- Grapefruit: Like oranges and tangerines, this fellow citrus fruit packs a powerful punch with vitamin C and flavonoids. Vitamin C increases production of white blood cells, antibodies and interferon (the antibody that coats cell surfaces to block viruses out. Bioflavonoids protect the cells from environmental toxins, reduce plaque formation and force germs out of the body.
- Garlic: This immune booster stimulates white blood cell replication and natural killer cells, while increasing antibody production and ridding the body of free radicals. Garlic has several antioxidants and targets ulcer-forming bacteria. (Note: It’s best to let garlic sit 15-20 minutes before cooking to activate immune system boosting enzymes.)
- Almonds: Just ¼ cup of almonds provides 50 percent of the daily recommended vitamin E. This nut also provides niacin and riboflavin B vitamins, as well as omega 3 fatty acids.
- Broccoli: Nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C and glutathione protect the body from damage and boost the immune system’s function. Studies show that chemical compounds in broccoli can even stop the growth of some cancer cells and defend the body against infections.
Image by pointnshoot