Immune Boosting Foods to Strengthen Your Health

Your immune system is constantly under attack by germs, bacteria, and viruses, so it’s essential that you give it the nutrients it needs to protect your body. The good news is that there are lots of immune boosting foods you can eat, so check out our list below to find the best immune-boosting foods:

1.    Yogurta bowl of probiotic yogurt

 

Yogurt is loaded with bacteria, but the good kind that feeds the bacteria living in your intestines. Eating yogurt–particularly probiotic yogurt–will boost your immune system, giving the bacteria in your intestines the reinforcements they need to fight off invaders. Just a serving or two of yogurt per day will do wonders for your immunity!

How Much: Two servings per day.

2.     Mushrooms

mushrooms are one of flu fighting foods

The mushroom is often dismissed as an unimportant food, but the truth is that it’s loaded with selenium and is one of the best flu fighting foods. It also contains lots of niacin and riboflavin, two B vitamins that are immune system boosters. Mushrooms have even been found to contain properties that can kill off viruses, bacteria, and some tumor cells.

How Much: The more the merrier!

3.    Whole Grains

a bag of whole grains is high in beta glucan

Barley is a whole grain you should eat A LOT more of, particularly in place of white rice. Both barley and oats contain beta glucan, a form of fiber that can fight off both toxins and microbes. Animal studies have proven that eating these two grains can reduce your risk of flu, herpes, and possibly even anthrax, and human studies have found that the grains will boost your immune function, promote the effectiveness of antibiotics, and speed up healing.

How Much: Two servings per day.

4.    Oysters

immune boosting foods oysters

Whether or not oysters are an aphrodisiac is a subject for another post, but you can be certain that they’re great immunity boosting foods. Oysters contain a lot of zinc, a mineral that has been found to fight viruses–thought studies have failed to discover why. Low zinc levels can lead to infertility issues in men, as well as slow healing and low immunity. Eat more oysters and give your immune system the zinc boost it needs.

How Much: Three or four oysters a day.

5.    Garlic

garlic helps you boost your immune system

Not only will garlic kill vampires and drive away friends, but it’s excellent for your immune health as well. Garlic is loaded with allicin, a powerful antioxidant that is SUPREMELY effective at fighting off viral and bacterial infections. Garlic is a powerful antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial remedy that has been used for centuries, and studies have found that eating more than six cloves per week can reduce the risk of certain cancers.

How Much: Six to 10 cloves per week.

6.    Watermelon

water melon slices lined up

Not only is this fruit amazing tasty, but it’s also loaded with the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant–found in tomatoes–is able to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Watermelon also contains glutathione, which helps to boost your immune system and increase your resistance to disease. The closer you eat to the rind, the more glutathione you get.

How Much: Four or five slices per day.

7.    Chicken Soup

chicken soup contains glutamine

Ever wondered why mum made chicken noodle soup when you were sick? When you cook chicken, it releases an amino acid named cysteine. This cysteine helps to fight off bronchial infections, and can even help to deal with cold symptoms. Chicken also contains glutamine, an immune-boosting amino acid that will help repair muscles, improve brain function, and even improve intestinal health.

How Much: Two bowls will give you a nice immunity boost on the days you’re feeling sick.

8.     Cabbage

green cabbage head is loaded with glutamine

You may be surprised to find that cabbage is able to boost your immune system, but the truth is that the leafy green is loaded with the same glutamine that you get from chicken, beef, and beans. Purple cabbage contains immunity-boosting antioxidants. Adding more cabbage to your soups is the best way to improve your immune health during the chilly winter months.

How Much: The more the merrier!

9.    Tea

green tea contains L-theanineTea is more than just a great way to get a shot of caffeine in the morning, but it’s an immunity boosting drink as well. Black and green tea both contain L-theanine, an amino acid that can multiply the effectiveness of your immune system. One Harvard study found that drinking up to 5 cups of tea per day increased interferon production–cells that fight viruses–by as much as 10 times as those who didn’t drink tea.

How Much: Two to five cups of black and green tea per day.

10. Grapefruit

grapefruit contains flavonoids

Did you know that grapefruit contains antioxidants called flavonoids? These antioxidants are chemical compounds that are able to increase the response time of your immune system. Grapefruits are also loaded with Vitamin C, the best immune-boosting nutrient on the planet.

How Much: Half to a whole a grapefruit per day.

11. Wheat Germ

wheat germs contains B vitamins, antioxidants, and zinc

The “germ” is the fiber that covers the seed of a baby wheat plant, and it’s what provides the nourishment for the growing seed. This means it’s loaded with healthy nutrients, particularly B vitamins, antioxidants, and zinc–all of which are very effective at boosting your immune system.

How Much: A few spoonfuls mixed into yogurt or oatmeal will be good.

 

12. Sweet Potatoes

organic sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A

These starchy tubers don’t just make a delicious dish come Thanksgiving, but you’ll find that they’re loaded with Vitamin A. Your skin needs Vitamin A in order to stay healthy, and seeing as your skin is your body’s first line of defense against infections, you can see why you need more Vitamin A.

How Much: A half-cup per day, or one serving, is more than enough.

 

Now obviously you don’t need to consume all of the above immune boosting foods on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have some options, right? If you find it challenging to get enough of an immunity boost from food, you might want to supplement your regular diet with Glutamine or grass-fed whey protein.

 

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-immune-foods

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/power-foods-boost-immunity?s=2

 

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