Top 10 Foods for Immunity
Ok as we approach the end of the Summer, many of us will still struggle at some stage to stay well as the cold season approaches. Staying well while those around you sniffle and sneeze requires that you extract as much nutrition from your diet as you can, loading up on the foods that pack the biggest nutritional punch.
Avoiding processed foods, grains, and sugar will go a long way toward strengthening your immune system. However, you can do even more by selecting foods that are loaded with specific immune-boosting nutrients.
Eating a diet rich in the following foods will be far better for your health than loading up on handfuls of supplements, or worse yet, falling victim to vaccines that expose you to health risks far worse than influenza or hayfever.
Below, I have outlined what I consider to be the absolute best foods you can eat to help protect yourself this season, although the list is certainly not exhaustive.
1. Go Coconuts!
Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin.
Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby's immunity
A great deal of research has been done establishing the ability of lauric acid to boost immunity. This medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) actually disrupts the lipid membranes of offending organisms
When selecting coconuts and coconut oil, make sure you choose organic ones that are unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and are non-GMO.
Try taking 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil a day to curb sugar cravings and to boost your immunity!
Chlorella is a single-cell freshwater algae that acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins, such as mercury, and carries them out of your system. It is the chlorophyll in chlorella that makes it so powerful. It looks like pond water but has many benefits! Chlorophyll helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues. It's also full of B12 so it's a great energy booster and great for a pre or post exercise energizer!
3. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants.
These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.
4. Blueberries and Raspberries
Blueberries and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. Wild blueberries in particular are potent immune boosters. They contain powerful phytochemicals, such as anthocyanin, which is the pigment that gives blueberries their color. And they are lower in sugar than many other fruits.
5. Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables
Cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are all cruciferous vegetables, which means they’re not only rich in antioxidant vitamins that give an immune system boost, but they also contain choline, a nutrient essential to a healthy diet. Choline keeps your cells functioning properly and also helps support a healthy gastrointestinal barrier, keeping bacteria safely confined in the gut. Cauliflower, in particular, is a beneficial food to eat when you’re sick because it’s also rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infection. Dip raw cauliflower florets in low-fat yogurt, drizzle them with vinaigrette, or add them to your favorite vegetable soup recipe.
6. Sheep/Goats Yogurt
One of your immune system’s key jobs is to patrol the gastrointestinal tract and prevent germs, bacteria, and other pathogens from entering the bloodstream and making you sick. So to keep your gut happy, eat lactose free yogurt like goats or sheep yogurt as part of your healthy diet. Not only is yogurt packed with vitamins and protein, it’s also a source of lactobacillus, a probiotic (or beneficial type of bacteria) that helps fight off the bad guys and also gives your immune system a boost. Choose the low-fat or fat-free kind to reap the benefits without extra saturated fat.
7. Eat Organic
When it comes to fighting off pathogens, you simply can't do any better than eating a variety of fresh, organic and preferably raw vegetables for the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes they contain. However, the best source is from your local farm shop where you know exactly where the food is grown!
So make sure the veggies you choose are fresh. The nutrient value drops to practically zero once a fruit or vegetable is canned.
When you’re thinking about a healthy diet, mushrooms may not be the first thing to come to mind, but they’re a major source of the immune system-boosting mineral, zinc. People who don’t have enough zinc in their diet tend to have fewer white blood cells to help fight off disease, which can lead to a reduced immune response. Start thinking of mushrooms as a great immune-boosting food. A grilled, beefy-tasting portabella makes a great burger substitute. Sauté shiitakes with Udos Oil and apple cider vinegar as and drizzle with Braggs Aminos (a healthy soy sauce) Great as a side dish. Yum!
Greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are immune-boosting foods that contain high levels of vitamin C, which not only packs a powerful antioxidant punch, it helps fight off infection and regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E. They also contain folate, another immune booster. Sautée kale, spinach, or Swiss chard with garlic and olive oil, or use fresh spinach to make an nutrient-rich salad — top it with fresh mushrooms to pack an extra immune-boosting punch. Kale also contains high levels of B12 so it's great for increasing energy!
Try making some fresh Kale Juice!
10. Take Apple Cider Vinegar Daily..
Apple Cider Vinegar will balance your entire inner body system.
The body constantly strives to achieve a state of equilibrium. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level.
Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection. Hence, my desire to sip some a few times a day for a natural boost of energy.
Article by fitness coach Jamie Lloyd.