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Eat to Boost Your Immune System

By November 7, 2014February 4th, 2015Legacy Sport & Wellness Blog

People seem to go right to the medicine cabinet, doctor or pharmacy to feel better, but – in many cases – feeling better is a matter of eating better.  Make sure your dinner plate has many colors of fruits and veggies, plus drink garlic picturehalf your body weight in ounces of water each day to ensure your body runs smoothly.

Theses foods can add extra flu and cold-fighting nutrients to your winter food plan:

Yogurt – with live active cultures, but be very afraid of brands that have carrageenan (thickener made from red sea kelp that has been implicated in GI tract disorders).

Oats – contains beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities more potent than echinacea (from a Norwegian study).  Boosts immunity, speeds wound healing and may help antibiotics (should you be forced to take them) work better.  Those who are gluten-intolerant can often eat organic oats without a problem.

Garlic – allicin is the active ingredient which fights infection and bacteria.

Tea – black and green teas have L-theanine, an amino acid responsible for an immune boost.

Chicken Soup – during cooking, cysteine (another amino acid) is released which chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine.  Salty broth keeps mucus thin and spices such as garlic and onions can increase soup’s immune-boosting power.  Best to make sure you are using an organic bird.

Fish – selenium, plentiful in oysters, lobster, crabs, and clams, help white cells produce cytokines, the proteins that help clear flu viruses out of the body.  Salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation in the lungs (and elsewhere).  Wild fish is far superior to farm-raised seafood.

Beef – a primary source of zinc, a mineral very important in developing white blood cells which are the cells that recognize and destroy invading bacteria, viruses, etc.

Sweet Potatoes – your skin is a huge part of your immune system and it needs vitamin A.  The beta-carotene in these tubers helps the body manufacture vitamin A.

Mushrooms – increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive.

Eat better and feel better!