Foods That Improve Your Immune System
Your stomach is related closely to your immune system. What we eat can have a significant effect on how we feel and often we become run down with an illness. This is important especially during the winter cold and flu season!
Quite often an internet search will come up with a certain number of foods that are reported to be extremely helpful in improving your immune system. While not revolutionary, here is a list of foods that may assist you to improve your immune system, how they do it, and how you can incorporate into your diet.
Please read on and enjoy and stay healthy because in regards to getting a cold and flu ain’t nobody got time for that!
What to eat; Green Tea
Why; Certain chemical compounds in green tea prevent the bugs that cause the cold from increasing in number. The amino acid that’s responsible for this immune boost is L-theanine.
Tip; make sure you dunk your tea bag several times to ensure you get enough of the good stuff out.
What to eat; Turmeric
Why; A spice that can be added to many foods when cooking, Turmeric has the active ingredient curcumin which aids in providing anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial benefits (includes manganese, zinc, B vitamins and iron).
Tip; cover your chicken with this spice when cooking, toss your cooked vegetables with it, add it too soups… just add it to everything! It also assists with muscle development!
What to eat; Ginger
Why; Ginger is a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, boosting immune function and reducing cellular damage. Ginger stimulates digestion, potentially relieving bloating, cramping and nausea.
Tip; create your own soup, stir-fry or tea with it to provide an immune system boost.
What to eat; Garlic
Why; Garlic is also an immune system warrior, protecting the body from infections and illnessGarlic contains allicin, a potent phytonutrient that is great for cardiac health. It has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Tip; add it to everything that you cook!!!! Just make sure you brush your teeth or use mouth wash after eating it!
What to eat; Pineapple
Why; Contains B group vitamins including thiamine (B1) and B6, which are required for energy metabolism and nerve function. Pineapples have the enzyme bromelain aiding protein digestion which allows your body to utilise immune boosting amino acids effectively. Pineapples help to prevent inflammation also. Do consider however that it is quite high in sugar, so don’t eat an entire pineapple in one sitting perhaps.
Tip; add to fruit salad, yogurt, blend in a tropical fruit smoothie, eat on own as a post work out re-energiser.
What to eat; Protein
Why; Protein helps with repair. Enough said. Make sure you are eating combinations of foods that provide a complete protein source or amino acid profile. Animal food sources provide you with complete protein sources, but a combination of plant based foods can still provide you with a complete protein food source.
Have your cut of meat with cooked green vegetables broccoli, asparagus and peas for added ‘green’ protein.
What to eat; Wheatgrass
Why; Wheat Grass is exceptionally nutritionally dense green food including nutrients such as chlorophyll, beta carotene, vitamin C, B complex vitamins, anti-oxidants, amino acids, calcium, potassium and magnesium. This helps support liver and immune function by boosting the liver’s ability to flush out toxins. It is an also anti-bacterial food that helps to maintain an alkaline state within the body avoiding inflammation.
Tip; Add it too your green smoothie, sandwiches or salads.
What to eat; Berries
Why; Rich in vitamin C (believed cell damage prevention and immune system protection capabilities) and polyphenols that help promote healthy tissues and organs. As they contain flavonoids berries have strong antioxidant capabilities.
Tip; try to have a wide variety of berries, buy them fresh and freeze them to add to smooties or yogurt.
What to eat; Vegetables, all of them, especially Orange ones
Why; Orange vegetables beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for fighting against disease
Tips; sweet potatoes sliced and backed, then coasted in olive oil and Himalayan pink salt can taste just as good and fried potato chips. Also try to eat carrot raw to maximise the nutritional value of the food.
- Eat a wide variety of colours within each meal (especially orange).
- Avoid processed foods.
- Focus on fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Have smoothies and soups, which can be extremely nutrient dense food sources with a high nutritional value, a wide variety of food types and wide variety of colours.
- If feeling under the weather, increase your calorie intake, especially at break fast. Your body needs more energy to fight the infection so give it that energy.
- Also, while unrelated to nutrition, make sure you have adequate levels of sleep as reducing the hours that you sleep increases the percentage chance of common down with illness.