Blog About Health, Beauty and Fashion

Foods to Improve Immune System

Healthy FoodsYour immune system protects your body from disease, bacteria, viruses and toxins that you are exposed to from day to day.

Your skin is the first defense in your immune system. It is there to protect your body and if there is a breech in this protection a powerful chain of reactions is set into motion to protect you.

The main organs and systems that come into play in your immune system are your spleen, thymus, the lymphatic system, bone marrow, white blood cells, antibodies and your endocrine system which controls your hormones. All of these organs and bodily systems work together to fight infection and combat disease.

One of the best ways to have a strong immune system is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources and plenty of fiber. Don’t smoke or abuse alcohol or drugs. The Mayo Clinic recommends you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.

Besides the basics of a healthy lifestyle, you can help improve and strengthen your immune system by adding certain foods to your diet. Foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals will not only improve your immune system, but enrich your overall health.

Vitamins, Minerals and Foods for Immune System

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects your body’s cells from free radical damage. Free radicals enter the body and attack the nucleus of your cells. This can cause mutations in the cells and may cause normal healthy cells to become cancerous. Besides being an antioxidant, vitamin C has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of depression. This wonder vitamin increases white blood cell production, interferon and antibodies that help your body fight viruses and infections. It also raises the good cholesterol, HDL, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. A diet high in vitamin C also helps to reduce your risk of colon, breast and prostate cancer and a dose as low as 200 mg. per day can help to improve your immune system. To add extra vitamin C in your diet add guava, strawberries, papaya, kiwis, cantaloupe, oranges and grapefruit.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant. It stimulates the production of killer cells that combat germs and cancer cells, the production of B-cells which are the precursors of antibodies to destroy bacteria, and can help reverse the signs of aging due to a weak immune system. Vitamin E is also thought to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is recommended that you get at least 60 mg. of vitamin E per day. You can do this by adding nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and whole grains.

Carotenoids combined with vitamin C and E form an effective antioxidant trio that combats the formation of plaque in your arteries. This lowers your risk of heart disease and also strengthens your immune functions. Beta carotene is the most widely known carotenoid, but there are other carotenoids that work in tandem with beta carotene to stimulate macrophages. Macrophages are immune cells which produce the tumor necrosis factor needed to kill cancer cells. Beta carotene also increases the amount of T-cell lymphocytes and killer cells that attack cancer cells. Food rich in carotenoids include carrots, calves liver, milk, eggs, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, apricots, mangoes, pink grapefruit and tomatoes.

Bioflavenoids are found in many fruits and vegetable. They help to keep the receptors of your cells free of toxins. This means that your immune system will work more efficiently because the natural killer cells and macrophages will have better access to your body’s cells. Foods rich in bioflavenoids include all citrus fruits, onions, berries, legumes, green tea, wine and parsley.

Zinc increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection in your body. The mineral also helps to increase the production of killer cells and slow the growth of cancerous tumors. Food rich in zinc include oysters, crab, beef, dark turkey meat, beans and fortified cereals and breads.

Not only does garlic add flavor to your foods, but it has antimicrobial properties, boosts killer cell production and stimulates your body to produce more white blood cells. A member of the allicin family the benefits of garlic don’t stop there. It helps to keep plaque from forming on the surface of your blood vessels and decrease your risk of heart disease along with helping flush toxins out of your body. Add garlic to your recipes, smear garlic paste on toasted bread and crackers, and take deodorized garlic supplements.

These are the top foods to improve immune system functions. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will also improve your immune system and help your body defend itself against attacks from bacteria, viruses and the toxins you are exposed to. A strong immune system keeps you healthy and lets you enjoy life to the fullest.

Healthy Food Guide
and Tagged:
, .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *