Our immune system is our greatest defense against infectious agents and diseases in everything from the common cold to cancer. Especially this time of year when colds and flues seem to be present everywhere! A healthy immune system has elements that are in balance with one another and will protects against these invasive germs and diseases. The good news is we can enhance our immune systems! Through foods, exercise, sleep etc. we can aid our bodies in protecting and fighting against those things which can be dangerous to our health.
Three Important Immune Enhancers:
- Vitamin C : An ascorbic acid which is one of the safest and most effective nutrients in protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling! Vitamin C can be found in high abundance in many fruits and veggies, as well as cereals, beef, poultry, and fish. However, it is not practical that most people ingest enough vitamin C daily. A once daily supplement is a safe and effective way to consume the required amount of vitamin C. *Produce with highest vitamin C content are: oranges, red peppers, broccoli, kiwi, green peppers Zinc : This mineral functions in cell replication and repairs damaged tissues. Deficiencies contribute to impaired immunity and is known to augment cancer growth.
- Zinc is present in some food, is added to others, and is available as a dietary supplement. Oyster’s and veal liver are the top foods which contain the highest amount of zinc. Not a fan….these are also good sources of zinc: beef, lamb,toasted wheat germ, seeds (sesame, pumpkin, watermelon), and crab.
- Garlic : This sweet smelling bulb from the family of the lily plant has claims of antiviral and antibacterial properties. One garlic clove has just 4 calories, 5 mg of calcium, 12 mg of potassium, and more than 100 sulfuric compounds. It is believed that sulfuric acid aids in nerve repair, increases blood circulation, promote muscle health, fight free radicals, beautify the skin, and speeds wound healing. Raw garlic is the most beneficial for immune health as heat and water inactivate sulfuric enzymes which can lower it’s antibiotic effects. *Sulfuric compounds are also found in brussel sprouts, cabbage, chives, kale, onions, and shallots.
Along with these immune system boosters make sure to get adequate sleep, lower your stress and laugh more . Through all these we can enhance our built in protection system (immune system) and unwelcome invaders!
The Cancer Survivor’s Guide to Building Immunity: Susan B. Hardwick Ph.D., Alexander Hunger, Jason Yu – www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Immune_Enhancers.shtml
2003 trial performed at the University of Maryland School of Medicine – www.wedmd.com http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=115 www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/zinc.php