Thursday, January 30, 2014
Natural Solutions for Boosting Your Immune System
What Weakens Your Immune System?
There are a variety of things that can cause your immune system to become weakened. Environmental toxins, stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and overuse of antibiotics are some of these. Stress can affect the number of killer T cells the body produces, adequate sleep is required for producing cytokines that protect against disease, and toxins found in household products can lower the effectiveness of your immune system.
What Strengthens Your Immune System?
You can help strengthen your immune system with natural solutions such as getting enough rest, finding ways to cope with stress, eating a healthy diet, and taking probiotics. When considering natural solutions to boost your immune system here are a few more specific things that have been found helpful.
Most people in the U.S. do not get enough zinc in their diets and zinc is a crucial mineral for boosting your immune system. This is especially true for vegetarians as beef is high in zinc. Zinc aids in the development of white blood cells that are a part of your immune system that destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. If you are a meat eater, then eating lean beef, pork, oysters and poultry will add zinc to your diet. Other sources of zinc for you vegetarians include fortified cereals, sesame seeds, milk, yogurt, and miso. Miso which is a soybean paste also has protein and B12 which are immune system boosters. Zinc supplementation may be necessary as our food sources often don't give us enough.
Beta Glucan and Mushrooms
Beta glucan is a complex carbohydrate of the simple sugar glucose. It can come from cereals like oats and barley or from yeast, bacteria and fungi. Beta glucans differ in structure according to how the glucose is linked. Yeast beta glucan is linked in such a way that it has been found to enhance and stimulate macrophages, a type of white blood cell that kills off foreign invaders and stimulates other immune cells to fight them off. The beta glucan that comes from baker's yeast is the most potent anti-infective beta glucan immunododulator. Since the body does not produce beta glucans by itself, we have to get them from the foods we eat or supplements. Baker's yeast, shiitake mushrooms, barley, oats, rye, and wheat are all sources of beta glucan. Animal studies have reported that eating beta glucan from oats and barley showed less risk of contracting flu, herpes and anthrax. Other studies have found beta glucan to be effective against bacterial infections and viral infections and even lessen duration of symptoms of the common cold in people. Certain types of mushrooms are being found effective for immune support because they have polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, and triterpenoids. These are all precursors to beta glucans. Mushrooms have been found to be supportive of white blood cells that fight off infections. With their immunosupportive agents, they can help protect you from viruses, bacteria and even yeast. You can get the immune supporting power of beta glucan and six of the most extensively researched mushrooms that show positive immune system support together in this one supplement. It combines reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms along with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae to help support your immune system function.
Alliums are foods such as leeks, onions and garlic. Foods in this family are known to have natural antibiotic properties to help fight off germs. They have also been found useful in helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and there is research that suggests they can help reduce the growth risk of prostate, stomach and colon cancer cells. Allicin, found in garlic and released when crushing or chopping garlic, has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been found to improve immunity and to be useful in fighting off colds.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice contains a variety of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and micronutrients and is rich in polysaccharides and flavonoids known to help fight damage from free radicals. It has been shown to have anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and give an overall boost to your immune system. Aloe vera has been reported to affect an increase in lymphocytes, cytokines, interleukin and Natural Killer Cells that are all important parts of your immune system.
Your immune system health is important in helping to keep you productive and feeling good. If you suspect your immune system could use a boost, give some of these immune boosting natural solutions a try and help your immune system to help you.
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