Thursday, June 25, 2015

Natural Immune Boosters

A strong immune system helps you fight off illnesses such as cold and flu, as well as infections, inflammation, and even more serious diseases. If your immune system is weak there are natural ways of boosting immune system function and strengthening your immune system. Studies have been done showing that people who do Qigong demonstrated a boost in the immune system and that the more optimistic a person is the stronger the immune system can be. One of the most natural ways though to boost immune function is by adding immune boosting foods to your diet.

Immune Boosting Foods
Antioxidants
According to research done at Oregon State University, red grapes and blueberries have the compound resveratrol and pterostilbene that work with vitamin D to strengthen the immune system supporting CAMP gene. Grapes also help with blood pressure and blood circulation. Blueberries are not only immune boosting foods, but have also been reported as helpful for memory improvement for those with dementia, and in reducing conditions such as varicose veins, ulcers, cancer, and heart disease. Both these compounds are good for boosting immune system because of their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they can damage our body cells. Green tea is another of the antioxidant foods that can help with its catechin antioxidants. According to food and nutrition expert, Jennifer McDaniel, R.D.N., catechin is especially useful in fighting off viruses. Three of the most important immune boosting antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Adding a wide variety of bright colored fruits and vegetables to your diet will help get these antioxidants working for you. The more you cook them though the less antioxidants you will get so go with lightly cooked and raw veggies and fruits to get the most value.

Amino Acids

The body needs amino acids to function and gets them from proteins. Cysteine is an amino acid that comes from cooked chicken and has a similar effect to acetylcysteine, a drug used for treating bronchitis. Chicken broth has been found to thin out mucous and block inflammation. This makes chicken soup an excellent way to get not only amino acids but also other healthy nutrition with added herbs, veggies and grains. Chicken also being a good source of protein can help build antibodies and has the antioxidants of zinc and selenium.

Probiotics
Did you know your gut is your largest immune organ? Your intestinal tract is full of good bacteria that help fight off bad bacteria and keep you healthy. Also about 80% of the body's protective immunoglobulins are produced in the gut. The healthier your probiotics or good bacteria are the stronger your immune system will be. Eating yogurt with live active cultures or taking high quality probiotic supplements with live active cultures can help support your colonies of good bacteria.

Beta Glucan
Beta glucan is a simple soluble fiber that comes from the cell walls of grains like oats, wheat, barley, and red rice. It is also found in abundance in mushrooms such as maitake, reishi, Black Trumpet, Turkey Tail, oyster, Poria Cocos, and shiitake and certain seaweeds like luminaria and in Baker's yeast. Beta glucans help in boosting immune system function by stimulating macrophages and other immune cells that fight off foreign invaders and are very effective as an immunomodulator. The body can't produce beta glucan for itself so we have to get it from the foods we eat or from supplements such as this algae immune support supplement that contains reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms along with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae.

You don't have to settle for a less than optimally working immune system. If you find yourself catching every cold and flu bug that comes around, suffering from allergy symptoms or painful inflammation, it may be that your immune system needs a boost. Try adding some of these antioxidants and other immune boosting foods to your diet, get plenty of rest, find a way to cope with stress and look on the bright side of things and you'll be giving your immune system the support it needs to help keep you healthy.

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Sources:
http://www.sharecare.com/health/cold-and-flu/article/grapes-blueberries-boost-immune-system?eid=1010725978&memberid=54397827&_sid=null&#cmpid=sceml00
http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/7-superfoods-to-boost-immunity
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/antioxidants-your-immune-system-super-foods-optimal-health

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