There’s no truer saying than “You are what you eat.” While you won’t turn into a donut by eating them, you’ll have donut around your middle if you eat too many. Food and diet is now being researched as an complimentary method to fight cancer and heart disease, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s also true that eating healthy can support a healthy immune system, which leads to fewer infections, colds and flu.
Everyone seems to understand that getting vitamin C is important, but it’s worth repeating.
Whether it’s citrus fruit, like grapefruit, tangerines, lemons or oranges, getting adequate vitamin C is important to your immune system. It helps increase the white blood cells that help fight infections, but your body doesn’t produce it. It’s not just in citrus fruit, it’s also in red bell peppers. Snack on red peppers with dip or try some of those colorful mini sweet peppers. One mini pepper has about 25 calories, but contains 271% of your RDA of vitamin C.
Add garlic to your dishes, sprinkle in some sage. Both have antibacterial properties. Rosemary, peppermint, ginger, oregano and thyme also are good. Garlic, known in old movies to keep vampires away, also helps lower blood pressure. The sulfur-compounds in garlic, like allicin, boost the immune system. Sage is a natural antiseptic. Rosemary is not only known for fighting infection, it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and has high amounts of vitamin A and C. Start spicing up your meals and sprinkling a bit of herbs in each. Your body will thank you and your palate will too. Holy basil is also a powerful virus fighter.
Whether you follow Popeye’s example and grab a can of spinach, or wolf down some broccoli sprouts and dip, it’s all good for your immune system. Broccoli is good for your body because it’s packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, plus beta carotene, which is used by the body to make vitamin A. Both are best when eaten raw or cooked as little as possible.
- Do you like berries? If you’re boosting your immune system, think elderberries. Not only are they antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial, some research shows they can help fight the flu.
- Grab a handful of nuts, like almonds or walnuts. They have healthy fat and loads of vitamin E, which boosts the immune system.
- Make your belly bugs happy by eating some yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut or kim chi. Make sure it has live bacteria. These healthy bacteria help give a kickstart to the immune system. Don’t get the yogurt with added sugar. Instead, add cut up fresh or frozen black cherries and walnut pieces to increase the benefits.
- Have a cup of green tea. Green tea contains he amino acid L-theanine. It can aid in the production of T-cells to fight infection.
For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness