With all the stresses to our bodies in these modern times, our immune systems are often the first casualty. Luckily, there are all sorts of natural things that can be done to boost the immune system.
Nutrition experts say much of what our bodies to fight off infection need can be found in foods. It is true that a poor diet is a top factor in making us susceptible to illness. The top five foods that give your body the best immunity are beef, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, tea and yogurt. While an all-around healthy diet is crucial, these particular foods help us best flex our immunity muscles.
Adequately feeding our immune system boosts its fighting power. Immune boosters work in many ways. They increase the number of white cells in the immune system army, train them to fight better, and help them form an overall better battle plan.
Natural Immune System Boosters
Vitamin C: Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. It is available naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Also, you can buy a vitamin-C-fortified version of just about anything. Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. Vitamin C reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering blood pressure and interfering with the process by which fat is converted to plaque in the arteries. As an added perk, persons whose diets are higher in vitamin C have lower rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Vitamin E supplementation may also reverse some of the decline in immune response commonly seen in aging. Vitamin E has been implicated in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Carotenoids: Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging.
Bioflavonoid: A group of phytonutrients called bioflavonoid aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. Bioflavonoid protects the cell membranes against the pollutants trying to attach to them. A diet that contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at least six servings per day, will help you get the bioflavonoid needed to help your immune system work in top form.
Zinc: This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies. Zinc supplements have been shown to slow the growth of cancer.
Garlic: This flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. Garlic may protect against cancer, though the evidence is controversial.
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