Ten Foods That Fight Illness
It's flu-fighting season. You can stock up on vitamins...or you can just eat the foods that will help keep you from getting sick!
Here is a list of the top 10 immune boosters, and they're all tasty and easy to add to your diet!
1. Yogurt: The 'live active cultures' are healthy bacteria that keep your intestinal tract free of disease-causing bacteria and germs. A daily 7-ounce serving of yogurt is just as effective in boosting immunity as medications. Also look at the label for Vitamin D, since a deficiency of this vitamin is associated with increased risk of cold and flu.
2. Oats or Barley: These contain a special fiber which acts as both an antioxidant and an antimicrobial, two very important substances that protect cells from damage. And they are more potent than the popular herb echinacea.
3. Garlic: Contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights against infection and bacteria. Garlic eaters are two-thirds less likely to catch a cold. Other research shows that people who eat more than six cloves of garlic a week have half the rate of stomach cancer.
4. Fish: Contains selenium, which helps white blood cells produce proteins that rid your body of flu viruses. An extra bonus of eating fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring is that you load up on omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, increase air flow, and protect lungs from colds and respiratory infections.
5. Beef: An excellent source of zinc, which helps the development of white blood cells. People with even a mild zinc deficiency are more susceptible to infection.
6. Sweet Potatoes: This starch is rich in Vitamin A, which helps build the connective tissue of the skin. As the first line of defense in fighting bacterial and other infections, maintaining healthy skin is a critical part of staying well.
7. Mushrooms: Increase the production and activity of white blood cells. shiitake, maitake, and reshi mushrooms seem to be the best for immune systems.
8. Berries: Dark or bright berries - blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries - contain anthocyanins, which strengthen the immune system and fight disease.
9. Tea: Five cups of black tea a day can give you ten times more virus-fighting interferon in your blood. Both black and green tea contain L-theanine, which builds proteins and aids the immune system.
10. Chicken Soup: Clears nasal congestion in the same way cough medicines do. Chicken soup also has an anti-inflammatory agent. The sulfur amino acid cycsteine, released from chicken during cooking, contributes a powerful boost to the immune system.