The immune system is among the most amazing parts of the human machinery. When germs and other foreign objects enter our bodies, the immune system springs into action. Unfortunately, sometimes even the immune system could break down. Many people walk around today with immune systems that are not working as efficiently as it should.
Stress, improper diet, lack of exercise and environmental factors can all negatively influence the immune system. In addition, if the immune system is having a bad day, we are more likely to get sick. Illness is harder on our bodies, and we do not recover as quickly as we should.
However, we can improve the immune system, and we do not need prescription or over-the-counter drugs to do it. Eating the right foods gives us the nutrients that our immune systems need to be at the top of their game. Here are some of the best immune-boosting foods:
How To Build Up Your Immune System
* Citrus fruits – Eating plenty of oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits is a great way to build the immune system. They contain lots of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps increase the production of white blood cells and antibodies. A medium orange contains 75 milligrams of vitamin C.
* Carrots – Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene. This phytonutrient is a close ally of the immune system. It promotes the production of killer cells and T cells, which are powerful infection fighters. Studies have also shown that falcarinol, a compound found in carrots, may help prevent and fight cancer.
* Garlic – Garlic is superb at fighting almost any type of infection. It is often used in herbal remedies. Just eating it a few times a week will help keep the immune system at its peak. For best results, eat garlic fresh and crush it thoroughly. This will maximize the amounts and availability of the infection-fighting compounds present.
* Yogurt – Yogurt is rich in bacterial cultures. This might sound like the last thing your immune system needs, but the acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt are essential to its proper function. Acidophilus bacteria help us absorb the nutrients in our food and fight disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Another type of bacteria found in yogurt, bifidobacterium, is particularly beneficial to the elderly.
* Oysters – Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc one could hope for. Zinc aids in the reproduction and function of antibodies. It also hinders bacterial and viral growth, making it easier for the immune system to kill harmful germs.
* Fatty fish – Omega 3 fatty acids are present in large quantities in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. They encourage activity in phagocytes, the white blood cells that consume bacteria. Adding a vitamin E supplement will enhance this effect.
If we take care of our immune system, it can fight off most diseases and infections without the aid of antibiotics and other drugs. Including these foods in our diet is a good start.