Your Immune system is the best defense against diseases, ailments and chronic illness. It’s important that you take care of your immune system so that your immune system can continue to take great care of you.
How do you care for your immune system? By feeding your body nutrition packed, unprocessed and unrefined, whole foods! Here is a list of 10 superfoods to get your immune system operating in tip top shape!
1. Goji Berries
You already know about strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. You can usually buy a mixture of these berries in a frozen pack, but this berry gets left out of the mix, and is probably left out of your diet too!
These bright red, shriveled berries contain compounds called polysaccharides and two proteins called L-arginine and L-glutamine that are known immunity boosters. Goji berries are also rich in vitamin C and zinc, which help to protect against pathogens.
This is the perfect berry to snack on or sprinkle on your favorite salad!
Some people really don’t like broccoli, so they don’t eat it, but this is what they’re missing out on. One serving of broccoli can provide 10% of your daily vitamin C and vitamin A requirements. Broccoli also has vitamin E, and all three of these vitamins jammed in this flowery vegetable provide a great boost to your immune system.
A chemical called sulforaphane stimulates antioxidant action in the body, increasing immune function. This chemical is found in broccoli and cauliflower as well. A healthy vegetable dip can help make broccoli more consumable for those who don’t like this food, and your body will thank you for it!
When you were a kid, you probably didn’t give spinach a chance, but there’s no reason not to since you could blend a handful of spinach in a delicious smoothie and not taste it at all!
Spinach has loads of vitamin C and E, which, as mentioned before, are the best vitamin friends an immune system could ask for. In addition, spinach has phytochemicals such as quercetin that boost your immune system as well.
Mushrooms are fungi that our bodies think are “fun guys,” so your immune system likes to have them around! Probably not the best joke, but I’m not joking when I say that mushrooms have been used for centuries for their healing properties, including their ability to fight against bacterial and viral infections, and even cancer.
Mushrooms, particularly the shiitake, reishi and maitake variety, increase the production, activity and aggressiveness of white blood cells that fight infections. Mushrooms have beta-glucans that activate the production of immune cells. Perhaps now you will consider adding mushrooms as a topping on your next pizza.
5. Red Bell Peppers
They don’t ring, but these red bell peppers will give your immune system a good tune up! Red bell peppers are dense in nutrients such as phytochemicals and beta carotene. This vegetable also has a powerful vitamin C and vitamin E combination. Do you really need to get that pack of red, orange and yellow peppers when the red ones can do all this?
The probiotics in yogurt increase immune activity by destroying harmful bacteria and are great for protecting your gastrointestinal tract. Make sure to get plain yogurt. Many yogurts on the market are filled with sugar and harmful additives for the sake of flavor.
Is it “to-mai-to” or “to-maa-to”? We can argue over pronunciation, but we can’t argue against the benefits of this vegetable. Tomatoes have lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects white blood cells. Tomatoes also have beta carotene, which fights free-radicals that can cause cancer.
The seeds alone can give you more than 100% of your daily recommended magnesium. Pumpkin itself is stuffed with carotenoids and vitamin C that will strengthen cellular communication within the immune system and stimulate antibodies that fight off infections.
It’s kind of hard to find in the spring-summer season, so you might have to opt for canned pumpkin, or just wait until fall and get a fresh one. When you’re done carving faces out of your pumpkin, you can reward your immune system by eating this fantastic food.
9. Green Tea
Plain green tea is high in plant antioxidants i.e. catechins and polyphenols that can help create a robust immune system. Green tea helps to prevent the replication of viruses such as those associated with the common cold and influenza.
Although it is green tea, it is not herbal. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you probably don’t want to drink green tea before bed.
10. Fatty Fish
There are good fats, and there are bad fats. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and cod are healthy fats that help to reduce inflammation in your body. When you consume fatty fish, you will also consume many vitamins and minerals essential to a healthy immune system.
For more information on these foods, visit Cure Joy.
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