10 Immune System Boosting Foods You’ll Love

By:    Published: October 7, 2011

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The human body is naturally equipped to deal a powerful mechanism for fighting off foreign substances. The immune system is comprised of powerful antibodies and strong white blood cells that attack and destroy impurities and dangerous bacteria as well as illness-causing viruses and other intruders. When the immune system is in perfect functioning condition, illnesses are extremely rare. However, several factors can slowly chip away at the immune system's ability to function. A good diet can improve the function of the immune system and help the body fight off disease. By consuming a few important foods on a regular basis, you can ensure that your immune system is in peak condition, which will in turn help you to avoid common illnesses.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that is featured predominantly in many Asian dishes. The ingredients in this spice can help to detoxify the body by removing impurities. Turmeric may also aid the body by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. If the white blood cells are not able to reach the source of an infection because of poor circulation, the infection cannot be eliminated.

2. Yogurt

Good yogurt is filled with probiotics, which are the live bacteria cultures that give yogurt its distinctive sour flavor. While some consumers take probiotics in a supplement form, the immune system can benefit equally from the probiotics in an individual serving of yogurt. Choose yogurt that specifically lists "live and active cultures" as one of the key ingredients.

3. Garlic

Garlic is a relative of the onion family, and while it is fabled to ward off vampires and other evil spirits, it actually has powerful antibacterial and immune system boosting properties. Raw cloves of garlic contain an ingredient known as allicin which can kill bacteria and other infectious body intruders. Consumers who eat a clove of garlic every day have a much lowered risk of contracting the common cold.

4. Oranges

Oranges are filled with vitamin C, a crucial vitamin that assists and boosts the immune system. Sailors in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries carried barrels of dried oranges with them on their voyages to help ward of diseases and prevent the contraction of scurvy. Eating an orange, or another citrus fruit rich in vitamin C every single day can jump start your immune system.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a type of fungus, and humans have relied on these funny looking fungal growths for centuries to fight off disease and improve the immune system. Eating mushrooms can help to make the white blood cells in your body more aggressive and stronger. White blood cells are the soldiers of the human body, and strong soldiers are critical in preventing disease and infection from spreading throughout the body.

6. Oats and Barley

Whole oats and whole grain barley can actually help to improve the immune system and can partner with antibiotics to make medication more effective. Oats and barley are loaded with beta-glucan, a special fiber compound that has powerful antioxidant properties. Consuming oats can help the human body resist influenza, speed wound healing time and boost the immune system.

7. Tea

Whether you prefer black or green tea, consuming this beverage several times per day can help boost your immune system and make your body resistant to viruses and infection. Tea leaves contain a special amino acid known as L-Theanine, which is a critical supplement for excellent immune system health. If you are concerned with the caffeine levels in tea, don't worry: decaffeinated varieties contain the same levels of the immune system boosting amino acid.

8. Spinach

Spinach has recently been dubbed a "super food" and for good reason: this leafy green vegetable is loaded with more nutritious content per ounce than almost any other vegetable or fruit available for human consumption. The folate in spinach can help to repair damaged DNA and replace cells that have been killed by bacteria or viral infections. Spinach is also loaded with vitamin C, which helps to pump up the immune system.

9. Pumpkin

Pumpkin isn't just a food for autumn weather, and it can be used in a variety of ways other than a sweet and spicy pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is bright orange, and in fruits and vegetables the color orange is an indicator of immune system boosting properties. Pumpkin is filled with Vitamin E which is an effective antioxidant that can help eliminate impurities from the body and assist the immune system.

10. Oysters

Oysters are touted through much of the Asian continent as aphrodisiacs and infertility treatments, but experts are also discovering that this crustacean is able to boost the effectiveness of the immune system. Oysters are loaded with zinc, a vitamin that is often prescribed to effectively combat the common cold. Zinc can also help boost the immune system's ability to speed wound healing and recovery times.

Proactive Eating for a Superb Immune System

The adage "prevention is the best medicine" is common for a reason. While treating illnesses like the common cold or the stomach flu is usually met with success, avoiding these illnesses altogether by naturally boosting your immune system is the best way to stay healthy. Illnesses can run you down and cause you to lose work, sleep, and energy. If, however, your body is well tended to, it can become your best ally.

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