With a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise, most people’s immune systems do a pretty good job of warding off potentially harmful micro-organisms and combating the occasional infection or illness.
But there are foods that seem to provide an extra boost to the immune system and possess other healthy properties to boot, and most of them have the added bonus of being delicious and easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. If you have questions about the links between your diet and your health, consult with your primary care physician.
Other berries like raspberries and blackberries are healthy as well, but blueberries in particular, have proven themselves as immune-system boosters. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and low in sugar compared with other fruits and vegetables. They also contain phytochemicals, which contribute to their color and have shown promise in keeping health problems including cancer and stroke at bay.
Garlic has demonstrated an ability to fight infections, and researchers believe it has value in defending the body against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The regular consumption of fresh garlic has shown benefits in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It also keeps vampires at bay.
While many types of teas have been linked to health benefits, certain green teas are especially good for the immune system due to their high levels of polyphenols, chemical compounds with antioxidant properties. Prevalent in green tea are flavonoids, polyphonic compounds that growing research suggests promise to prevent viral infections, coronary heart disease, and cancer.
Everyone’s favorite fungi, mushrooms—in particular, shiitake, enoki, maitake, and reishi—are rich in polysaccharides, which help support the immune system. They also contain beta-carotene, a valuable antioxidant, and stimulate the production of cytokines, the cells that help you fight infections.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies in hues of purple, blue, red, orange and yellow are chock full of immune system-friendly vitamins like C and E, as well as other compounds with antioxidant value. Think: apricots, asparagus, beets, carrots, corn, egg plant, green peppers, peaches, pumpkins, spinach, squash and sweet potatoes.
These leafy, often-green vegetables are believed to support liver and immune system functions by helping your body flush toxins. Cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale among others.
If you’re seeking a knowledgeable, compassionate primary care doctor in the Littleton, Colorado, area, please contact Dr. Andy Fine online or call our office at 303-703-8583 to schedule your appointment.