We all know the saying: “You are what you eat.” And with flu season ramping up, a healthy diet matters more than ever. Here’s a list of 10 natural foods to supercharge immunity and boost overall health and wellness in the process.
- Chicken soup: Studies show that chicken soup, even store-bought, can reduce symptoms of cold and flu, and support the function of immune cells. Add fresh vegetables and herbs for extra nutrients.
- Broccoli: Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, are potent sources of powerful immune supporting nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, trace minerals zinc and selenium, and others to bolster immunity and support overall health.
- Green tea: ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) and L-Theanine are two powerful compounds found in green tea that support immunity and protect long-term health. L-Theanine in particular supports the immune system’s fight against foreign invaders, while ECGC protect cells against damage and offers numerous additional health benefits.
- Mushrooms: Culinary medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake and maitake are high in beta glucans, vitamin D and other powerful compounds that help support immune cells, promote healthy digestion and maintain numerous other areas of health.
- Chia seeds: These tiny seeds are nutritional powerhouses, high in antioxidants, nutrients and protein. They also contain a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and they support glucose metabolism. Chia seeds offer a significant boost to vital energy. Because of their extremely high nutritional content, they support numerous aspects of immunity and overall health.
- Garlic: Used medicinally for millennia, garlic is rich in powerful beneficial components, including allacin, a sulfur containing compound that helps fight foreign invaders. Garlic offers potent antimicrobial and immune support. It benefits cardiovascular health as well.
- Yogurt, kiefer and kim chee: These cultured foods are high in probiotics (beneficial bacteria) that maintain immunity in the gastrointestinal tract and support digestive and overall health.
- Sweet potatoes: Approximately ½ cup of sweet potatoes provides up to 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A, in the form of beta carotene. Vitamin A, an important immune-supporting nutrient, helps protect mucus membranes while maintaining immune response in these sensitive tissues.
- Pumpkin seeds: These seeds contain approximately 10 mg of zinc per 100 grams of seeds. Zinc is a trace mineral that provides critical support to immune cells.
- Burdock root: This hearty root is high in a compound called inulin that helps to promote strong immunity, balance blood sugar and support organs and tissues. Commonly prepared in soups, salads or as a tea.
Along with immune-boosting foods, there are a number of botanical and nutritional supplements that safely and effectively offer natural immune support. When combined with a healthy diet, proper stress relief and regular exercise, natural immune solutions can elevate your vitality give you the upper hand against this year’s aggressive viruses. Here are some top recommendations:
Medicinal mushroom formulas: Offer targeted immune solutions for both acute and long-term support. Additional beta glucans in mushroom formulas further support immunity and overall health. Many species of medicinal mushrooms have long been revered around the world for their remarkable healing benefits.
Modified Citrus Pectin: Derived from citrus peels, this form of pectin has been shown to provide support for the immune system and to safely remove heavy metals from the body. It is also the only natural agent capable of blocking the harmful effects of elevated galectin-3 levels in the body, thereby protecting against cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
The Healthy Difference
As this year’s cold and flu season escalates, what you eat might mean the difference between staying healthy or staying home. With targeted immune-enhancing foods, supplements and lifestyle habits, you can elevate your vitality and immunity and avoid this year’s viral epidemics. So remember to eat well, reduce stress, move your body and supplement with all-natural ingredients that reflect the principles of good nutrition.
For more practical health and wellness information, visit www.dreliaz.org.