One of the best ways to keep your immune system strong and prevent diseases is to adopt a well balanced diet. It has been scientifically proven that eating certain foods will help keep your immune system on guard. A healthy diet is the foundation of a strong immune system. When you eat, you feed your cells. If those cells don’t get the nutrients they need, your body can not function properly. Here are five power foods that strengthen the immune system and improve your overall health:
Yogurt contains a healthy dose of good bacteria that can protect the body against infections. Eating yogurt rich in probiotics can improve the immune response by increasing the body’s white blood cell count. This food is particularly beneficial after you have been prescribed antibiotics. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients have beneficial effects on bone mass in people of all ages. Regular consumption of yogurt helps improve bone density and lowers the risk of osteoporosis.
Garlic not only boosts the immune system, but increases the efficiency of antibody production. Recent studies have shown that this flavorful member of the onion family helps prevent cancer. This super food contains ajoene, allicin, and thiosulfinates — three powerful compounds that help the immune system defeat viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Research indicates that people who eat more than six cloves a week face a lower risk of stomach cancer and colorectal cancer.
Fish is one of the best sources of selenium, a mineral that helps white blood cells produce cytokines – a type of protein that kills viruses and bacteria. Crabs, lobsters, and oysters have powerful anti-inflammatory effects and improve gut flora. The essential nutrients in fish also protect lungs from respiratory infections.
Mushrooms contain polysaccharides, which support the immune system. They also increase the production of cytokines, which are cells that prevent infection. Researchers have found that these foods enhance the activity of white blood cells and make them more aggressive. Maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms should be part of your daily diet.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and helps reduce cold symptoms by 23 percent. These foods are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. A diet rich in citrus fruits reduces the risk of several diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, severe birth defects, anemia, cataracts, kidney stone disease, and osteoporosis.