Having a strong immune system is not only desirable but a priority for maintaining good health. Super foods help you achieve just that. Super foods work towards making your immune system stronger so that you can fight away illnesses. There are a number of vegetables, fruits and other food items that fall under the category of super foods out of which we have compiled a list of 11 very helpful and easily available ones. In this article you will find how garlic, fish, teas, mushroom, cabbage, whole grains, berries, spinach, broccoli, yogurt and almonds can help boost and strengthen your immune system.
Garlic is said to be one of the strongest and most effective of super foods. It is effective against a number of illnesses and diseases. It lowers cholesterol and blood fat (triglyceride) levels. It prevents clogging of arteries thus reducing the risk of heart attack in patients with cardiovascular problems. Garlic also fights the bacteria that is responsible for ulcers and stomach cancer and is therefore considered as the most potential cancer preventive food by the National Cancer Institute. Garlic contains various antioxidants and it also works as antiviral and antibacterial. It also has the power to detoxify the body and remove mercury (from fish) and cadmium from the body. You can consume 2-3 cloves of garlic a day or even more on a sick day. Garlic in any form is good and effective whether you take it in the form of whole baked ones, garlic pills and capsules, garlic powder or chopped garlic in your food. While cooking with garlic, let the garlic remain idle for 15-20 minutes after being peeled and cut and before putting it in the food. This activates the enzymes that boost immune system.
Fatty fish contain omega 3 fatty acids that lower cholesterol levels as well as protect against inflammation caused by any disease, injury or infection. Therefore, fish like salmon, halibut, lake trout, flounder, albacore tuna, sardine and herring, that are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, strengthen your immune system. Apart from that, fish also help reduce threat of diabetes, arthritis, stroke, heart problems, Alzheimer and even cancer. Among the other benefits of fish, the reduction of depression can also be counted in. Experts suggest that adults should consume at least two fish meals per week. However, you should avoid any fish that contains mercury in it as it may cause health hazards to you instead of boosting your immunity.
Tea of various types have different kind of immune strengthening properties. Tea contains antioxidants that are extremely helpful in strengthening immune system. Different varieties of teas have quercetin that reduce allergies and also protect from inflammation. Catechins are also found in teas that help to reduce the likeliness of heart disease, Alzheimer and cancer. Green tea is found to be specially helpful in boosting immunity. Green tea contains antioxidant and catechins and thus is helpful in controlling and eliminating bacteria growth in your body apart from protecting your liver, kidney and heart from diseases and damage. Other than green tea, Chamomile tea and rooibos tea have also been found to be high in antioxidants and other immune boosting properties.
Mushrooms of different varieties have been found to be exceptionally good in making your immune system stronger. Mushrooms come with loads of antioxidants and selenium, both of which are extremely important in having a strong immune system. It has been found that reduced levels of selenium in the body can lead to the occurrence of more severe flu. Mushrooms also contain riboflavin and niacin of vitamin B along with antibacterial, antiviral and anti-tumor properties. The maitake, shiitake and reishi varieties of mushroom are very strong and powerful when it comes to boosting your immune system. While maitake variety is used to prevent and treat diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and viral diseases, consumption of shiitake mushrooms daily helps to reduce cholesterol levels up to 45 percent.
Whole grains retain their fiber, protein and nutrient content while they are processed and hence have a lot of properties that are helpful in building and maintaining a strong immune system. Whole grains come loaded with zinc (that is an important antioxidant) and selenium (that apart from boosting immune health helps prevent harm caused by cancerous cells). Whole grains are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium, all of which are helpful in building better immune system. Whole grains protect you against the threats of high cholesterol, heart disease, hypertension while helping you control your weight. Whole grains also boost lymphatic circulation. Include 3 servings of whole grains in your regular diet for a strong immune system. Oatmeal, whole grain bread, brown rice, wild rice, quinea, air-popped popcorn, whole grain cold cereals, pearled barley, bran cereals, bulgur, rye crackers, etc. are good sources of whole grain.
Out of the different varieties of berries, many have been found to be helpful in protecting against cardiovascular problems. Berries contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C that help to improve the immune system of the body. Elderberry is helpful in fighting away inflammation. A few studies link elderberry to blocking and fast recovery from flu. Blueberries are the most strongest and helpful ones when it comes to improving and strengthening immune system. Blueberries contain such antioxidants that work as anticancer. Blueberries also have significant and positive influence on digestive system, heart and cell tissues. The antioxidant anthocyanin in blueberries helps to improve brain functions and vision. It also works to slow down memory problems and motor coordination issues that are related to aging. Blueberries help reduce inflammation and are good against diseases such as Alzheimer, parkinson and diabetes.
Cabbages are easy to find, are in expensive and yet very powerful in strengthening your immune system. Whether you choose to have white cabbage, red cabbage or the Chinese variety of the vegetable, you will be only helping your immune system to grow stronger than before. Cabbages contain glutathione that is very effective in improving the immune system. Apart from immune boosting antioxidants, cabbage contains a compound known as indoles that helps to reduce the risk of cancer. The humble vegetable helps to kill bacteria and viruses and also purifies the blood. It has been found that including cabbage in your diet at least once a week can help reduce the likeliness or risk of colon cancer in men by 66 percent. Red cabbage is specially helpful as an anticancer vegetable as it contains the antioxidant called anthocyanins. Whether you eat raw cabbage, half cooked or add it in soups and stew, it will be equally beneficial for your immune system.
Spinach is a powerful super food that is packed with various kinds of nutrien
ts. It contains antioxidant known as beta carotene and other carotenoids. It is also rich in vitamin E, vitamin C and lots of fiber. Spinach contains folate that is very important to protect damage of blood vessels and brain cells. Folate also helps to produce new cells in the body and also repairs DNA. To get the most benefit from spinach, include raw or half cooked of the green leafy vegetable in your daily diet.
Broccoli is rich in vitamins A, C and E. It contains glutathione and antioxidants like beta carotene and other carotenoids. Broccoli is said to be effective in preventing cancer because it contains glusinolates and other compounds that are effective in fighting away and preventing occurrence of the disease. Broccoli also helps to fight away environmental threats to metabolism by helping mucous membranes form effective barrier. Include the vegetable in your daily diet to get the best from this powerful immune strengthening vegetable.
Yogurt is among the top immune boosting super foods. It is easily available in the market as well as it can be made at home without any inconvenience or significant expenditure. It contains protein, calcium and vitamins all of which are helpful in gaining a strong immune system. Apart from that, it also has amino acid. It contains good bacteria that are beneficial for the body and that helps to improve the digestive system of the body, thus, helping to boost the immune system of the body. Include one cup of yogurt in your daily diet to fight off cold and flu and other illnesses while building a strong immune system.
Indulge in a handful of almonds everyday to strengthen your immune system. Almonds include the highly effective and helpful omega 3s, manganese and vitamin E. They are high in fiber, calcium, protein and iron. Almonds also contain monounsaturated fat that helps to reduce cholesterol levels which in turn reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases. They protect you from stress since they contain riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B. Quite astonishingly, almonds help in weight reduction even after being relatively high in fat and calories. This in turn helps to keep the weight under control and prevent a lot of diseases that are associated with obesity or excess weight.