4 Ways to boost your immune system using simple food choices

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The best way to avoid developing colds, influenza and other viral diseases this winter is not to go out and get more vaccines and over the counter drugs. Your immune system is equipped to fight these conditions naturally on its own, provided you feed your body the nutrients it needs. Here are four ways you can strengthen your natural immune system using simple food choices:

1. GARLIC
This powerful member of the onion family is commonly known to promote health and prevent disease. Garlic is high in ‘allicin’ which has been strongly linked to having a disease-fighting effect. This powerful antioxidant compound helps scavenge free radicals and helps reduce inflammation. Garlic as a whole has also been strongly linked to prevent and treat respiratory disease, bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.

2. SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of both vitamin A and C and are another essential immune boosting food. Sweet potatoes are one of the most effective foods fro boosting glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is often referred to as a ‘master antioxidant’, as it plays a vital role in detoxifying cells and fighting free radicals.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ and our first line of defense against harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.

3. MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms have been traditionally used for many years in Chinese medicine for their incredible ability to strengthen the immune system. Mushrooms of all sorts including button, reishi, maitake, shiitake and oyster mushrooms have all been strongly linked in research to possess unique immune boosting properties that make them a worthy addition to your diet.

4. BRASIL NUTS
One of nature’s richest sources of selenium, a vital mineral for immune function. Brazil nuts are distinctively beneficial in promoting a healthy immune system. Selenium has been strongly recognized for its ability to stimulate the production of ‘antibodies’, the body’s army that detects and destroys invaders like bacteria and viruses. Selenium also plays a role in the production of glutathione, which as mentioned above boosts the immune system.

Try incorporating more of these foods into your diet as we come into the winter months and naturally boost your body’s immune system.

Ashleigh’s Brazil Nut Bolognese

Sources:
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/5/14575.full
http://drnevillewilson.com
http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090130154901.htm

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