Jun 8, 2021
Foods that will Boost your Immune System
With the never-ending challenges we are currently faced with regarding our immune systems, what better time to talk about immune boosting foods? There are endless foods that are phenomenal in helping to build strong immune systems. Perhaps the most important factor to remember is that consistency is the key to building immunity. We don’t build an armor-coated immune system overnight, just like we don’t build cardiovascular fitness overnight.
Let’s talk about just a few of the most powerful immune boosting foods we have readily available to us:
- Any green vegetable – broccoli, bok choy, spinach, kale, tatsoi, peas, cabbages, watercress, collard greens and mustard greens. Together, these green vegetables can simply be called Vitamin Green. These veggies are loaded with vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Vitamin A helps maintain strong bones, healthy skin and supports critical components of vision. Vitamin C is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants that minimize oxidative stress and damage to our cells. Vitamin C has been associated with lower risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
- Mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms – eat your fungus and build exceptionally strong immune systems as well as balancing hormones, aiding in digestion and helping to potentially fight cancer. From well-known mushrooms like shiitake, portobello, oyster, chanterelle and morels to lesser-known varieties like turkey tail, reishi and chaga mushrooms – these rascals have been known for their powerful health building attributes for at least 4,000 years. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics showed pictures of mushrooms calling them “the plant of immortality”. The Aztecs even kept mushrooms as sacred, so special they were only consumed in holy rituals. Mushrooms are known for helping with respiratory infections, helping to build the immune system in patients undergoing chemotherapy, aid in digestion and growth of good bacteria.
- Time for super powerful Vitamin D – in our clinics across the country, a majority of our new clients and patients are deficient in Vitamin D. Without a doubt, Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for our health. Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins our body can make with exposure to sunlight. This is why Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin”. Unfortunately, with many jobs keeping people indoors and during the winter months, we don’t get enough sunlight to keep us supplied with adequate Vitamin D. The best sources of natural Vitamin D are cold-water fish such as Cod, Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines and Tuna. Milk is often fortified with Vitamin D including almond milk, coconut milk and regular dairy milk. We already talked about mushrooms but they deserve another mention, they are high in Vitamin D as well. Vitamin D plays a critical role in brain health, bone health, weight management and immune response.
- Probiotics – most of us have heard something about probiotics but we may not know what they are good for. Probiotics are a form of good bacteria found in our gut which are responsible for everything from nutrient absorption to immune health. Probiotics are known to help lower cholesterol, protect against allergies and can aid in cancer prevention. Historically, people had plenty of probiotics from eating fresh foods from good soil and by fermenting foods to keep them from spoiling. Today, however, dangerous agricultural practices and decreased diet quality have caused our food supply to be significantly lower in probiotics. Even worse, many foods today actually contain antibiotics, which even kill off the good bacteria in our bodies. To get a good supply of probiotics we need to eat kefir (similar to yogurt), sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, raw cheeses, apple cider vinegar and brine-cured olives.
Category: Dr. Sterling