4 Immunity Boosting Foods

4 Immunity Boosting Foods

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You have done everything you can to stay healthy and boost the power of your immune system. You had a flu shot. You wash your hands often throughout the day, and maybe carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer for extra protection from germs. You take your Vitamin C and drink many glasses of water daily. But do you eat with your immune system in mind? It's easy to choose foods that will fortify your defense against the flurry of germs around you. Try building a menu around some of these immunity boosting foods to keep your immune system strong.

 

Listen To Your Mother

It turns out that your mother was right about a lot of things. If she counseled you to eat hot chicken soup for your health, you should follow her advice. The classic elixir of hot broth, chicken, vegetables and herbs may do more than make you feel cozy and well loved. The steamy broth helps to keep you hydrated and loosens mucus, making it easier to breathe. If you add garlic and onion to your cup of soup, you will infuse the recipe with more immunity-boosting strength.

 

Magic Mushrooms

Whether you consider mushrooms a lowly fungus or an exotic ingredient, you need to know that they pack a powerful punch. Mushrooms help speed production of white blood cells, the cells that help your body fight infection. Add mushrooms to your omelet, sauté some for a burger or toss them in a salad, and you will treat your body to a burst of vitamin B2, the mineral selenium and other antioxidants. Shiitake, reishi and other Asian mushrooms, are said to be most effective in battling illness.

 

Think Orange

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are brimming with vitamins. The orange array of foods are particularly good for your immune system. Pumpkin, squash, yams, cantaloupe, and carrots are all full of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is another supplement that is thought to help generate those infection-fighting white blood cells. Does this mean that pumpkin pie might actually be good for you?

 

Yes To Yogurt

This creamy dairy product perfected by the Greeks contains live cultures that can actually protect your stomach and intestines from germs. Probiotics are a form of healthy bacteria that benefit your system. Some health studies show that workers who ate yogurt with live cultures were healthier and missed significantly less work than their colleagues. Mix plain yogurt with berries or granola for breakfast, or combine it with herbs and lemon juice to create a dip or salad dressing. The probiotics found in yogurt also can be taken in pill or powder form as a supplement.

 

Bonus Food

Garlic is not only is a great way to keep vampires at bay, it will help you fend off colds as well. The tiny bulbs are full of anti-oxidants that may help your body resist illness and disease. To unleash garlic's full benefits, peel the bulbs and mince, chop or crush them as necessary for the dish. Let the garlic sit for about 20 minutes before cooking for maximum impact.

Editor, 01/10/2013

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