There are foods that you should eat regularly that will build up a strong immune system. These immune building foods can actually fight sicknesses and disease. Eat them regularly and see the difference for yourself and experience healthy holidays.
Top 12 Immunity Booster Foods
1. Garlic [Allium sativum]- this amazing food contains bacteria killing phytochemicals, it inhibits cancer causing free radicals and is an antiviral
agent. Garlic is a strong antioxidant and records have been found showing that it has been prescribed as far back as 3000 B.C. (1)
2. Lemon- This citrus fruit is very high in immune boosting vitamin C and stimulates the bodies production of glutathione, the number one antioxidant for the liver, which is the toxin filter of your body. A great way to get extra lemon juice into your diet is to make a tea of water, the juice of half a lemon, a scoop or two of stevia, by KAL and some ginger tea. Drink this morning and night for an amazing immune system boost. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice to your salad.
3. Mushrooms- Contain Beta Glucans which help the cells communicate and recognize and kill disease causing cells.
4. Green Tea- Acts as a detoxifier for the body and contains anti-cancer properties that disable cancer cells from creating more blood vessels to nourish themselves. This prevents cancer from occurring or growing.(2)
5. Agave Nectar- An all natural sweet syrup that is a great replacement for sugar and is safe for diabetics because it does not raise your insulin levels.
6. Stevia - a natural sweetener that is derived from an herb. It will not raise insulin levels and you can use as much of it as you desire. Be careful though, too much and it becomes bitter. Its a great artificial sweetener replacement for tea, coffee, etc..
7. Fresh fruits and vegetables- Make these the number one food you consume. They are great for snacks, in omelettes, in smoothies (yes, fresh spinach in your smoothie is yummy!), steamed, in salad, in your sandwich. Make a habit of eating them with every single meal. Fruit is best eaten by itself as a snack.
8. Sprouts- These are packed full of extraordinarily high amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, protein and fiber. They are considered a cancer fighting and disease preventing food. You can grow them yourself or you can get organic sprouts at most grocery stores. Make sure to check for freshness. Brocco sprouts have the highest amounts of nutrition. Add them to your salad and sandwiches. Kids like them too!
9. Water - This necessary ingredient to health is so important for flushing toxins from the body as well as keeping the body hydrated. Get at least 8 glasses of PURE water daily. You do not want to drink unfiltered water as “dirty” water will just add more toxins to your body. An inexpensive way to get good water is to buy it in bulk from a water filtration system at your grocery store. You bring your own 5 gallon bottles and fill them yourself for about $0.40/gallon.
10. Freshly squeezed vegetable juice- a great afternoon snack that will pack concentrated nutrients into your diet. Don’t buy the pasteurized versions as the process cooks away most of the valuable nutrition. A great base is carrot, celery, beet, and spinach.
11. Onions- Cooking with these gourmet nutritional powerhouses will add nucleic acid to your diet. This is a critical ingredient for detoxification. Onions also have antiviral and antibacterial properties, so using them in your cooking, along with garlic is very beneficial to your overall health.
12. Raw apple cider vinegar- According to Ann Louise Gittleman in her book, The Fast Track Detox Diet, “Apple Cider Vinegar contains acids that support friendly bacteria in their fight against yeast, even as it cleanses your digestive system….Some research suggests that it helps remove calcium deposits from joints and blood vessels without affecting the calcium levels in your bones and teeth. It’s also rich in potassium."(3) I use Bragg’s brand because is is raw and has no other ingredients. You can find it at Super Supplements and most health food stores.
Find which foods to avoid on the next page…
Foods That Break Down the Immune System
There are foods that many people eat on a daily basis that can feed cancer and disease. It is difficult for us to believe that this is really true because we are so used to being bombarded with seemingly wholesome commercials that make unhealthy food seem so harmless. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans and one of every four deaths results from cancer. It is time to take a serious look at the effects that certain foods have on your immune system.(4) Here are the foods you will want to stay away from or really limit if you’d like to stay healthy. I am only going to touch on the top three foods that wreak havoc on your immune system. If you can slowly wean yourself from these foods, you will be much more healthy and energetic.
1. Refined Sugar- This includes sugars such as sucrose, glucose, honey, maple syrup, glucose, and juice. All refined white sugar is very harmful to the immune system. According to Dr. Michael Murray MD, the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria is greatly reduced by the consumption of concentrated sugars.(5) According to Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, cancer actually feeds on sugar. Sugar is in a sense a fertilizer for tumors.(6) Since sugar inhibits the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, it is a food you want to stay away from if you do not want to get sick.
2. White Flour- White flour breaks down into sugar quickly in your body. All of its nutritional value has been stripped away. This popular baked goods ingredient sends your insulin levels soaring and has the same basic affect as sugar and thus, the same reasons to stay away from it.
3. Hydrogenated Oils (trans fats)- These are found in fried foods and many snack foods along with white flour and sugar. These are so bad for you that New York City banned the use of them in restaurants in 2006. The state of California banned their use in restaurants in July, 2008. Enough said, just stay away from them if you want to be healthy especially if you are at risk for heart disease. This deadly junk food ingredient wreaks havoc on your cholesterol. Instead of eating things with hydrogenated oils, use real butter, olive oil and canola oil.
When you do feel the urge to eat these foods and you just can’t resist them, go ahead and enjoy them, but add some protein or whole grain to the mix so that your insulin levels don’t skyrocket all at once. Only eat them very sparingly. In addition to eating healthy, you may also want to try nutritional supplements to boost immunity.
1. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, Penguin Group, New York, 2007, pg. 121
2. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, Penguin Group, New York, 2007, pg. 120
3. Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, Broadway Books, New York, 2005, pg. 134
4. Centers for Disease Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007, p. 29
5. Dr. Michael Murray, MD
6. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, Penguin Group, New York, 2007, pg. 61
Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.
This post is part of the series: Boost Your Immune System for the Holidays
Are you stressed out about everything you must accomplish this holiday season? Worried that on top of all the extra to-do’s you must add to your already stressful daily life, you might get sick too? Set your worries free by following this sure-fire advice to stay well through the holidays.