Tuesday, March 11, 2014

5 Foods To Supercharge Your Immune System

Feeling under the weather? Instead of running to the local drugstore, try heading for your kitchen cabinet. You don’t even have to leave home to boost your immune system — you may even start feeling better immediately. Make these five foods kitchen mainstays and you’ll boost your health and vitality all year long.

1. Garlic
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic, so it’s great to add to your diet when you’re feeling not-so-hot. Compounds like allistatin, allicin, garlicin, and ajoene deliver super-strong antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and immune-enhancing benefits. Fresh garlic is best (and large quantities of it!) so add the flavor-maker to your meals. It’s incredible for you, so the garlic breath is worth it!

2. Green Tea
Green tea contains polyphenols, potent plant antioxidants, which give it immune-system boosting effects. And, EGCG, the active compound in green tea, has been known to fight bacteria and viruses. Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea, making an already simple daily booster even easier to get in your system.

3. Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the foods with the highest antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is antiviral, anti-fungal, and can help protect against cancer. Inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases, so turmeric is a must. Up your body’s absorption significantly by mixing turmeric with black pepper.

4. Fermented Foods
If you want to boost your immune system in a major way, adding fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi, is important. Fermented foods contain healthy, friendly bacteria that help to balance your gut flora — this is where 70% of your immune system is housed! It’s crucial to keep everything in working order down there.

5. If you’re looking for immune-boosting supplements, 3 of my top picks are probiotics, vitamin D and glutathione. But, when it comes to easy — and delicious — everyday improvements, healthy food is really where it’s at.

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