Foods to Eat to Boost Immunity and Prevent Infections

The start of winter is an excellent time to bring your health up to the best it can be. Unfortunately winter can be a time where infections threaten, however you can boost your immunity and help prevent infections by changing what you eat and drink.

Say “no” to anything which damages to your immune system such as sugar (any very sweet foods), alcohol, poor quality fats found in processed oils, margarines, processed and fast foods.

If you are overweight making these changes will also help decrease your weight. People who are obese are more likely to have lower immunity and are more likely to get infections. Obese people are likely to have an abundance of foods and drinks which damage their bodies and very few nutrient rich foods. Although it may seem strange obese, overweight people often suffer from malnutrition; their bodies are starved of the nutrients vital for survival.

One of nature’s best immune system boosters is garlic, all the better raw; use it in dips or make a garlic lemon tea.

 Fruit and vegetables are high in nutrients that help you stay well and ward of illness. Just because its winter you don’t have to avoid salads. You may need warming foods .Instead of cooked veggies have a salad with your hot meal. Homemade soups are another way to increase your vegetables. Whilst eating more vegetables don’t neglect to include protein as this also is very important for a strong immune system.

Studies have shown that many nutrients are crucial to fight off infection. Zinc is crucial for the immune cells to work. If you are deficient in zinc you are more likely to get infections; very low zinc levels increase the risks serious conditions such as pneumonia. Zinc is found in seafood esp. oysters, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, meat (best organic), poultry (best organic) mushrooms, organic soybeans, and brewers yeast. Make sure you avoid alcohol as it uses up precious zinc supplies.

Vitamin C along with other nutrients that boost immunity such as Vitamin A (safest to take as ß-carotene), the B vitamins, iron, and selenium are all found in vegetables; so have a few more portions than you think you may need, to give yourself that extra help. All fruit is high in vitamin C, especially Kiwifruit, and citrus fruit; eat no more than 3 pieces of fruit a day to avoid having too much sugar.

Oily fish, flaxseed oil, and extra virgin olive oil will help provide the good quality fats you need; it is particularly important to get adequate omega 3 fatty acids to keep those winter bugs at bay. Vitamin D is hugely important to immunity; oily fish is a good source as is sunlight so stop snuggling in and get out in the sunshine to get some more vitamin D. A brisk walk will warm you up, boost your immunity make you feel so good that you’ll enjoy the wintery days.



Original Article May 2013

Copyright Jaine Kirtley