It is possible to use your diet to strengthen immunity, and diet is more important than many realize. Here's why. The immune system is filled with protective cells called white blood cells. There are many types of these killer cells and all work to kill bacteria, virus and other pathogens, eat harmful cells, and neutralize toxins including metabolic waste. Some even make antibodies. Our bodies must constantly regenerate and build new white blood cells, especially when harmful toxins enter or when metabolic waste is created.
To get your body, and immune system, on the right track, design your diet to strengthen immunity. Eating healthy will keep your body ready to defend itself anytime the “bad guys” come to visit.
Step one, avoid foods that harm. The wrong foods can actually weaken your immunity. For example, white, refined sugar has an adverse effect on the immune system and can literally stop it from working.
Junk foods and processed foods are not much better as they contain no natural nutrients for your body to use to make white blood cells when needed. At the same time, they are full of the harmful toxins that your immune system must neutraliz to protect you. This means less cells committed to fighting virus, bacteria and other pathogens.
Fresh Whole Vegetables are full of phytonutrients that your body uses to keep your immune system strong. These phytonutrients stimulate the release of enzymes within our bodies to protect cells and rebuild damaged cells. They also fight cancer.
As our bodies constantly make new cells, some rogue cells may reproduce themselves leading to damage or cancer of an organ. In many cases our bodies recognize and attack these out-of-control cells. Phytonutrients help our bodies do this and can also shut down pre-cancerous cells and neutralize carcinogens.
Veggies are necessary in a diet to strengthen immunity. Some important foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, kale, red and green peppers, broccoli and the dark leafy greens such as turnip greens, collard greens, spinach and romaine lettuce.
Fresh, whole fruits are also full of phytonutrients. They are immune building and help your body detox, naturally. Fruits are full of antioxidants and enzymes that protect our cells from damage. Many of the berries and red apples are high in flavinoids that protect us from heart disease.
Fruits for immune building include; pink and red grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, red apples, red grapes, bananas, cranberries, tomatoes, mangoes, tangerines, nectarines, peaches, oranges and watermelon.
Omega 3’s are healthy fats that have an immune building quality. They are anti-inflammatory and help prevent auto-immune disorders. They are needed in order for the body to absorb certain vitamins.
Foods containing Omega 3’s to strengthen immunity include; ground flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans and pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Good Bacteria found in the intestinal lining keep your immune system healthy. These healthy organisms stimulate the immune system, increase antibodies, and inhibit the absorption of pathogenic organisms such as e.coli and salmonella. Be sure that you and your children consume healthy, live bacteria especially at times of illness.
Foods containing good bacteria are; yogurt (check the label for live bacteria), and fermented foods such as homemade sauerkraut, miso and kifir.
Folate is essential for preventing damage to blood vessels and brain cells and ensures DNA integrity. The dark leafy greens are high in folate and include the following; spinach, romaine lettuce, mustard, turnip and collard greens, and kale.
Take charge of your health. Start with a diet to strengthen immunity, try a body cleanse to help your body clear toxins that can suppress your immune system and you may be surprised at how strong your body really is.