4 Power Foods That Boost Immunity

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that help to defend the body against attacks by foreign invaders (primarily bacteria, parasites and fungi) and it functions better when it is protected from environmental assaults and is supported by healthy-living strategies. Although the immune system does a remarkable job of defending the body against disease-causing microorganisms, it sometimes fails, as germs invade successfully and lead to sickness. This is why it is important to make the immune system stronger by supporting it with a healthy lifestyle and diet. Below are some power foods to help boost your immunity.

1. Garlic 

Garlic is a potent onion relative that contains a compound known as allicin, which has potent medicinal properties and fights infection and bacteria. Garlic is also known to boost the immune system and help prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses such as the flu and the common cold. A British study, which ran for 12 weeks, found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with a placebo. Following the study, the average length of cold symptoms was reduced by 70%, from 5 days in placebo to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.

2. Chicken soup

Chicken soup is known to help combat cold and speed up the movement of mucus through the nose, to relieve congestion. A study at the University of Nebraska found that in all the 13 brands they tested, all but one blocked the migration of inflammatory white cells, as cold symptoms arise from a response to the cells’ accumulation in the bronchial tubes. The singled-out brand was the chicken-flavored ramen-noodles, which is likely as a result of the amino acid known as cysteine released from chicken.

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3. Beef

Beef is a rich source of good-quality protein, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium. Zinc and selenium are important for the immune system to function effectively, and the deficiency of these two nutrients have led to common nutritional short shortfalls among American adults. Zinc helps in the development of white blood cells that recognizes and destroys invading bacteria, viruses, and other invading pathogens.

4. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics known as gut-friendly bacteria that helps in digestion and also to keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease causing organisms. This results in improved digestion, protection against colon cancer and gum disease, and also an overall immunity boost. A study from the University of Vienna in Austria shows a daily 7-ounce dose of yogurt to be just as effective in boosting immunity as popping pills, so you can also opt for supplements.

Regular intake of these foods will help to strengthen immunity and reduce your risk of common infections.

Image courtesy of: cdn.cnn.com, bbcgoodfood.com, epicurious.com.

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