How to Boost Immunity

Posted by on Friday, February 24, 2017

When looking to support your immune system in addition to supplements and vitamins eating certain foods can also help. 

Here are a list of some foods that can help to boost immunity.  

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are essential in helping to boost immunity though your diet. These foods are enzyme rich full of friendly microorganisms that balance the inner ecosystem of your body and help to strengthen your immunity.  Friendly, healthy bacteria are beneficial for your gut’s immune system that helps to aid in the production of antibodies. 

Some examples of fermented foods are kefir, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, saurekraut, and yogurt.

Locally Grown Organic Vegetables

Eating locally grown organic fruits and vegetables that are filled with vitamins, miners and and antioxidants are important to fighting off pathogens and increasing immunity.  

Blueberries and Raspberries are very high in antioxidants and contain a powerful

phytochemical called anthocyanin. 

Mushrooms strengthen your immune system because they are rich in

protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals. 

Mushrooms also contain powerful compounds called beta-glucans, which have been long known for their immune enhancing properties. The beta-glucans in medicinal mushrooms (especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake) are notable for their ability to activate/modulate your immune system.

Cleanse Your Gut

Oregano oil can help you improve your gut health and boost your immune system. It helps to eliminate bad bacteria that may be affecting your digestive system.  Your gut/digestive system is the second brain of the body and is important to improving immunity.  When using oregano oil to cleanse your gut, spread out your doses and take 200 mg 3 times a day.

Support Your Liver

Your liver is in charge of flushing out toxins in the body and it is important to support your liver so that it can do its job efficiently.  You can support your liver by eating more Glutathione-heavy vegetables like avocados, carrots, broccoli, spinach, apples, asparagus and melon. This antioxidant neutralizes free radicals, super charges the immune system and detoxifies the liver. This is the best way to remove chemicals circulating in your body from environmental and food-based toxins like pesticides. Just increase your intake of these vegetables and they will do all the work.

Your liver is responsible for producing bile that breaks down fats, so one area of your diet you want to be sure you don’t forget about is the type of fats you eat. Eating healthy fats like almonds, coconut, walnuts, hemp, chia, and flax, along with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, olives, and avocado are all the best sources of fat for your diet. Avoid animal fats that lead to artery-clogging inflammation and avoid vegetable oils (like corn and soy) at all costs.

Attend to Your Adrenals

Your adrenal glands are 2 small, but mighty organs that sit on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands have many roles in your body including producing hormones (including cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline), which are responsible for controlling your stress response, weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and immune system. They are commonly referred to as your "fight or flight" organs. 

Your "fight or flight" response is your body’s ability to respond to stress acutely. When this occurs your body responds by releasing cortisol (your stress hormone), your heart rate and respiration rate increase and your body is able to handle the situation. However, when your body is constantly exposed to stressful events or stressors, the adrenal glands continually dump out cortisol and eventually cannot keep up and tend to wear out or collapse. This is known as adrenal fatigue. 

Stress in an inevitable part of life and there will always be demands and deadlines to keep up with. The best way to support your adrenal glands is to focus on things that are in your control and work towards minimizing the load on your adrenals through the following suggestions. 

Adding avocados to your diet is an easy way to support adrenal function and health and keep your immune system happy. Avocados contain essential amino acids, antioxidants and some healthy fats to help balance hormone production. To attend to your adrenals, try having 1 serving (1/2 cup) per day!

Clear Your Lungs

According to Ayurvedic traditions, ginger warms the body and helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs, particularly in the lungs and sinuses. Ayurveda also believes that ginger helps to cleanse the lymphatic system, which is our body’s sewage system. By helping keep your airways and lymphatics open, ginger may help prevent the accumulation of the toxins that may increase your risk of infection.

Supplements to Help Build Immunity 

Vitamin C - although there has been some doubt in the community about whether taking vitamin C supplements can help with your immune system, here’s a statement from the most recent Cochrane Database, considered one of the most rigorous international bodies on data review: Given the consistent effect of Vitamin C on the duration and severity of colds in the regular supplementation studies, and the low cost and safety, it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to rest on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them.

Reishi and maitake mushrooms - the beta-glucans in these mushrooms have powerful effects on the immune system and this is widely used in Asia as both food and medicine.

Arabinogalactan & astragalus root - great for priming your immune system to fight. This product contains therapeutic potencies.

Vitamin D has a huge impact in many elements of the immune system. A growing number of studies find that low levels of vitamin D is associated with an increase of URIs, pneumonia, influenza, etc. In short, vitamin D is at its lowest in the winter so it is important to supplement. If you already have a vitamin D deficiency, take 5000 IU per day for 8 weeks. A good maintenance dose is 1000-2000 IU per day. 

Magnesium Low levels of magnesium is most prevalent around this time (about 48% of US populations does not meet daily requirement for magnesium) and it is a major driver of inflammation. From a study conducted in 2010 by Rosanoff, et al, patients who took 170mg of magnesium for 6 months saw an objective & subjective improvement in bronchial reactivity and in quality of life. 300-400 mg a day for most of us is sufficient, but asthma patients may need a higher dose. 

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