7 Foods to Boost Your Immune System Posted in: Featured, Food Power – Tags: , , , , , ,

Just because the winter months are over doesn’t mean there’s less chance of getting a cold – the body is just as susceptible in July as it is in December. Don’t worry, though, these nine foods are among the best at giving a boost to your immune system.

Mushrooms

A new University of Florida study shows increased immunity in people who eat a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks. In a 2011 study led by UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival, 52 healthy adults, aged 21 to 41, came to the Gainesville campus, where researchers gave them a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms.

Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. Then they ate one, 4-ounce serving of mushrooms each day during the experiment. Through blood tests before and after the experiment, researchers saw better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.

9 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

7 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

Yogurt

Research suggests that consuming a cup of low-fat yogurt each day can reduce the likelihood of catching a cold by up to a quarter. The bacteria Lactobacillus Reuteri, has been found to stop viruses replicating within the body. Make sure you buy organic yogurt, though.

Immunologic effects of yogurt

Whole Grains

Whole grains such as oats and barley are very effective for building the immune system, due to their antioxidant capabilities which are believed to be stronger than echinacea. Studies have found that animals consuming a diet rich in whole grains are less likely to contract influenza, and in humans they can boost immunity and speed wound-healing.

Garlic

Garlic is commonly known to clear sinuses, which is great for you should you already have a cold, however garlic has anti-bacterial properties and can also be used to prevent illness. Gravediggers drank crushed garlic in wine believing it would protect them from the plague. Meanwhile, recent studies suggest the likelihood of getting a cold can be reduced by up to two thirds by consuming garlic.

9 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

Tea

Hot tea is not only excellent for clearing sinuses by thinning mucus, it’s also awesome for being high in flavanoids, which are powerful antioxidants. The properties in tea make it a fantastic supplement to a healthy diet, whilst compounds called polyphenols in tea are thought to protect against cancer. Lastly, people who drank tea saw improvements in mood, concentration, and performance.

Chicken Soup

I never used to believe this one, however after copious amounts of research many studies back up chicken soup’s ability to fight even the most stubborn of colds!

“Nasal mucus velocity and nasal airflow resistance were measured in 15 healthy subjects before, and at 5 and 30 minutes after drinking hot water by sip or straw, hot chicken soup by sip or straw, and cold water by sip. A sham drinking procedure with straw was also employed. Hot water by sip increased nasal mucus velocity from 6.2 to 8.4 mm per min, hot chicken soup by sip from 6.9 to 9.2 mm per min, and chicken soup by straw from 6.4 to 7.8 mm per min five minutes after administration.” – Chicken soup effects on nasal velocity

9 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

7 Foods to Boost Your Immune System – Chicken soup

Beef

Naturally high in zinc, beef is an excellent choice to help the body’s immune system perform optimally. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses, whilst using it to make proteins and DNA.

In one trial, 50 subjects (within 24 hours of developing the common cold) took a zinc lozenge or placebo every 2–3 wakeful hours. Compared with the placebo, the zinc lozenges significantly reduced the duration of cold symptoms (cough, nasal discharge, and muscle aches).

So there you have it, 7 Foods to Boost Your Immune System. If you swear by any food when you feel yourself coming down with a cold, let us all know by commenting below, and remember, sharing is caring!

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