The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that naturally work together to protect the body from viruses, parasites, fungi and other foreign substances which cause damage. Our immune system is everywhere. It’s present in the glands in the throat, the bloodstream, the mouth and lymphatic tissues.
Our immune system becomes weak through unhealthy food choices, physical and emotional stress, environmental toxins, allergies and more. Fortunately we have the ability to improve it through the foods we eat. By eating healthy whole foods we are consuming nutrients which are vital to help build up our immune system so we have resistance to colds and flus, virusess and bacteria. There are also particular foods which contain unique compounds that interact with the immune system in a powerful and positive way.
Signs you have a weakened immune system
- You frequently experience cold and flu symptoms
- You feel fatigued
- You feel stressed
- Your injuries take long to heal
- You crave unhealthy food
- You’re struggling with illness symptoms, anything from skin issues, headaches, or gut problems, to arthritis and cancer
Top 5 foods to strengthen your immune system
I always recommend you don’t wait until you’re sick to consume these types of foods. It’s important to incorporate foods like this in to your diet even when you’re not sick on a consistent basis to build and maintain a healthy immune system. By doing so you will create an immunological momentum, meaning the more you eat them, the better they work. It’s extra important though to up your intake when you feel the pressure around you of other people who are sick, or you feel like your body is struggling.
Medicinal mushrooms are an immunological food which is being increasingly used as a safe way to treat a number of diseases. They contain a nutrient called beta glucan which is found in the fungal cell wall. It has been shown to effectively support the immune system in fighting off bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections by stimulating the effects of the natural killer cells in the body. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-protective, anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective and anti-cancer properties.
All types of medicinal mushrooms have immune boosting properties, but Reishi, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Chaga are among the best and most popular. Medicinal mushrooms are found in various forms in health food stores and online: pills, capsules, tinctures, and powder.
Berries’ immune boosting properties are mainly due to their phytochemical and vitamin content. Berries are chock full of Vitamin C which has very valuable immune boosting properties. Vitamin C deficiency has been linked to impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections. Adequate Vitamin C supports the gut barrier function helping to reduce the invasion of pathogenic bacteria. Berries are also very rich in antioxidants which help fight free radical damage and preserve the structural integrity of cells and tissues. Berries like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and, elderberries are some fantastic options. If you can get your hands on wild berries – that’s even better!
Celery juice has only recently gained popularity in the healing movement, but already it has played a key role in helping millions of people. It was brought to light by Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium, who claims it is a medicinal herbal extract. In his book “Celery Juice”, which can be found in my online store, he outlines its amazing benefits, including fighting off unwanted bacteria and viruses, strengthening the liver and digestive system. It’s also full of micro trace minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants, preprobiotics, and a rare pre-methylated Vitamin C which boosts the immune system very efficiently.
Ginger is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. It contains phenolic compounds such as gingerol, shogaol and paradol which play a key role in helping to treat and prevent chronic diseases. Ginger helps treat and prevent allergies, and has shown to be just as effective at reducing symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis compared to the commonly used drug Loratadine. In its raw form, ginger has also been shown to inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It shows amazing potential in fighting microbial diseases. Ginger prevents inflammation in the respiratory system and opens up sinuses by diluting, drying and breaking up mucous stuck to the throat.
The main natural polyphenol found in turmeric is curcumin. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent and has the ability to modulate immune cells, helping your body fight bacteria, viral and fungal infections. There have been many studies showing turmeric’s potential to treat and prevent chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis, colitis, Alzheimer’s and depression.
By consuming these foods you can begin to build an immunological resistance and live a longer, healthier and happier life.