Eating to build up one’s Immune System

A good diet contains a variety of foods rich in vitamins A, B complex, C and E; foods with high mineral content, particularly zinc, selenium, calcium and magnesium; foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids such as oily fish, seeds and nuts; adequate protein from lean grass-finished meats; fiber from gluten-free, corn-free grains, fruit and vegetables.

Vitamin C found in many fruits and vegetables is needed by all of the immune system’s cells to carry out their functions. Vitamin A found in oily fish and plant foods is essential for the thymus gland, an immune system organ necessary for the proper maturation of immune system cells. B vitamins and calcium are needed for white blood cells known as phagocytes and for proper skeletal muscle and nervous system function. Vitamin E, zinc, and selenium are powerful antioxidants needed to reduce oxidative stress and for antibody production. All immune system cells require protein for continued production of cells and protein is also needed for the production of amino acids and antibodies.

The top nine immune system boosters that supply the highest levels of these nutrients are (organic is preferable for all foods to reduce toxic buildup):

  • organic beets
  • organic medicinal shiitake mushrooms
  • organic avocado
  • organic kale
  • organic blueberry
  • brazil nuts
  • organic onions
  • organic green tea
  • organic garlic

Other immune boosting foods that contain an abundance of nutrients with antioxidant properties, immune restoring or anti-inflammatory properties are: sweet potatoes, carrots, grapefruit, yams, red bell peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, pumpkin, chili peppers, cruciferous vegetables, watercress, nettle, spinach, endive, artichokes, arugula, kiwi, pineapple, papayas, mango, guava, cantaloupe, passion fruits, citrus fruits, grapes, berries, rose-hips, hazelnuts, apples, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachio nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sesame seed, quinoa, green beans, lentils, snow peas, turkey, chicken, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary, ginger and turmeric.

Whenever possible choose organic over conventional for all foods to reduce toxic buildup.

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