Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 Foods That Boost Immune System

The immune system is responsible for protecting the body against infections and disease as well as killing pathogens. This system is comprised of several types of antibodies, proteins, organs, cells and tissues that work together to fight and prevent disease. This is done by attacking foreign and diseased cells and removing them from the body.
Disorders and deficiencies in this system cause disease. Immunodeficiency can be caused by a genetic disease or by side effects of medications or by viruses. Autoimmune diseases come from an overactive immune system that attacks normal tissues.
The body has B cells, T cells and antibodies for every antigen (virus, bacteria) but only in a limited supply. When the need arises, the cells reproduce by the millions to fight off the bad guys!
What you eat is very important in boosting or suppressing your immune system. Here are some foods that boost your immune system.
1) Mushrooms are low in calories and high in protein and antioxidants. They are a probiotic, which means they promote good bacteria and fights off bad bacteria and helps your immune system. It is well known that mushrooms help your body in many ways including; improved blood flow, destroying cancer cells and fighting colds during cold and flu season. Some of the best ones to eat are shiitake, yun zhi, cordyceps, turkey tail and reishi.
2) Garlic is one of the best foods for preventing disease. It has been shown to increase production of white cells and antibodies that pinpoint and attack cancer cells. It gets rid of free radicals in the bloodstream and unclogs blood cells. A compound in garlic called allicin has been shown to have antiviral properties that can help prevent colds and the flu. It's also been shown to reduce yeast infections, staph infections and detox dangerous metals from your bloodstream.
3) Broccoli has a compound called sulforaphane that helps fight diseases and the aging process by attacking free radicals. It causes the body to produce phase 2 enzymes, which are one of the most powerful anti cancer chemicals around. It's also a great source of vitamin c, a superstar antioxidant that needs no introduction. Compounds in broccoli are great at detoxifying, getting rid of toxic substances in our cells.
4) Whey protein is the liquid byproduct from cheese production. "Whey has antioxidant, antihypertensive, antitumor, hypolipidemic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. The amino acid cysteine in whey converts into glutathione, a strong intracellular antioxidant. Whey has been tested as a treatment or supportive agent for cancer, HIV, hepatitis B, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. It may also be helpful in immune function disorders." (1)
5) Blueberries are consistently ranked as best fruit for antioxidants. The color of berry is the source of its great antioxidant power. Blueberries have been linked to many health benefits including treating and preventing urinary tract infections, help fight aging, help prevent degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease and memory loss.
(1) Whey Protein supplement health benefit and side effects by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
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