The immune system is a powerful structure that fights off bacteria, viruses, toxins, and fungi. Antibodies and physical barriers like the skin, eye's cornea, and mucous membranes prevent invaders from taking their toll on the body. Though our immune systems are effective at fighting disease, they're never foolproof. People take measures such as exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep to improve their immunity.
Yet another way to improve your immunity is by consuming the right foods. Getting essential nutrients through your diet can help you stay healthy and feel like your best self, especially during the cold and flu season. Check out this guide to learn more about the best foods that boost immunity.
There's a lot of debate over whether eggs are good for you, with many people believing they aren't because of the high amount of cholesterol. It's true that a single egg contains 212 milligrams of cholesterol, which is a lot higher than many other foods. However, it's important to note that eggs tend to raise HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind) and lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind). As long as you eat a well-balanced diet that helps you moderate your cholesterol levels, you can fully enjoy the immunity benefits that eggs provide.
Most notably, eggs contain significant amounts of selenium and vitamins A and B12. These vitamins play a critical role in keeping the immune system healthy. One egg provides 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A, 9% of the RDA of vitamin B12, and a whopping 22% of the RDA of selenium. If you want to get as many nutrients as possible, consider skipping the egg white omelet and using the nutrient-rich yolk in your dishes.
Cuisines ranging from Italian and Chinese to Indian and American use garlic in their dishes. The next time you want to add this pungent herb to a meal, consider using a generous amount to boost your immune system. Whole garlic contains the compound alliin that turns into allicin when you crush or chew a clove. This compound is particularly effective at reducing the severity of cold and flu symptoms and preventing someone from becoming ill in the first place.
It's important to note that alliinase, an enzyme that converts alliin into allicin, isn't effective under certain conditions. One study found that heat can deactivate alliinase and prevent garlic from having allicin which improves the immune system. You can preserve the effectiveness of alliinase by allowing crushed garlic to sit on the counter for 10 minutes before cooking. Another way to promote the medicinal benefits of garlic is by chopping cloves as finely as possible.
Seafood in general is beneficial to the immune system, but many people praise salmon as one of the healthiest options. This fish contains significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the harmful effects of the immune response. Its high concentrations of vitamins B2, B6, and B12 help regulate inflammation and promote the development of red and white blood cells. You'll also benefit from the vitamin D that facilitates the innate antimicrobial response, and iron that promotes the activation of immune cells.
If you don't care for the taste of salmon, consider using a supplement like the biostation's bEssential MultiVitamin Capsules. These capsules have plenty of the same nutrients that keep your immune system healthy. Plus, the capsules are vegetarian, making them a great alternative for those who don't eat seafood.
Greek yogurt is high in protein, providing your body with the amino acids it needs to promote the development of antibodies, T cells, and B cells. This food also provides generous amounts of zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12 to support red blood cell formation. Perhaps most notably, Greek yogurt contains probiotics. This live bacteria supports gut health and helps your body combat infectious disease.
If you're not sure how to incorporate Greek yogurt into your diet, consider these tips:
- Use a plain variety as a substitute for mayonnaise in chicken or tuna salads.
- Add it to smoothies or frozen desserts.
- Use it as a base for salad dressings and savory or sweet dips.
- Top it with fruit or nuts and consume it like regular yogurt.
- Substitute it for sour cream.
If you needed another reason to enjoy pineapple, know that it's a popular immune-boosting fruit. It contains 88% of the RDA of vitamin C that promotes your immune health and iron absorption. Pineapple's 109% RDA of manganese provides antioxidant properties and facilitates your metabolism. You can also benefit from the bromelain which has the potential to reduce inflammatory markers in digestive tissue.
Pineapple is relatively easy to add to your diet, as you can incorporate it into smoothies or use it to make fried rice or Hawaiian burgers. If you want an even easier way to boost your immune system, consider receiving IV nutrient therapy through the biostation. The bImmune option is particularly effective for obtaining nutrients like vitamin C that protect you against viruses. Weekly or bi-weekly treatments are most effective, and you can enjoy them in our relaxing spa environment.
Whether you prefer the red, kidney, or garbanzo variety, you'll be glad to hear that beans promote the well-being of your immune system. They have plenty of amino acids and nutrients essential for preventing disease. They're also rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that fights the effects of free radicals to preserve the production of chemicals during processes like metabolism. In particular, black beans improve your intestinal barrier function to help prevent gut-associated diseases. Black beans also have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer.
These are just a few foods that can help you boost your immunity. the biostation offers pharmaceutical grade supplements and and IV nutrient therapies that help you fill your nutritional gaps and live your healthiest life.