[Written by Peter Nielsen].
The flu season is here. Stay healthy with good nutrition; it’s important to keep your immune system healthy and ready to protect you against germs and viruses. There are specific guidelines for your nutritional regimen that will help boost your immune system.
• Protein. A variety of studies have demonstrated that a diet that doesn’t include high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells and hinder the ability of the body to make antibodies. High-quality protein sources include seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.
• Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports antibody function and fights infection by promoting healthy skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system. In fact, recent research found a strong connection between vitamin A deficiency and upper respiratory infections. Great sources of Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, and eggs.
• Vitamin C. Vitamin C stimulates the formation of antibodies and boosts the immune system. A powerful antioxidant, it is vital for recovery from infection. Give your system a boost of C with citrus fruits, red bell pepper, strawberries, and tomato juice.
• Vitamin E. Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and may improve immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils such as sunflower or safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter, or spinach.
• Zinc. While zinc has received a lot of attention for it’s ability to support immune function, recent studies have shown that too much can actually have a negative effect! Food, with it’s balanced makeup of different nutrients is an excellent source. Zinc is found in Swiss chard, collard greens, and both summer squash and winter squash.
• Glutathione. Glutathione has been called the ‘mother of all antioxidants,’ and the ‘body’s most important antioxidant.’ It is a molecule that is found in every cell. Researchers believe it not only an antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detox agent, it can help your body repair damage from pollution, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, and more! The good thing is, your body makes it. You can support glutatihone with garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and green tea.
Exercise also helps the immune system fight off simple bacterial and viral infections, and don’t forget to drink water! It helps move white blood cells and other immune system cells through body while removing toxins from the blood. Finally, get enough sleep, Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function, making you more vulnerable to germs and viruses, and harder for you to recover!
Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, exercise and get enough sleep to keep your immune system strong! It’s your body’s built-in protector!
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