You know you should put on sunscreen before you go out into the sun and you know that you should avoid the toxins found in cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and fast foods…but did you know that there are seven foods you can consume that will improve immune system function and actually fight disease?
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary in your everyday diet for various reasons; they help to maintain your ability to think and remember, they improve your cholesterol levels and they even help to regulate your blood sugar. A quarter-cup of walnuts will provide you with 90% of your daily recommended intake of these fatty acids and help you fight off heart disease, diabetes and perhaps even dementia.
Yogurt contains one very useful ingredient that can improve immune system function—probiotics. These little bacteria live in the intestines to work as an immune booster, banish bad breath and help you live longer. One cup of standard, all-natural organic yogurt will also give you a healthy dose of calcium and appetite-suppressing protein. Low-fat or non-fat versions are advised, and you can find soy or rice milk yogurt if you are lactose intolerant.
Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit that can improve immune system function thanks to the ample amounts of Vitamin C, potassium and folate it contains. This wonder fruit also contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E which are antioxidants that may help fight cancer and other chronic illnesses—including heart disease and colon cancer—when consumed on a regular basis.
There are many reasons why flaxseed is considered to be one of the best foods to improve immune system function. It is packed with lignin, which is a powerful antioxidant that is thought to be a great defense against certain diseases—primarily breast cancer. Two tablespoons of flaxseed provides 20% of the fiber intake and 100% of the Omega-3 fatty acid intake recommended for the best overall health.
5. Alfalfa Sprouts
There are many of us who have never even seen alfalfa sprouts outside of the salad bars in our favorite restaurants, but it is worth your time to invest in this wonder food. An entire cup contains less than 10 calories, and chemicals called saponins are thought to help fight cancer and lower cholesterol. So, although they may look strange, these little gems can improve immune system function and keep you happy and healthy.
There really is some truth in that old adage; an apple a day really can keep the doctor away, or so it seems. Apples contain the highest source of pectin out of any fruit in the world, and while you may be familiar with this ingredient in your favorite shampoo, it’s even better for your body. Pectin is a soluble fiber that can improve immune system function, lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of certain cancers and even help patients who suffer from diabetes.
Raspberries are by far one of the most delicious fruits on the planet, and just a half-cup of these juicy little berries will give you four grams of fiber and 25% of your recommended daily amount of manganese and Vitamin C. They also act as an immune booster thanks to their massive amounts of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin; this is what makes the berries antimicrobial and causes them to be their luscious red color.
As you can see, to improve your immune system function isn’t always about taking prescription medications or waiting for a disease to strike. Incorporating these foods into a healthy diet will help you stay healthier for a longer period of time and ward off conditions that may otherwise rear their ugly heads.