Our immune system is the most important part of our body. Comprised of cells, tissues and organs, it protects your body against disease and infection. It is your body’s defense against microorganisms and other would-be invaders. Boosting your immune system’s power to fight infection will only decrease the chances of you contracting any type of illness, from the common cold to cancer.
There are certain foods that are proven to boost your immune system and incorporating them into your diet can be simple. Below there are three vitamins and nutrients that are vital to ensuring you maintain a healthy immune system.
1. Omega -3 Fatty Acids
Much has been made of Omega-3 fatty acids, and for good reason. Omega 3 fatty acids boost your immune system by increasing the activity of phagocyte, which are white blood cells that are responsible for destroying bad bacteria in your body. Not only does it destroy bad bacteria but research has also shown that it can lower your risk for abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia).
There are supplements you can take, such as fish oil (cod liver) or pills, but you can get the recommended amount by consuming at least two servings of fatty fish per week. Fish highest in Omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, lake trout, sardines, herring and albacore tuna.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the most talked about and researched immune system booster. The results of that research show that there are many immune system boosting benefits of including at least 200mg a day of vitamin C. The best way to reach that level is to eat at least six servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
The top five fruits containing vitamin C are 1 medium guava (165mg), 1 cup papaya (87mg), 1 cup strawberries (84mg), 1 medium kiwi (74) and 1 cup cantaloupe (68mg). Make sure to include these fruits each day, alternating the type daily so as not to become bored.
3. Bioflavonoid (Vitamin P)
Bioflavonoid is extremely important in that it helps your body’s immune system in fighting environmental pollutants. Studies have shown that if you eat foods containing bioflavonoid your risk of cardiovascular disease decreases. As with Vitamin C, incorporating fruit as well as vegetables containing bioflavonoid can lead to a top-notch immune system.
Include some of the following vegetables in your six servings of fruits and vegetables to get the most bioflavonoid: Green peppers, broccoli and almost any leafy vegetable. There is no set recommended daily amount of bioflavonoid, but including any amount will only help to increase your immune systems strength.
Using these foods to create your immune system boosting diet can be simple and easy to do if you create a weekly dietary menu. For instance, Monday, Wednesday and Friday you can have some type of fatty fish. Salmon on Monday, trout on Wednesday and delicious albacore tuna for lunch on Friday. By doing that you have met and exceeded the minimum amount of Omega-fatty acids. Do the same with your fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C and bioflavonoid and there will no stopping your immune system.