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With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing you need to do everything that you can to boost your immune system so that you have the maximum protection. There are a number of ways that you can do this and one of the easiest is to change your diet so that you eat the right foods. In this special report we will show you the very best foods to eat to give your immune system a boost. We will also provide other tips to help you protect your immune system and the food and beverages that you need to avoid as well.
Changing your diet is never an easy thing to do but your immune system is vital to your health and wellbeing and to fight against deadly viruses such as COVID-19. So always bear this in mind when you are tempted to revert back to your old eating habits.
We recommend that you introduce these foods into your diet gradually. It is a good idea to replace foods that do not support your immune system with these super foods so that you help your immune system to grow stronger. So let’s get right into it shall we?
Before we reveal the 20 super foods that will boost your immune system there are some general guidelines that we want you to be aware of when it comes to your diet and consumption of foods and beverages.
Choose Whole Plant Based Foods
Your immune system is constantly fighting against different harmful pathogens. It is an incredible system that works to protect you 24/7. You can help your immune system by providing it with the right antioxidants and nutrients from the food that you eat to be even more efficient.
This is where whole plant foods come into play. The following are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that your immune system needs to fight against infections and diseases:
All of these food groups contain antioxidants which assist in the reducing of inflammation in your body. The antioxidants fight off free radicals which are unstable compounds that will result in inflammation if there is enough of them built up in your body.
It is essential that you help your immune system fight against this inflammation because chronic inflammation can result in health conditions that you must avoid such as certain cancers, Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
The other good news about whole plant foods is that they contain fiber which will feed your gut microbiome. This is a collection of healthy bacteria contained in your gut. When your gut microbiome is in good shape it will increase your immunity and keep out pathogens from getting into your digestive tract.
You need Healthy Fats
This is another largely misunderstood area. Healthy fats are good for you. Do not subscribe to the belief that all fats are bad because they are not. Healthy fats are required by your immune system to boost its response to harmful pathogens by reducing the amount of inflammation in your body. An example of a healthy fat is olive oil. There have been studies that show the anti-inflammatory powers of olive oil and how it decreases the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Also the anti-inflammatory properties of healthy fats can help your immune system fight against viruses and harmful bacteria.
You need healthy fats such as omega 3 because they are very anti-inflammatory. If you have chronic inflammation then this will significantly reduce the effectiveness of your immune system.
Go for Fermented Foods
You should choose fermented foods in your diet because they have high levels of good bacteria called probiotics. These will populate your digestive tract and protect it. Examples of fermented foods are:
When you have a flourishing community of good gut bacteria it helps your immune system make the important distinction between healthy and normal cells and invader organisms that will cause you harm.
There was a study of 126 children conducted over 3 months where they drank fermented milk on a daily basis. The results showed that they experienced 20% less infectious childhood diseases. In another 28 day study with 152 participants that had rhinovirus, it was discovered that those who took a probiotic supplement, Bifidobacterium animalis, induced a stronger response from their immune system and experienced lower levels of virus symptoms.
Keep away from Foods with added Sugars
It is amazing the amount of food products available today that contain added sugars. There has been considerable research in this area which concluded that the consumption of foods that have added sugars or refined carbohydrates could contribute significantly to people becoming overweight and even obese.
If you are overweight or obese then this can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. There was an observational study with around 1,000 participants where obese people were given the flu vaccine. These people were twice as likely to still contract the flu than people that were not obese and had been given the same vaccine.
When you reduce the amount of sugar that you consume you will help to reduce inflammation in your body and it will help you to lose excess weight as well. This will increase your resistance to chronic problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Both of these chronic diseases will weaken your immune system. So our advice is to limit your intake of sugar to less than 5% of your daily calorie intake. So if you are on a 2,000 calorie a day diet this would equate to limiting yourself to around 2 tablespoons of sugar.
It is very important to your overall health that you keep hydrated. If you are dehydrated this can provide a number of complications that will reduce your immunity against diseases:
• Reduce your heart and kidney function
• Impair your focus
• Cause headaches
• Impair your digestive system
• Reduce your physical performance
• Cause mood swings
When you are hydrated your urine will be a pale yellow color. The best liquid for hydration is water as it does not contain any sugars, additives or calories. You can drink teas and juices for hydration but we recommend that take these without sugar.
The rule of thumb is to drink when you are thirsty and stop drinking when you are not thirsty. Your thirst will increase if you sweat due to exercise or being in a hot climate. As we get older we lose some of the urge to drink because the thirst signal weakens. So you need to drink water regularly even if you are not thirsty when you are older.
So now we have got that out of the way it is time to look at the 20 super foods that you need in your diet to boost your immune system.
Blueberries really are an immune system boosting super food. They are something that you can eat every day and are delicious so it should be easy for you to incorporate them into your diet. Why do blueberries work so well in boosting your immune system?
Well the answer is that they have excellent antioxidant properties. They contain anthocyanin which is a flavonoid that can really bolster your immune system. A study in 2016 concluded that flavonoids play a critical role in the defense of the respiratory tract.