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Fueling your body by eating a well balanced variety of natural raw foods can help boost your immunity and keep your immune system strong and functioning optimally.
When you’re looking for natural ways to prevent colds, the flu and other infections, your first step should be to pop into your local supermarket. The most effective way to get these vital, natural nutrients is to make a conscious effort to plan your meals accordingly, so that they contain a good balance of these 15 powerful immune system boosters.
- Citrus Fruits
Many people turn to Vitamin C at the first signs of a cold, because this important micronutrient assists in boosting your immune system. Vitamin C is also known to increase the production of white blood cells, which are essential in fighting off infections in the body. Almost all citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C and, with such a wide variety to choose from, they easily complement any meal, or supplement as a healthy snack.
Some popular citrus fruits are:
As our bodies do not produce or store Vitamin C, we all need a daily intake to ensure ongoing good health. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for most adults varies. Clinical studies show that women need at least 75 mg per day, while men need 90 mg a day. If you choose to take supplements instead, your daily intake should not exceed 2,000 mg.
Keep in mind that while Vitamin C may help you recover from a cold more quickly, there is no evidence yet that it is effective against COVID-19.
- Red Bell Peppers
If you think citrus fruits have the most Vitamin C of any fruit or veggie, think again!
By the ounce, Red Bell Peppers contain 127 mgs of Vitamin C, which is 3 times more than a Florida orange, which contains roughly 45 mgs. Besides boosting your immune system, Vitamin C also helps maintain a healthy skin. Red Bell Peppers are also a rich source of Beta Carotene, which your body converts into Vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Broccoli is turbo charged with vitamins and minerals to fuel our bodies. This great green vegetable is packed with vital micronutrients, including Vitamin A, C, and E. Besides providing us with essential vitamins, Broccoli improves your bodily functions by providing fiber and numerous other important antioxidants.
One of the key secrets to keeping Broccoli’s superpowers undamaged is to cook it as little as possible - or even better, not at all. Steaming broccoli is the best way to keep most of the nutrients in the food.
Broccoli is definitely one of the healthiest vegetables you can pack onto your plate!
Garlic is found in almost every prepared food on the planet. This earthy bulb adds the perfect zing to food, and it’s a definite must-have for your good health. Early civilizations recognized the value of Garlic for fighting infection and used it extensively as a curative.
Garlic may also contribute to reducing hardening of the arteries, and there is evidence that suggests it assists with lowering blood pressure too.
Garlic's immune-boosting properties come from a heavy concentration of Sulfur-containing compounds found in the food, such as Allicin.
Ginger is another very popular natural ingredient that many folk turn to when feeling unwell. Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can aid in reducing a sore throat and inflammatory health problems. Ginger has also been shown to help with nausea.
While this superfood is used in many sweet desserts, Ginger packs some heat in the form of Gingerol, which is a relative of Capsaicin. Ginger may also play a role in decreasing persistent pain, and may even possess cholesterol-lowering properties.
As no surprise, Spinach has made this list because of its abundance of Vitamin C. This leafy green vegetable is loaded with many antioxidants and Beta Carotene, both of which may increase the infection-fighting capacity of our immune systems.
Like Broccoli, Spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible so it retains as many nutrients as possible. Nonetheless, light cooking makes it far easier to absorb the Vitamin A, and allows other nutrients to be launched from Oxalic Acid, an antinutrient.
Try to find Yogurts that are made with full-fat, grass-fed milk and have the phrase "live and active cultures" printed on the label, such as Greek Yogurt. The cultures that these Yogurts contain may stimulate your body’s immune system to help fight disease. Remember to choose plain Yogurts over flavored varieties that are usually loaded with sugar. You can easily sweeten plain Yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and or even a drizzle of honey.
Yogurt is also a fantastic source of Vitamin D. By selecting brands fortified with Vitamin D, you secure more of this vital vitamin. Vitamin D assists with managing the body’s immune system and is known to enhance our body's natural defenses against diseases. Clinical trials are currently underway to study its possible impacts on the COVID-19 virus.
- Almonds (Raw and/or Sprouted)
When it comes to avoiding and combating colds and the flu, Vitamin E tends to be overlooked in comparison to Vitamin C. However, this powerful antioxidant is another key ingredient for a healthy immune system.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it needs the presence of fat to be absorbed efficiently. Nuts, particularly almonds, are packed with Vitamin E and include healthy fats too.
Adults require roughly 15 mg of Vitamin E per day. Half a cup of almonds, which is about 47 whole shelled almonds, provides this Recommended Daily Amount (RDA).
- Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower Seeds are packed with loads of nutrients, including Phosphorus, Magnesium and Vitamins B-6 and E. Vitamin E is crucial in managing and keeping the immune system functioning well. Along with Sunflower Seeds, other foods that contain high levels of Vitamin E are Avocados and Dark Leafy Greens.
Besides Vitamin E, Sunflower Seeds are exceptionally high in Selenium. Just 1 ounce of Sunflower Seeds contains almost half the Selenium the average adult needs each day. A variety of studies, primarily performed on animals, have researched its possibility to combat viral infections such as the H1N1 Swine Flu.
Turmeric is a traditional ingredient in many curries. For centuries, this bright yellow, bitter spice has been used as an anti-inflammatory, including to treat both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Research has revealed that high concentrations of Curcumin, which gives Turmeric its unique color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. Curcumin has been shown to be an immune booster as well as an antiviral.
Additional research is required to unlock the true potential and amazing curative properties of Turmeric and Curcumin.
- Green Tea
Both Green and Black Teas are packed with Flavonoids, a special type of antioxidant. Green Tea truly excels when it comes to its high levels of EpiGalloCatechin Gallate (EGCG), another powerful antioxidant.
In studies, EGCG has been shown to boost immunity and enhance immune system function. The fermentation process that Black Tea goes through damages most of the EGCG. Conversely, Green Tea is steamed (no fermentation process) so the EGCG is retained, undamaged.
Green Tea is a great source of the amino acid L-theanine, which may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T cells, vital for a healthy immune system.
Papaya is another excellent fruit packed with Vitamin C. You can get almost double your RDA of Vitamin C in a single medium-sized Papaya. Papayas also contain a gastrointestinal enzyme called Papain that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Papayas also contain significant amounts of Potassium, Magnesium and Folate, all of which are beneficial to the immune system and your overall health.
Like Papayas, Kiwis are naturally packed with plenty of important nutrients such as Folate, Potassium, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C boosts the leukocyte to combat infection, while Kiwi's other nutrients help keep the rest of your body, especially your immune system, functioning properly.
When you’re sick and reach for chicken soup, it’s definitely not the placebo effect that makes you feel better. Chicken soup may help reduce inflammation, which may improve symptoms of colds and the flu.
Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in Vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains almost one-third of your RDA of B-6. Vitamin B-6 is essential for several of the body’s vital functions. It is crucial for the development of new red blood cells and helps to maintain healthy red blood cells too.
Additionally, stock or broth is made by boiling chicken bones which contain gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients essential for gut healing and immune resistance.
When it comes to boosting your immune system, Shellfish isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind for most people. However, some types of Shellfish are packed with the essential micronutrient, Zinc.
Unlike many of the other more popular vitamins and minerals, Zinc seldom receives the same important attention, but our bodies need it to ensure our cells and immune systems are functioning optimally.
Shellfish that are high in Zinc include:
Avoid exceeding the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Zinc in your diet, as an excess can inhibit your body’s immune system function. The RDA for adults is:
- 8 mg women
- 11 mg for men
Raw Food Sense and Sensibility
(a.k.a. How to be Better Naturally and, in turn, Naturally Better)
Although these 15 Natural Raw Foods that Boost Your Immune System are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, they alone are not enough to help prevent or eliminate colds, the flu and other infections, even if you consume them continuously.
The best way to ensure optimal health is to have routine checkups, to follow a health-focused lifestyle with whole foods and exercise, and to take nutritional supplements when needed.
A sensible variety of natural raw foods and a healthy balanced diet, combined with nutritional supplements, are key to correcting poor nutrition and ensuring your immune system is functioning optimally. Remember to observe serving sizes and Recommended Daily Allowances to avoid excessive amounts of a single vitamin or nutrient, and too little of others.
Although consuming the correct nutrients and in the correct quantity is a great way to ensure your best health and wellness, there are other things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from colds, the flu and other illnesses.
If you’re committed to ensuring your family is safe, protected and their immune systems are functioning optimally, be sure to check out these immune boosting and flu fighting all-natural products from NutraV.
Because with NutraV on your side, you and your family will be Naturally Better!
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