By Kim Rain
You may not have known that you were eating immune boosting agents in those cinnamon rolls from breakfast, or in that Five Alarm chili from dinner. All through your kitchen, you have foods that kill bacteria, help you to fight illness and disease, and strengthen your immune army. They keep your system stronger by detoxifying your body and getting rid of those free radicals that can damage cells and interfere with DNA. Increasing your daily intake of these foods can stave off a weak immune system and give you that boost your body needs to work at its best, and fight like a super hero against colds, flus, infections, and even cancers. So let’s take a walk around the kitchen, and see which ones give you the most bang for your buck.
Eat Your Veggies – Hint: Garlic and Onion
Garlic has long been prized for its ability to prevent disease. It kills microbes, parasites, bacteria, fungus, viruses, and even cancer and tumor cells. It’s an antioxidant that can help to rid the body of heavy metals, and regulates and optimizes the immune system. But to work at full capacity, it must be eaten raw, or near raw, so use it in salad dressings, pasta sauces, pesto, bruschetta, and everything else you can think of. Don’t forget to add its cousin to those dishes, the fabulous Onion, which also boasts antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer properties. And both onions and garlic are natural antihistamines, helping when those pesky seasonal and food allergens attack.
Supercharge a Weak Immune System with Hot Peppers
Spice up your food even more with super powered Hot Peppers, a favorite component in many Asian and Indian dishes. Studies have shown that the capsaicin inside favorites like Cayenne, Chili peppers and more, can kill cancer cells, fight bacteria, and is a powerful antioxidant. Peppers also help to regulate digestive health, which is a key component in your body’s ability to function properly. Eat them cooked or raw, and add them to dishes, barbecue sauces or make a salsa for a very healthful heat.
Pillage that Fruit Bowl
Citrus fruits, like Lemons and Oranges, boast huge amounts of Vitamin C, which the immune cells need to help fight off pathogens. Pineapple has the added benefit of quercetin, the flavonoid also in onions that acts as an antioxidant, and an antihistamine.
Having your daily dose of many kinds of flavorful Berries gives you a super antioxidant kick. Elderberries have also been shown to be effective against viruses, flus and cancers, and Blueberries are being studied for their cancer killing powers too. Eating them in a pie might not be the healthiest way, but a handful a day could be just what your body needs for a good boost.
Raid the Spice Cabinet
Those spices that amp up the flavor in meals can also bolster the ranks in your immune army. Basil attacks free radicals and bacteria, and can even be effective against pathogens resistant to antibiotics. Ginger prevents the growth of bacteria, infections, and cancers, while Cinnamon targets microbes, bacteria, fungus, and even the HIV virus. Both cinnamon and ginger have the added benefit of tackling periodontal disease too. Just remember while upping your intake of cinnamon to opt for Ceylon cinnamon if you are planning to consume it in very large doses. While the Cassia variety found on most grocery store shelves is fine for flavoring, it can become harmful with prolonged use in high amounts.
And remember those hot peppers from earlier? Using them as spices works too, so be liberal with that Cayenne and Turmeric for those great health benefits.
Get Your Daily Sip of Health
Having a cup of tea is often a relaxing part of the day, but drinking Green Tea can be a powerful tool for your health. Consumed often, green tea can shield you from many conditions, like cancers and heart disease. It helps to eliminate free radicals, kill viruses, bacteria and fungus, lower cholesterol, and regulate the immune system. And if you need to add a little sweet, reach for healthful Honey, which kills pathogens, such as bacteria and cold-causing infections.
And for an extra missile to blast those tiny invaders, try Echinacea. Available as tea or capsules, Echinacea boosts a weakened immune function, kills viruses, bacteria, fungus and many other infections too.
With so many healthful foods in such easy reach, it is easy to create an immune boosting regimen that the whole family will love to eat. From fruit and spice smoothies, to pesto and salsas, the opportunities are endless to make food your greatest ally for optimal health.
About the Author
A freelance writer, Kim Rain is a trained Hypnotherapist, vegetarian, her family suffers from many allergies, from gluten to soy, and beyond. So, she is no stranger to eating for health, and loves to write stories about it, as well as some recipes.