Ok, so you got that flu shot, you wash your hands frequently, and you avoid (tactfully of course) those who are visibly stricken, but you still wind up catching a cold or flu almost every darn year. Why is this so? It is because these worthwhile preventive recommendations from the experts are only half of the equation. The other half is the bolstering of your immune system through the foods that you eat. This can actually have a stronger protective effect than the other recommendations. (that flu shot is only @ 60% effective you know) So I’ve compiled here a list of most effective ones you can try. (another great reason to indulge)
1. Whey Protein: Whey has more immune enhancers than any other food. Body builders and other intense physical trainers have known this fact for years. A quick whey shake raises your levels of glutathione, which is your most important antioxidant, it contains lactoferrin, immunoglobulins (antibodies) and other disease fighters, it also provides glutamine which calms and nourishes the stomach as well as preserving natural immunity. Whey is well known to increase protein synthesis and increase lean body tissue; its immune enhancing properties are equally important. Have a can of it ready for the first sign of a cold. (you can even mix it with ice cream – now that would be hard to take right? 🙂
2. Elderberry: Those dark berries, technically called sambucus nigra, have been used for centuries in the treatment of colds and flu. Researchers believe it works by enhancing the function of the bodies phagocytotic (engulfing) immune cell defenders. It may also relieve the swelling of mucous membranes such as in the sinus providing relief. These berries are also among the best known antioxidants in the plant kingdom.
3. Oysters: These tasty bivalves are the highest known dietary source of Zinc – a critical mineral for the immune system. Just a half dozen of them provide @ 45 milligrams – 3 times the lowest recommended daily intake. Other good sources of zinc include wheat germ, meats, and pumpkin seeds.
4. Reishi Mushrooms: This is a very well documented immunity booster, it aids in the activity of T-cells and other white blood cell defenders, and can increase production of SOD (super oxide dismutase), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, our bodies natural enzyme antioxidants. Maybe dice up a few and add to #6 below?
5. Beta Glucans: These are components of the cell walls of certain plants, and they are thought by some to be the most powerful immunity enhancers in nature. The best sources of beta-glucans are the grains barley and oats, shiitake mushrooms, (and also reishi) and brewers yeast.
6. Chicken soup: Yes chicken soup can lessen the duration of the cold or flu – particularly if it contains garlic, onions, ginger, parsley and other seasonings and components. Just sipping that steamy spicy tasty dish can impart soothing releaf in itself. It is an easy way to ensure adequate sustenance is the face of a weakened appetite. Your mother was right.
7. Honey: For soothing sore throats this simple remedy might be the best one available. According to studies at the Penn State College of Medicine, honey was better than pharmaceutical cough syrups in suppressing coughs and preventing infection. Honey’s antibacterial effect is also well extablished. Take it the same way as cough syrup, or simply add on toast or in tea.
There you have it, so rather than a trip to the pharmacy why not make one to the grocery store instead and pick yourself up some tasty prevention? It’s worked for me!