15 Foods That Boost the Immune System

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It possess anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties. When the smell of raw onions makes your nose run and your eyes tear up, this stimulates your immune system to fight infection. Ways to raise GSH levels as well as things that deplete it. It's one of our 30 Foods Under 40 Calories 39 Calories in one half! It fights infections naturally due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasite compounds.

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Oz recommends eating black currants for their vitamin C content, and because they may help improve night vision.

In addition, black currants may be protective against some forms of cancer. A study published in in "Natural Product Communications" found that the antioxidant rich black currant fruit skin suppressed the growth of human liver cancer cells. What to Eat for a Stronger Immune System. Oz Recommend for Daily Supplements? Foods That Strengthen the Immune System. Vitamins That Work as Natural Antibiotic. While it's used in many sweet desserts, ginger packs some heat in the form of gingerol, a relative of capsaicin.

Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and may possess cholesterol-lowering properties, according to recent animal research. Spinach made our list not just because it's rich in vitamin C. It's also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.

However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid. Try one of our favorite healthy spinach recipes!

Look for yogurts that have "live and active cultures" printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are preflavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits instead. Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D , so try to select brands fortified with vitamin D.

When it comes to preventing and fighting off colds, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.

You may know turmeric as a key ingredient in many curries. But this bright yellow, bitter spice has also been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, research shows that high concentrations of curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive color, can help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage. Both green and black teas are packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.

Where green tea really excels is in its levels of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function.

The fermentation process black tea goes through destroys a lot of the EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine.

L-theanine may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells. Papaya is another fruit loaded with vitamin C. You can find percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C in a single papaya. Papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects.

Grapefruit juice has plenty of benefits, but the traditional fruit itself is going to give you more bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition and health benefits. Grapefruit juice can also spike your blood sugar more than the fruit itself. Vitamin C helps form healthy scar tissue and new blood vessels, both of which help return your body to a healthy state.

Always ask your doctor before adding vitamins, minerals, or any herbal supplements to your daily regimen, especially if you're about to have surgery. In this case, that goes for grapefruit too, given its ability to affect the metabolism of certain drugs. A large study conducted in Japan found that people who ate citrus including grapefruit throughout the week had a lower risk of developing cancer, especially prostate and pancreatic, compared with the total group of participants.

The authors speculate that compounds in citrus fruits reduce inflammation and stop cancer cells from multiplying. They may also help repair damaged DNA, which contributes to the development of tumors.

The fiber in grapefruit may also help prevent colorectal cancer while fruits high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is in pink and red grapefruit, may lower the risk of esophageal cancer. Grapefruit can be stored in your fridge for as long as three weeks but they release their best flavor when kept at room temperature.

If you plan to eat them within a week, leave them on a counter or table. If you don't think you will eat the grapefruit for 2 or 3 weeks, tuck them in the fridge but make sure they're at room temperature before you actually dig in.

This will give you maximum flavor. Grapefruit also interacts with erectile dysfunction drugs. Such drugs include Viagra sildenafil , Cialis tadalafil , and Levitra vardenafil. These drugs, known as the phosphodiesterase inhibitors, already feature a warning about possible prolonged erections, a painful, serious, and potentially damaging side effect known as priapism. Grapefruit could make that worse and it could also cause headaches, flushing, and low blood pressure.

One whole grapefruit or a 6- to 7-ounce glass of juice is enough for drug toxicity, according to a study. Citrus scents are becoming more popular in aromatherapy for a reason. Not all aromatherapy is inhaled. You can also rub an essential oil on your skin, which allows you to feel it and inhale it at the same time. Grapefruit aromatherapy may even act as a natural skin toner, says Chiasson.

While the options are endless, these are some popular grapefruit-themed products: Grapefruit is most often associated with breakfast, but don't let that limit your imagination. Grapefruit is also super in salads and with fish or chicken. In fact, it's best when paired with protein and a little fat, like a handful of walnuts. The fiber, too, keeps you feeling fuller longer. But you can keep it simple too, using grapefruit in a smoothie or drink. There's more to add to the list of possible drug interactions.

Grapefruit also causes cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to build up in your blood stream. Common statin drugs are Lipitor atorvastatin and Zocor simvastatin.

Other dangerous grapefruit combinations you should be aware of: And the anti-anxiety drug Xanax alprazolam is a big one. Ask your pharmacist if there's a problem and if there's a safe alternative if you would like to be able to consume grapefruit.

If you have a canker sore or cold sore—or if you've had recent dental work—the acid in grapefruit or grapefruit juice can boost your pain level.

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