Boost Your Immune System with Fruits and Vegetables
|Boost Your Immune System with Fruits and Vegetables
|Having a heatlhy and nutritious diet is the most important thing we can do to prevent disease. A healthy and nutritious diet should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains. These foods are great sources of antioxidants, which benefit our health by neutralizing harmful molecules known as free radicals. Heart disease, cancer, stroke and other diseases that are common with aging result from damage to cells from these free radicals.
In small amounts, free radicals help fight infection, but in large amounts, they may cause damage to tissue and DNA, a process known as oxidative stress. A way to prevent or minimize the oxidative stress in your body is by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables.
Our immune system needs to be well nourished to accomplish its mission: Defend our body against infection and other diseases.
So which fruits and vegetables do you need to include in your daily diet? Here are some fruits and vegetables that should be top on your shopping list. Additionally it may be of interest to you to read a Health Tip that I posted last December "Are We Aware of the Pesticides in our Foods?"
Broccoli is considered as the number one anti-cancer food by the National Cancer Institute. It contains sulforaphane which stimulates the body's production of substances known as Phase II detoxification enzymes. The Phase II detoxification enzymes destroy carcinogens and free radicals before they attack healthy cells. Other sources of sulforaphane are kale, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts and mustard or turnip greens.
Among all fruits and vegetables, blueberries have one of the highest content of antioxidants. They get their beautiful deep color from pigments called anthocyanin, which have some very powerful immune stimulating properties. These anthocyanins are antioxidants that protect capillaries from oxidative harm. Blueberries have been found to help with mental health and memory and with urinary tract infections.
Apples are rich in magnesium, iron, silicon and potassium. Raw apples are a valuable aid to digestion, cleansing of the intestines and are excellent for fevers and inflammations. If you are having trouble with constipation, try having an apple (or apple juice) on an empty stomach, as they have a diuretic and laxative effect on the lower intestine.
Called the “poor man's antibiotic”, garlic is a powerful aid against infections. It is also a powerful blood cleanser, a digestive stimulant, a diuretic and a systemic cleanser. It is also a powerful cleanser of the mucous membranes, especially those of the lungs, sinuses, nose and the throat. Due to its blood cleansing properties, garlic is beneficial for conditions such as high blood pressure. Garlic also appear to help block cancer by preventing the formation of some carcinogens that damage DNA.
Rich in organic citric acid, it quickly changes an acid condition into an alkaline one; they help maintain the proper acid-alkaline balance of the body and relieve many other irritating conditions. Lemons are excellent for colds, sore throat and upset stomach.
Rich in vitamin C, fiber and potassium, tomatoes have a high content of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body against cancer. They also contain beta-carotene and flavonoids that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Carrots are great for cleansing the bile and dying substances impacted in the liver. When eaten raw, carrots supply many of the components and vitamins needed by our bodies. Carrots are one of the best sources of Vitamin A and are also high in potassium, calcium. magnesium, manganese, sulfur, chlorine, phosphorus and protein.
Raw spinach is just about one of the most nourishing vegetables for the digestive and eliminative system and for all muscles, cells, tissues and nerves. It stimulates the muscular contractions of the intestines and is rich in iron, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.