Foods that improve immunity

Body immunity helps to overcome illness and infection. The stronger the immunity of an individual, the stronger their resistance to some infections. There are a number of vitamins, minerals, plant components and herbs that boost the immune system. Knowing the specific foods that boost the immune system can be complicated, because certain vitamins work best when combined with other vitamins.
L-R : Mushrooms are known to boost immunity ; A diet rich in fruits and cereal will ward off infections.
L-R : Mushrooms are known to boost immunity ; A diet rich in fruits and cereal will ward off infections.

Body immunity helps to overcome illness and infection. The stronger the immunity of an individual, the stronger their resistance to some infections.

There are a number of vitamins, minerals, plant components and herbs that boost the immune system. Knowing the specific foods that boost the immune system can be complicated, because certain vitamins work best when combined with other vitamins.

For instance, vitamin C probably the most commonly recommended vitamin for infection resistance works best when taken with calcium and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral component that helps cells absorb Vitamin C and other nutrients more efficiently.

Magnesium plays the same role and is also essential for the proper functioning of the muscles and nerves. Therefore an effective diet to boost the immune system must include foods that contain Vitamin C, magnesium and calcium, or a combination of foods that contain all these important nutrients.

calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for the proper absorption of Vitamin C and work best when taken with iron, manganese, and Vitamin D. The body cannot absorb calcium, if Vitamin D is not present and this is why milk is sometimes fortified with Vitamin D.

In addition, lack of Vitamin A in the diet can lead to frequent infections. Vitamin A works best when taken with zinc, calcium, B-complex, and vitamins C, D and E.

Some people use multi-vitamins to improve their immunity but not all multi-vitamins are the same. Some do not contain calcium or iron. Some are properly balanced for men, but not for women.

Even if one takes a good daily multi-vitamin, it is still important to eat a healthy diet and there are some interesting foods that boost the immune system. Edible mushrooms for example are a valuable source of biologically active compounds called beta glucans that ward off infections, fight cancer, and even balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Beta glucans stimulate the immune system, providing protection from colds, influenza and infections as well as AIDS by inhibiting viral replication.

Also beta glucans are found in numerous plant foods including oats, barley and yeast. Foods like crabmeat, lobster, oysters, salmon and tuna are all foods that boost the immune system, since they are good sources of calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and vitamins A, C, D, E and B complex.

Salmon not only contains all of the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy immune system, but is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to be beneficial in preventing heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Omega-3 supplementation can improve overall mental function and reduce symptoms of depression.

The best protection against disease is obtained through eating the right foods in the right combination whenever possible and supplementing  diets with a daily multi-vitamin intake.

Yogurt can be delicious when layered with fruit in a parfait or as a cooling side for a dish of spicy food, but it also packs a healthy dose of good bacteria that can protect the body against harmful infections.

josephmunich06@yahoo.co.uk