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How to Give Your Immune System a Boost…

If ever there was a time to motivate yourself to eat a healthy diet, now is the time! The Corona Virus is more severe if you have a compromised immune system,  co-morbidity’s, or you are elderly. So, let’s get as many antioxidant’s, vitamins and minerals from the food we eat!  Many of our foods have health promoting properties, providing our body with natural antiviral and antibacterial substances. Here are top 10 that are also safe in pregnancy.

Kiwi Fruit:

Not only does kiwi fruit contain the largest dose of vitamin C than any other fruit, but it also has therapeutic affects for sleep quality!  A 2011 study looked at the effects of kiwi fruit on sleep quality in adults and found marked improvements when participants ate 2 prior to bedtime.  This was related to the natural serotonin found in Kiwi fruit and its antioxidant properties. One Kiwi Fruit contains 85% of an adult’s daily requirement for Vitamin C.

Berries:

Berries are rich in polyphenols, micronutrients rich in antioxidants. Current research is studying the benefits of polyphenols on diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease and digestion. It is known to protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress and associated inflammation in the body.

Potassium:

Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, nerve signals, plus control a person’s blood sugar levels. We commonly think of eating bananas for our potassium, but actually a handful of dried apricots has twice as much potassium than any other fruit.

Broccoli sprouts:

Broccoli sprouts are a younger version of broccoli and they are a rich source of Glucoraphanin, which is converted into sulforaphane when the sprout is ‘injured’ or chewed, blended etc. Sulforaphane has been studied due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, helping the activity of enzymes that have neuroprotective effects. Without going into all the scientific details, sulforaphane is known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as promoting detoxification by increasing glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier.

Garlic:

Garlic is known to be natures antibiotic! The complex biochemistry of garlic helps strengthen the immune system by directly stimulating immune cells, such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils. These cells are all important for fighting immune dysfunction. Many studies on the health benefits of garlic have been on animals, but the limited human studies have provided similar results. The evidence -based research is getting closer to providing the exact health promoting properties for us humans, including therapeutic dosage for anti-inflammatory and immunological administration. The research currently recommends 2 cloves of garlic per day.

Ginger:

Fresh ginger is affective against blocking viral attachment to the cells in your body. The specific compounds called gingerols and zingerone have been found to stop virus’s from replicating and entering the host cells.

Green Tea:

Green tea is associated with lower rates of influenza, including less severity of the symptoms associated with influenza. Recently, a research study into the effects of green tea on the immune system found that the groups who drank regular green tea, compared to the placebo group, had less symptoms and better recovery. The recovery in the influenza group who had 3 cups of green tea per day, was reduced by an average of 3 days.

Turmeric:

The active ingredient in Turmeric, Curcumin, has been investigated for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Numerous studies have shown that curcumin possesses a wide spectrum of biological and pharmacological properties. Curcumin was shown to act against various important pathogens like influenza, hepatitis C, HIV and strains of staphylococcus, streptococcus, and pseudomonas. Despite its potent effects, it has not yet been approved as a therapeutic antiviral agent.

Beetroot:

Beetroot raises the hydrogen peroxide and salicylic acid in the body. Although much more scientific than the following description, put simply, the combined effects of these biological activities could result in a broad action against several types of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and insects.

Vitamin D & Zinc:

Vitamin D and Zinc are known as illness preventers! Vitamin D works more like a hormone in the body and is responsible for over 100 different functions. A major study found that Vitamin D cut the risk of acute respiratory infection by 10 % in a normal healthy population. But, in the population with underlying respiratory disease (asthma), it cut the rate of acute respiratory infection by 40%. If you add foods high in Quercetin (onions, grapes, apples, broccoli, cherries, tea and capers) to your Zinc supplements, the Quercetin improves absorption of zinc into the cells.

It is extremely important to get the vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat, particularly during pregnancy. Your body is designed to absorb these nutrients from raw and cooked food, excreting the left-over waste in your urine! During pregnancy, the correct dosage of vitamins and minerals is essential for the safety of your unborn child. With the exception of Zinc and Vitamin D (sunlight is your best source) these compounds are found in the natural foods available for you to eat. You might like to prepare a smoothie each day, while preparing your meals with the above ingredients in mind! Some simple tips for keeping us healthy!

Enjoy….