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Fitness, Nutrition

Food That Boosts Your Immune System

The healing sunshine and active lifestyle of people in Honolulu, HI, can help improve immunity, but food can boost your immune system, too. It’s not just what you eat that can help prevent illness, but also what you don’t eat. Sugar, for example, causes inflammation and competes with vitamin C for entrance into the cells necessary to fight infection. No matter how healthy a food is, if you lace it with sugar, it blocks the immune system. Other immune blockers are highly processed foods and excess alcoholic beverages.

Foods high in vitamin C are immune boosters.

As noted earlier, sugar blocks the benefits of vitamin C, so why is that important? It increases the white blood cells that fight infection. Hawaii has many fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, which include papayas, mangos, pineapple, red bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. If you want to boost your vitamin C intake, switch to apple bananas instead of Cavendish. The apple banana has about ¼ your daily requirement for vitamin C, while the cavendish banana has only 15% of the required daily amount.

Pile on the herbs and spices.

Herbs and spices not only make your food taste delicious. They add nutrients without adding extra calories. Adding garlic to your dishes or onions can help boost your immune system. They have antibacterial properties. It’s the allicin in garlic and onions that is the immune booster. Scientists are investigating whether garlic could be potentially used to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sage, oregano, rosemary, honey, ginger, and clove all provide a boost to your immunity.

Make an immune-boosting parfait.

Berries are particularly potent for fighting off colds and flu. Choose elderberries, raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries to boost your immune system. They’re antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-fungal. Recent studies show they also help fight viruses. Elderberries are the most potent for preventing the flu and were as effective as Tamiflu but work in different ways. The good news is you can give influenza a double whammy by using them together. Combine berries with two other immune boosters, yogurt, and almonds, and you have the perfect dessert to boost immunity.

  • Tuna and other fatty fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that can boost immunity. Other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseed, walnuts, and chia seeds.
  • Nuts, shellfish, legumes, and seeds are just a few foods higher in zinc. Safe sunning for vitamin D and a boost of zinc-containing foods can improve your immunity.
  • The bacteria in your gut act like a second immune system. Eat foods that help it function at its best. Fermented food like kefir, yogurt, and pickles are a few. Eating foods high in soluble fiber act like probiotics, to feed the beneficial microbes.
  • Add a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to your menu for the benefits of the phytonutrients that can boost immunity. Drinking more green tea can also help, just as some herbal teas, like ginger tea does.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!