Foods That Boost Your Immunity: The Value of Probiotics
Nothing can spoil summertime fun faster than having a cold or, even worse, the flu. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help stay well and avoid any nasty bugs that are going around. While you’re probably making sure to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer when necessary, that’s only one part of the fight against summer colds and flu.
What you eat also plays a big part in keeping you healthy and helping your body stave off infections; it’s important to eat whole, unprocessed foods and drink plenty of water. Here are some natural (and delicious) power foods that can boost your immunity–you might find some surprises on this list.
- Yogurt: Yogurt with live cultures contains probiotics, friendly bacteria that live in your digestive tract and help keep your system free of harmful bacteria that cause illness. Studies have shown that eating a cup of yogurt a day can help reduce your risk of catching colds; besides providing probiotics, yogurt that is rich in vitamin D can also help boost your immune system.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms have been an important source of medicine for people for centuries; eating mushrooms has been shown to increase the activity of white blood cells, which help your body fight off infections. Button mushrooms are high in selenium, a micronutrient mineral; low selenium levels may be a risk factor in catching more severe flu strains.
- Oats, barley, and wheat germ: These grain foods are rich in antioxidants, fiber and protein. The fiber contained in oats and barley is a valuable food source for the friendly bacteria that live in your digestive tract; these bacteria secrete a fatty acid that helps keep your colon healthy. Wheat germ provides powerful antioxidants, including B vitamins, which are vital to your immune system.
- Shellfish: Shellfish such as oysters, crabs, lobsters, and clams are high in selenium; selenium helps your white blood cells to produce special antiviral proteins. Oysters are high in zinc, which also has antiviral properties.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is high in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen your immune system, as well as in vitamin C. To get the most nutritional value out of your watermelon, eat it only when it’s fully ripe.
- Garlic: It might not be the best for your breath, but garlic can be one of your best friends in combating infections. Allicin, the oily yellowish liquid that gives garlic its characteristic smell, has antiviral and antibacterial properties that are still being studied. To get the most health benefit from your garlic, allow it to sit for a few minutes after chopping or crushing it; this is because damaging the garlic’s cells is what causes allicin to be released.
It’s just common sense that eating well helps you stay healthy; however, supplementation can be a powerful ally in supporting your body’s immune system. RobKellerMD® G.I. Balance ™ (GIB) is a supplement containing three different strains of probiotic bacteria.
Your body’s overall health and well-being depend on the bacteria that live in your gut, and GIB can help restore microbial balance, especially after the disruptions in this balance that stress or strong medicines can cause. When summertime colds are going around, your body needs all the support it can get, and G.I. Balance ™ can help.