Immunity Boosting Nutrients
Aside from thorough hand washing, health experts recommend including some nutrients in the diet that could boost one’s defenses against common viral infections and other conditions. For instance, chicken soup can make one feel better during a flu infection, not only because of the flavor, but it helps you keep hydrated. Aside from this, it helps you get rid of viruses and bacteria by aiding in raising the temperature of the airways and in the clearing of nasal secretions.
Plant antioxidants called polyphenols and catechins from green tea may help kill influenza viruses. To maximize its benefits and flavor, steep green tea only for a minute or two in water that has nearly reached its boiling point.
A recently study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that children who took daily vitamin D supplements (1,200 IU) were less likely to catch a common flu virus compared to kids who took a placebo. Adit Ginde, M.D., M.P.H., a public health researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver also states that studies indicate that Vitamin D may help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make people sick.
Probiotics like yogurt and sauerkraut contain “good bacteria” which help improve digestion and boost one’s immunity. Aside from dairy products there are new “probiotic” cereals and granola bars on the market now, although it’s not always clear how much good bacteria these contain or whether the strains included are effective.
Christina Sherry, Ph.D., R.D., of the University of Michigan reports that a study in mice show that those that ate a diet rich in soluble fiber for 6 weeks recovered from a bacterial infection much faster than mice that ate meals containing mixed fiber, suggesting that soluble fiber from citrus fruits, apples, and oats helps fight inflammation.
5 Immunity-Boosting Foods & Nutrients. MSN. http://healthyliving.msn.com/nutrition/5-immunity-boosting-foods-and-nutrients
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