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Fact File - 6 Foods To Boost Immunity

Nobody plans to get sick. On the contrary, your efforts to avoid it sometimes seem borderline OCD: Don't sneeze into your hands, always cook your chicken to exactly 170 degrees, and hose down every germ-carrying infant in sight with soap and water. And yet, no matter how many times you gargle with salt before bedtime or coat yourself in antibacterial hand cleanser, now and again the inevitable rumble in your tummy or tickle in your throat hits. HARD. Suddenly, you're out for the count and up to date on the daytime soaps. 

What are you doing wrong? Probably nothing. But you can do a few more things right. Certain foods and drinks provide a natural immunity boost; to tap their benefits, just open up and say, "Ahh."

 

1. Eggs   

Eggs contain high amounts of Vitamin A – this is vital for immunity. It helps to repair mucus membranes that are our first barrier against viruses. The majority of us get approximately half of our daily Vitamin A by making it from a nutrient called beta carotene – this is found in fruit and veg. However, a Doctor has discovered that 30-40% of people in the UK have gene types that mean their bodies cannot perform this conversion. So by loading yourself up on foods that are high in Vitamin A, you will be giving yourself the best defense against virsues and bugs. Other foods with high levels of Vitamin A include cheese, milk and liver.

 

2. Mushrooms   

Mushrooms have been used for centuries within medicine. Researchers have discovered that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. This enables your body to fight infection to it’s best ability.

 

3. Yoghurt   

Yoghurt contains probiotics, also known as ‘live active cultures’. This is healthy bacteria that helps to keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs and bugs.

Tip: Stick to plain natural yoghurt to avoid sugar and additives – simply add your own flavours such as fresh fruit, nuts and seeds or add a sprinkling of cinnamon for natural sweetness.

 

4. Oats   

Oats contain beta-glucan, which is a type of fibre. It will boost your immunity, speed up the process of healing wounds and may even increase the effectiveness of antibiotics.

 

5. Garlic   

British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or garlic extract for 12 weeks – those who were being given the garlic extract were 66.6% less likely to catch a cold. This is down to the active ingredient, allicin,  found within garlic – it helps to fight infection and rid your body of bad bacteria.

 

6. Shellfish   

Selenium is found within shellfish such as oysters, lobster, crab and clams – this helps your white blood cells to produce cytokines which are proteins that help clear flu viruses out of your body. Other fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in Omega-3 fats which are known to reduce inflammation, increasing the airflow and therefore protecting your lungs from cols and respiratory infection.

 

Would you like to lose a few lbs, or have you yo-yo'd with your weight for as long as you can remember? Check out our 6 top tips to sustainable weight loss - here.

Mental health is of equal importance to physical health, therefore you might want to know about the 8 foods that help to fight depression, click here to find them.  

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