6 Steps to Strengthen Your Immune System
Boost Your Body's Defenses
-- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
Just as important as how much you’re eating, is what foods you’re eating. Some nutrients and foods that have been found to enhance the immune system include:
- Vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruit and broccoli
- Vitamin E-rich foods, like nuts and whole grains
- Zinc-rich foods, like beans, turkey, crab, oysters, and beef
- Bioflavanoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables
- Selenium-rich foods, like chicken, whole grains, tuna, eggs, sunflower seeds, and brown rice
- Carotenoid-rich foods, like carrots and yams
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in nuts, salmon, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed oil and hempseed oil.
Some immune system all-stars that have recently garnered a lot of attention in the scientific community are vegetables from the brassica family, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. According to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and published online in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, a chemical produced when these vegetables are eaten can stop the growth of cancer cells and boost the production of certain components of the immune system. Turns out, Mom was onto something when telling you to each your broccoli!