How to Live Longer: 4 Foods That Can Boost Your Immune System and Prevent Disease
Your immune system works hard to defend the body against infection and therefore needs plenty of vitamins, nutrients and energy to keep functioning at its best. Although a healthy, balanced diet is essential for supporting your immune system, certain foods are advertised as having specific immunity-boosting properties.
Express.co.uk spoke to a range of experts to find out which foods are best for building a strong defense against infection.
Make time for the mushrooms
According to Hania Opienski, a consultant specializing in naturopathy and mycotherapy, the beta-glucan content of mushrooms can help ensure that your immune system is working at full throttle.
She told Express.co.uk: “Mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans – natural substances that help ‘prime’ our immune system, ensuring it’s ready for action to fight insects. and germs.”
If you really want to boost your immunity, Opienski recommends focusing on three specific varieties of mushrooms.
She said: “Certain types of mushrooms such as Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake are particularly rich in the most powerful beta-glucans for immune support.
“So getting a daily dose of these mushrooms when you’re feeling exhausted could be beneficial to help prevent and fight colds and help you recover faster.”
Alternatively, if you find it difficult to incorporate mushrooms into your diet, Opienski recommends “two capsules of Hifas da Terra Bio-Defense Vegan Mushroom Blend each morning.”
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Stock up on brightly colored fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are one of the main building blocks of a healthy and balanced diet.
With countless vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, it’s no surprise that some fresh fruits and vegetables can boost your immune system.
Nutritionist Naomi Newman-Beinart told Express.co.uk: “Let’s be real – most of us crave warming carbs to get through the winter, but it’s important to increase your recommended daily allowances to ensure to have the natural vegetable power to preserve. you’re in good health.”
The nutritionist mentions a study that highlights how beneficial fruits and vegetables are for building healthy immunity.
She said: “A study in Germany found that healthcare workers who ate more fruit and vegetables had 20% fewer colds throughout the study.”
An added benefit is that fruits and vegetables are also great for your skin and overall health.
According to the NHS: “Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.
“They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestive issues.
“A diet high in fiber may also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.”
For people who are “always on the move,” Dr. Newman-Beinart recommends trying a plant-based wellness shake, such as the Fogmatic Wellness System.
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Spice up your meals
Sprinkling herbs and spices into your dishes will not only boost flavor, but can also have a number of health benefits.
Sebastian Pole, herbalist and founder of Herbalreality.com, a new website that educates about popular medicinal herbs, told Express.co.uk: “Herbs and spices have been used in medicine since ancient times and warming spices, like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, are great for keeping you healthy through the winter.”
Much research has already been done, with results revealing essential “super spices”.
Mr Pole said: “Preclinical studies have shown that ginger can boost immune function and it has even been hailed as having both antiviral and antibacterial effects – so start adding fresh ginger to your herbal teas and your kitchen and enjoy the benefits of this super spice.
“Turmeric is another spice that has been extensively researched in recent years for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
“Research has also shown that curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, is brilliant for immune health.
“It’s been found to be an immunomodulator, meaning it’s able to suppress or stimulate the immune system to help fight disease.”
Pack a punch with vitamin C
According to Dr. Newman-Beinart, “Vitamin C is a staple in my supplement cupboard all year round, but it’s especially good to take when you’re feeling really drained.
“If you’re burning the candle at both ends, up your bet on vitamin C.”
A simple way to do this, says the nutritionist, is to add fresh lemon juice to water.
She added: “Vitamin C is a great way to support your immune system and energy levels when you’re feeling drained, and as an added bonus, it promotes collagen formation in the body.
“So it’s worth investing in vitamin C this winter, not only to support immune health and improve energy, but also to take care of your skin.”