Top 10 Foods For A
Healthy Immune Response
Staying well while those around you sniffle and sneeze requires
that you extract as much nutrition from your diet as you can,
loading up on the foods that pack the biggest nutritional punch.
Avoiding processed foods, grains and sugar will go a long way
toward strengthening your immune system. However, you can do even
more by selecting foods that are loaded with the specific immune
1. Fermented Foods
If you are serious about boosting your immunity, then adding traditionally
fermented foods is essential.
One of the most healthful fermented foods is kefir. Kefir is
an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly microorganisms
that balance your inner ecosystem and strengthen immunity.
Besides kefir, other good fermented foods include natto, kimchee,
miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, yoghurt (watch for sugar),
bacteria have a powerful, beneficial effect on your guts
immune system, your first line defense against pathogens, and
aid in the production of antibodies.
2. Raw Organic Eggs From Free-Range Chickens
Before you wrinkle up your nose, raw eggs are an inexpensive
and amazing source of high-quality nutrients that many people are
deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat. I am a proponent
of raw eggs because they have been so helpful to my own health.
As long as you have a good source for fresh, organic raw eggs,
you need not worry about salmonella.
To find free-range pasture farms, try your local health food store,
or go to http://www.eatwild.com
3. Coconuts and Coconut Oil
Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism,
oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin.
Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk that strengthens
a babys immunity.
A great deal of research has been done establishing the ability
of lauric acid to enhance immunity. This medium-chain fatty acid
(MCFA) actually disrupts the lipid membranes of offending organisms.
When selecting coconuts and coconut oil, make sure you choose
organic ones that are unrefined, unbleached, made without heat
processing or chemicals, and non-GMO.
4. Locally Grown Organic Vegetables
When it comes to fighting off pathogens, you simply cant
do any better than eating a variety of fresh, organic and preferably
raw vegetables for the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes
they contain. However, the amount and type of vegetables you should
eat daily will depend on your nutritional type.
Make sure the veggies you choose are fresh. The nutrient value
drops to practically zero once a fruit or vegetable is canned.
For example, take a look at the ORAC value of peaches.
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, and an ORAC
unit or ORAC score is a standardized method of measuring
the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements. The
higher the ORAC score, the more effective a food is at neutralizing
free radicals. The less free radicals you have, the healthier
you will be.
Back to Peaches
A raw, fresh peach has an ORAC score of 1,814. A can of peaches
in heavy syrup has an ORAC score of 436, meaning that more than
75 percent of the antioxidants are lost in the canning process.
You can check the ORAC score for many different things at www.oracvalues.com.
The higher the score, the better. Please be aware, though, that
the total antioxidant capacity of a food alone does not determine
its health benefit, which depends on how it is absorbed and utilized
by your body. ORAC score is a useful guide, but it is only part
of the picture.
5. Blueberries and Raspberries
and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity (ORAC of
6,520), compared to other fruits and vegetables. Wild blueberries
in particular are potent immune boosters. They contain powerful
phytochemicals, such as anthocyanin, which is the pigment that gives
blueberries their color. And they are lower in sugar than many other
Blueberry juice contains tons of fiber, and is also very high in
Vitamin C. One of the qualities of antioxidants is that they can
lower inflammation, and so there's some indication that blueberries
may have some effect on age-related cognitive abilities. And don't
forget that blueberries are very low in calories.
Mushrooms strengthen your immune system because they are rich in
protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium and other minerals,
and even vitamin
D -- one of the only foods that can provide you with this essential
Mushrooms make up a large part of the fabric of the earth. According
Stamets, one of the worlds leading authorities on the
health benefits of mushrooms, one cubic inch of soil can contain
eight miles of mycelium.
Mushrooms also contain powerful compounds called beta glucans,
which have been long known for their immune enhancing properties.
The beta glucans in medicinal mushrooms (especially Reishi, Shiitake
and Maitake) are notable for their ability to activate/modulate
the immune system.
Beta glucan enhances immunity through a variety of mechanisms,
many of which are similar to those of echinacea or astragalus
root. For example, it binds to macrophages and other scavenger
white blood cells, activating their anti-infection activities.[iv]
Numerous studies support this.
As foods go, chlorella is nearly perfect.
is a single-cell freshwater algae that acts as an efficient detoxification
agent by binding to toxins, such as mercury, and carries them
out of your system. It is the chlorophyll in chlorella that makes
it so powerful. Chlorophyll helps you process more oxygen, cleanses
your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues.
Propolis is a bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum
antimicrobial compounds in the world, if not the broadest spectrum,
according to master herbalist Donnie Yance. Propolis is also the
richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important
phenolic compounds that aid in immune response.
Green Tea and Matcha
Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green
tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground powder, completely
unfermented. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to seventeen
times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more
than dark chocolate.
Green teas are rich in polyphenols, in the form of natural chemicals
called catechins. The most powerful catechin in tea is epigallocatechin
(EGCG), which was found in one study to be 25 to 100 times more
potent than antioxidant vitamins C and E. And Matcha is more than
100 times as potent in EGCG as regular brewed green tea.
Tulsi tea, coming from the holy basil herb, has been
used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic medicine of India.
Not only is this tea loaded with antioxidants, but it has multiple
positive health benefits, including supporting your immune health,
memory, heart health and vision.
The anti-bacterial and anti-viral effect of white
tea has been found to be even greater than that of green tea.
White tea extract may help inactivate bacteria, viruses and fungi
that affect humans.
10. Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are at the top of the list of high ORAC value
foods on planet Earth. There are simply too many good ones to
summarize here! So I will simply highlight a few that deserve
Although not at the top of the ORAC chart (5,346),
is incredibly beneficial to your immune system because it offers
a triple-whammy: its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal.
You should be eating garlic every day. One of the best things
about garlic is that bacteria, viruses, and yeast build up no
resistance to it, unlike with synthetic antibiotics.
For optimal benefits, garlic should be fresh since the active
ingredient is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic
cloves. In other words, garlic capsules are basically useless.
Garlic contains allicin, a chemical that is anticarcinogenic.
It also has been shown to lower LDL, lower total cholesterol,
lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of blood clots and stroke,
lower homocysteine, and even prevent insect bites -- including
mosquitoes and ticks.
Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice
Immunity from common infections involves not only preventing
pathogens from taking hold, but also moderating the immune response
to invading pathogens.
Complications arise when you experience an over-response to the
infection, which is why H1N1 is taking its toll on healthy young
adults. Their bodies are over responding -- something called a
storm. Its basically a severe inflammatory response.[vi]
One wonderful thing about plants (and herbs especially) is that
they dont all stimulate the immune systemsome modulate
it, or act as a buffer.
Here are some of the best herbs and spices for building a strong
immune system that functions correctly:
* Honeysuckle and chrysanthemum: good antivirals
* Artemisia: antimalarial
* Andrographis, aka King of Bitters: antiviral, and
helps modulate inflammatory response
* Licorice: buffers the inflammatory response by increasing steroid
output by the adrenal glands; a good buffer if your immune system
is over responding to the flu.
ORAC score of 159,277; general immune system booster due to its
high antioxidant capacity, and an anticancer agent as well; turneric
is 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamins C and E, and even strong
enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical, which is considered by
some to be the most reactive of all oxidants
* Black Pepper: Increases the bioavailability of just about all
other foods--herbs and other things
ORAC 13,970; active agent is rosmarinic acid, a strong antioxidant;
one tablespoon of oregano has the antioxidant capacity of one
ORAC 267,536; powerful antimicrobial agentfound to kill
E. coli and many other bacteria; also has antiinflammatory compounds
* Cloves: THE BIG ORAC GRAND PRIZE WINNER AT 314,446, highest
of all foods tested! Contains eugenol; its mild anaesthetic benefits
are useful for toothaches and sore throats; good antiinflammatory
Dr. Joseph Mercola cited an interview with herbalist Donnie Yance,
who shared his basic remedy for flu, should you come down with
Make this special tea from a combination of herbs that synergistically
cause your body to sweat -- which is very desirable if you
want to eradicate a virus from your system. And then drink it
hot and often:
1. Elderflower (used for hundreds
of years for flu)
2. Boneset (eupatorium)
By incorporating some of these fantastic foods, youll
not only evade the circulating viruses but improve your overall
health and longevity at the same time.
Protection from H1N1
To Help Those Forced To Take The H1N1 Vaccines
Ways To Prevent Swine And Other Flu
Immunity - 16 Immunity Enhancers
- Miracle Nutrient Explained
Nutrient-Rich Foods That Can Change Your Health
Reference Source 116, 232
November 23, 2009