Immune System Boosters
#1 With the rainy season come different diseases like colds, cough, and flu. Boost your immune system for a healthier you this rainy season. One of the best ways to boost your immune system is to eat fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. To get the biggest benefit, eat these antioxidant-rich foods raw or lightly-steamed; don’t overcook or boil.
#2 Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.
#3. Vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds.
#4. Zinc: Found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products.
#5. Selenium: Found in Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry and fortified breads, and other grain products.
#6. Regular exercise: If you want to boost your immune system, get active. Getting your heart rate up for just 20 minutes just three times a week is associated with increased immune function, and a brisk walk five days a week can help reduce your risk of catching a cold. Regular exercise increases the level of leukocytes, an immune system cell that fights infection. Exercise also is associated with increased release of endorphins, natural hormones that pump up your sense of well being and improve sleep quality, both of which have positive effects on your immune system. (Source: webmd.com)
#7. Adequate sleep: Fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness – you may have noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. A lab experiment bears this out: When students at the University of Chicago were limited to only four hours of sleep a night for six nights and then given a flu vaccine, their immune systems produced only half the normal number of antibodies. Like stress, insomnia can cause a rise in inflammation in the body – possibly because lack of sleep also leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure how sleep boosts the immune system, it’s clear that getting adequate amounts – usually 7 to 9 hours for an adult – is essential to good health. (Source: webmd.com)
#8. . Practice relaxation techniques: If chronic stress suppresses the immune system, then learning techniques to reduce stress should help return your immune system to health – and maybe even give it an additional boost. Reducing stress lowers levels of cortisol. It also helps you sleep better, which improves immune function. And some studies show that people who meditate regularly may be able to increase their immune system response. In one experiment, people who meditated over an 8-week period produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who didn’t meditate. And they still showed an increased immune system response four months later. (Source: webmd.com)
#9. Laugh: Comedy is good for you. Laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing a type of white blood cell that fights infection. In fact, even just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your immune system. In one study, a group of men who were told three days in advance that they were going to watch a funny video saw levels of stress hormones drop while levels of endorphins and growth hormones rose. Both endorphins and growth hormones benefit the immune system. (Source: webmd.com)
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