A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine. Picture: Pexels
A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine. Picture: Pexels

5 natural ways to boost your immune system

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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Feeding your body certain foods may help keep your immune system strong.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza viruses continue to wreak misery globally. 

Other viruses cause respiratory illness: parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, coronaviruses, rhinoviruses….not to mention bacteria such as Streptococcus.

With the increasing number of covid-19 cases, when you plan your meals include these powerful immune system boosters: 

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.Other potential problems include obesity, depression and lower sex drive.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits

A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against Streptococcus pneumonia.  Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium, which can help you boost you immune system. 

Garlic

Garlic can combat sickness, including the common cold and g arlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Because heat deactivates a key active ingredient, add it to foods just before serving.One clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains:  Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV),  Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV,  Vitamin C: 1% of the DV,  Selenium: 1% of the DV,  Fiber: 0.06 grams, d ecent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1.

Citrus fruits

These fruits helps build up your immune system and also help fights common cold and flu. Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells and these are key to fighting infections. Popular citrus fruits include: grapefruit,  oranges,  tangerines,  lemons,  limes, and  clementines.Because your body doesn't produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health.

Yogurt

Look for yogurts that have "live and active cultures" printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts rather than the kinds that are pre-flavored and loaded with sugar. You can sweeten plain yogurt yourself with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead.

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