If you’ve been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, it’s important to start a diet for boosted immunity. Auto-immune diseases include Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, HIV/AIDS and others. When the immune system becomes too weak, it can cause inflammation in your body, resulting in painful and or hazardous digestive processes. This can lead to more serious illness if left unchecked. A healthy diet can help to strengthen the immune system and thereby prevent or reduce disease activity.
HOW TO IMPROVE IMMUNITY
The first step to improving your daily diet with anti-inflammatory foods is to learn how your body functions. Begin by drinking eight glasses of water each day; this will flush your body of toxins, improve digestion and improve your appetite. But first, let’s explore the science behind how your body’s immune system functions, so that you know which vitamins and supplements are right for you.
You’ve probably heard a lot about vitamin E and other antioxidants, but what do they do? Vitamins E is one of the best antioxidants available, because it has a very long shelf life (up to forty years) and is actually considered to be an antioxidant molecule. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals, which are molecules that have incomplete electron shells. Because free radicals can damage cell membranes and DNA, antioxidant compounds can repair the damage, preventing it from further damaging cells and causing health problems.
IMMUNE DEFYING FOODS
So, what are some common immune-defying foods and supplements? There are many, and each year the market becomes richer with new research. The most popular vitamin E supplements are found in cod liver oil, flaxseed oil, grape seed oil, green tea, and various soy products. Green tea is particularly effective as an immune-stimulant, and the extracts of ginseng and ginkgo biloba have been shown to improve circulation, strengthen the immune system and lower cholesterol.
Some research indicates that green tea is even more powerful than vitamin E as an antioxidant, but it is difficult to determine the effect of different antioxidants on immune function. However, both green tea and black tea are powerful antioxidant foods. They can provide up to forty times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges and red bell peppers, and nearly four times the antioxidant peroxide found in strawberries. Flavonoids, which are powerful plant chemicals, are thought to work alongside antioxidants to enhance immune function. Green tea and black tea contain a variety of flavonoids.
DRINK AS IMMUNITY BOOSTER
Some wonder whether drinking kefir will boost their immunity. Kefir has been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide range of health problems including allergies, candida and yeast infections, heart conditions, arthritis, digestive problems and cancer. Many people believe that kefir increases the activity of lymphocytes, which are cells in the body that kill virus and bacteria. Researchers have not proven these claims, but it seems likely that the health benefits of this ancient food are due to the lactose-like bacteria (which is often found in kefir) that the drink contains.
OIL FOR IMMUNITY
Oil is another ingredient that has been seen as having healthful benefits. Like many other oils, cooking with olive or canola oil may increase the activity of lymphocytes in the gut. However, a diet may also affect the activity of lymphocytes. Chronic disease patients, for example, should avoid refined sugar and whole milk. A diet that is high in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and other nutrients may boost the activity of lymphocytes and may help to control chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Some foods that have been shown to have positive health benefits are fruits and vegetables, which contain a variety of nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of antioxidant compounds, vitamins and minerals. For example, research has shown that eating a diet rich in antioxidants may help to control inflammation. It may also lower the risk of heart disease. A diet may also improve immune function and help to keep you healthy.