At least 100 different viruses have so far been identified that can result in the symptoms of a cold. That leaves the immune system challenged.
Remember that we can boost both the number and the activity of white blood cells with specific nutrients, and that can be hindered by what we eat too as well.
Foods that should be on the top of your shopping list.
Zinc: found in seafood, chicken, oats, brown rice and pumpkin seeds it enhances T cells, a type of immune cell that helps create antibodies.
Caution it is possible to take too much zinc and so if you are taking any other supplements, such as a multivitamin and mineral, you shouldn’t be taking more than 45mg daily, and then only for very short periods.
Vitamin C: found in berries, sweet potatoes, peppers, kale and cauliflower, it enhances most areas of the immune system. It can’t be stored in the human body for long, so a regular top up is advised.
Organosulphides: found in garlic, chives, onions and leeks, they stimulate phagocytic action making the process more efficient.
Olive leaf extract: Found in supplements, and annoyingly not in food, this nutrient is very useful in providing a valuable boost to the immune system olive leaf extract can enhance the number as well as the action of white blood cells.
Try this when you feel a cold or infection coming on (but remember, it’s not a trio to be taken on an ongoing basis), zinc 15mg, vitamin C 500mg and olive leaf extract 500mg. Take this three times a day for no more than three days and you could well find that you don’t develop the cold or infection to start with.
As for food, think soup; vegetable based soups are highly recommended as they offer easily absorbed nutrients as well as hydration. Interesting to note too that research at the University of Omaha found that chicken soup was found to have a useful combination of nutrients.
Foods to avoid avoid sugar, as it can hinder white blood cell actions, and avoid excessive dieting which potentially starves the body of the nutrients it needs to fight off infections.
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