Boost Your Immune System Naturally

 

man-drinking-orange-juiceWe are officially in the season of Fall. Fall and Winter are the seasons when people get colds and flu the most, but if you are smart you will boost your immune system, so that the colds and flu do not touch you.

You can boost your immune system all year round and that way your immune system will be strong enough to fight off any bugs that come your way.

You do not have to pop pills to boost your immune system.  You are what you eat, and if you eat whole foods then there is really no need to pop pills, unless you want a little  more protection.You should really get what you need from you food first, and then supplement as needed.

You can find these foods and supplements in your local market or health food store. Boost your immune system now so that you do not have to pay later.

Give Your Immune System a Boost

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. These fruits are good sources of Vitamin C, which help in fighting colds. You can also drink the juice of the citrus fruits too. Most commercial orange juice is fortified with extra Vitamin C.

Garlic

Garlic is related to the onion, but is more pungent than the onion. Garlic produces allicin when it is injured, which helps the garlic protect itself against insects and fungi. Allicin fights infection and bacteria.

I have an elderly neighbor who swears by garlic.  He is about 70 years old and has no health problems and I have never heard him talk about having a cold or the flu.  He eats raw garlic regularly.

Ginger

Ginger is very warming on a cold day and it also helps promote healthy sweating. This healthy sweating is helpful during colds and flu, because sweat has a germ fighting-agent (dermicidin) that helps fight infection.

Zinc

The pumpkin seed is a good source of Zinc. Zinc is very important mineral that helps boost your immune system. Some other sources of zinc include: legumes, seaweeds, nuts and whole grains, Brewer’s Yeast, lima beans, mushrooms, and sunflower seeds. You can take a zinc supplement, but it is always best to eat a well-balanced diet, supplementing as needed.

Green Tea

Green tea is high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help combat the effects of free radicals, those unstable molecules produced in the body as by-products of aging, pollution, and stress.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in anti-oxidants, which are important for having a healthy immune system. Whole grains are not only rich in anti-oxidants, but they are also good sources of B-vitamins. B-vitamins help with your energy levels, but they also help boost the immune system.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have a good source of beta-carotene, which the body can easily turn into Vitamin A. Beta-carotene helps fight infections.

Carrots and other fruits and vegetables that are orange are good too.

Conclusion

It is always a good to increase your fruits and vegetables. Eating a well-balanced diet with most of your food being whole and unprocessed helps boost your immune system. If you do this year round, your immune system gets the boost it needs.

Remember, the foods you eat can help you, but if you are not getting the proper rest and are stressed, then you may find yourself more susceptible to colds. Stay away from the junk food, exercise and drink lots of fluids (water).

There are many things you can do as well as the foods you can eat to boost your immune system. Prepare today, don’t wait for tomorrow, because tomorrow might be too late.

Question:  What do you do to boost your immune system?

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Top 9 Nutrients for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

 

healthy-hair-skin-nailsIt is what you put on your hair, skin and nails that matters most, but what you put into your body that matters too.

There is no magic potion that gives you healthy hair, skin and nails. There are products on the market that will enhance and help you take care of  what you already have.

The state of your hair, skin and nails reflects what’s going on inside your body. If you are eating a diet that consists of mostly junk food, then overtime, this will show in your hair, skin and nails.

It is very important that you eat a balanced and healthy diet, because it helps with your hair, skin and nails. Supplements are great, but you should get most of what you need from your food.

Do not depend on a supplement to give you all the vitamins and minerals that you need for healthy hair, skin and nails.  Be sure to include the following in your diet:

1.  Protein

Protein builds and repairs the body.

Sources of Protein: beans, legumes, grains, nuts, soy, figs, olives, vegetables, apricots, avocados

2.  Omega -3 Fatty Acids

Omega -3 Fatty Acids are essential and we must get this from our food. It is beneficial for hair, skin and nails.

Sources of Omega -3 Fatty Acids: ground flax seeds, flax oil, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, beans, legumes, citrus fruits, cherries, melons

3.  Zinc

Zinc works in protein synthesis and collagen formation.

Sources of Zinc: pumpkin seeds, lima beans, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, pecans, soy beans, sunflower seeds.

4.  Biotin

Biotin aids in cell growth, fatty acid production, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins. It is important in maintaining the strength of  the hair and nails.

Sources of Biotin: beans, grains, and yeast

5.  Iron

Iron produces hemoglobin and carries oxygen to red blood cells. Iron deficiency symptoms include: brittle hair, nails that are moon shaped or that have ridges running lengthwise, hair loss, fatigue, paleness, dizziness and anemia.

Sources of Iron: green leafy vegetables, whole grains, avocados, beets, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, dulse, kelp, kidney and lima beans, millet, parsley, peaches, pears, dried prunes, pumpkin, raisin,s rice and wheat bran, sesame seeds and soybeans

6.  Vitamin A

Vitamin A supports healthy skin and can aid in preventing acne. Aids in tissue and skin repair. Slows the aging process.

Sources of Vitamin A: alfalfa, apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, dandelion greens, garlic, kale, peaches, red peppers, spirulina, pumpkin, yellow squash, turnip greens and watercress

7.  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is an antioxidant required for tissue growth and repair. Essential in collagen formation.

Sources of Vitamin C: green leafy vegetables, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, pears, summer apples, melons, citrus fruits, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, grapefruit, mangos, lemons, mustard greens, onions, pineapples, tomatoes, turnip greens and watercress

8.  Selenium

Selenium is a vital antioxidant and trace element that needed in tissue elasticity.

Sources of Selenium: Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, garlic, molasses, onions, vegetables, wheat germ and whole grains.

9.  Silica

Silica is a trace mineral that is known to slow the aging process.   It is present in collagen and helps give luster to the hair, strengthens nails and tones the skin.

Sources of Silica:  horsetail, bamboo, bean sprouts, cucumber, onion, celery, cabbage, sunflower seeds,  strawberries, leeks, cauliflower

Conclusion

Eating a variety of foods is the key to healthy hair, skin and nails.  Stay away from refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and foods that don’t bring life to your body.

This blog focuses on plant-based foods and if you don’t see any animal foods listed, that’s why.

Eat the color of the rainbow!

Source of Information:

Vitamins & Minerals from A to Z (Ethno-Conscious Series)

Skin Candy Vitamins

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

12 Ways to Avoid Colds this Holiday Season

woman drinking orange juice

1. Always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 26 seconds.

 

2. Keep your hands away from your face.

 

3. Eat foods high in vitamin C or take vitamin C supplements. (examples: oranges, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, sweet peppers)

 

4. Reduce or avoid refined sugar.

 

5. Take zinc supplements or eat foods high in zinc. (examples: pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds)

 

6. Exercise.

 

7. Drink plenty of fluids

 

8. Get enough sleep and rest.

 

9. Get some sun if you can (for vitamin D), but if you can’t, then take a vitamin D supplement .

 

10. Eat garlic and onions (don’t worry about bad breath, chew parsley for that).

 

11.  Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

12.  Keep stress to a minimum.

 

Discussion:  Please share how you avoid colds.

 

Keep your immune system strong!

 

Image: Jeroen van Oostrom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net