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Foods for Protecting Your Immune System Health

By Stephen R. Farris

With the coming of fall and winter, it's the time of year most folks start combating allergies, colds, and flu. This can put a drain on our immune systems, not to mention, lost time at work.

However, you can get the jump on preparing your immune system for the upcoming allergy, cold, and flu season by simply adding certain foods into your daily diet.

More Seafood

Adding seafood into your regular diet is a great idea, but you'll want to choose ones that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, herring, herring, and mackerel. According to research, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to increase the activity of white blood cells, which strengthens your immune system.

More Proteins

Consuming foods with more protein can aid in boosting your immune system. Protein found in meats, such as beef, lamb, chicken, and fish, combine for a double whammy (so to speak) for your immune system, by teaming up with zinc, which is also found in meats. 

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is another double whammy for bolstering up your immune system. Dark chocolate contains both magnesium and zinc. Magnesium acts as a repellant (due to proteins' many components), while zinc helps increase -- as noted earlier -- activity in white blood cells to strengthen the immune system. 

Fruits and Leafy Greens

What a combo, nutritious fresh fruits and leafy greens! For fresh fruits, you should choose ones that contain Vitamin C such as, oranges, lemons, strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes - although mostly considered as a vegetable. For leafy greens, kale, bell peppers, collard greens, and other varieties are rich in Vitamin C. Broccoli is another source of Vitamin C. It should be noted that these fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants as well. The Vitamin C found in these foods attack free radicals in your body, thus boosting your immune system at the same time. It's like giving your immune system plenty of back-up support.

Garlic and Onions

If you want to add more flavor to your healthy dishes, and help your immune system at the same time, then try tossing in some chopped garlic and/or onions. Garlic produces allicin when chopped or minced. Allicin is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, while onions (chopped, diced, or sliced) produce quercetin, which, according to research, could help histamine response. Onions also have antiviral properties. Basically, they act as protective health to your immune system. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bowling Green, Ky.

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