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Eat These Foods for a Stronger Immune System

By Debra Rodzinak

Building a stronger immune system can help you recover from illness or keep from getting sick in the first place.  Eating certain foods can help you accomplish this goal of building up a strong immune system and help your body fight off bad germs.

The Immune System

The incredible immune system is full of ways to fight off nasty germs that can make you sick.  The stomach is filled with bacteria that can be an army of fighters and what you eat can help them be strong fighters.  Foods such as citrus fruits, pickles, garlic, chia seeds, beans, and miso are all foods to include in your diet that will naturally boost the immune system.

Beginning with the mouth, saliva contains lysozyme, alpha-amylase, and lactoferrin that are powerful antimicrobials to keep a person healthy.  Next, the hydrochloric acid in the stomach finishes any germs that get past the saliva in the mouth.  Then, the chemicals and proteins in the rest of the digestive tract continue to put up a fight against bad bacteria.  Finally, probiotics are a type of good bacteria that keeps the bad bacteria from entering the blood stream. 

Eat This for Better Health

Since the GI tract makes up over 70 percent of the immune system, what you eat has a big effect on the way the good bacteria is able to fight.  Nutrient-dense foods that are rich in fiber are best.  Stay away from high fat, sugary, processed foods.  Some foods to eat that will increase the good bacteria in your gut include:

  • Vegetables – asparagus, leeks, onions, and garlic
  • Carbohydrates – quinoa, beans, oats, wheat, yams, and potatoes
  • Fruits – apples, kiwi, berries, bananas, and citrus fruits
  • Fats – chia seeds and flaxseed
  • Dairy – yogurt and cheese with live and active cultures
  • Fermented vegetables – kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles
  • Fermented soy – tempeh and miso
  • Other foods – soy sauce, wine, and kombucha

As with any diet, a variety of different types of healthy fruits, vegetables, and other foods is necessary.  Varying the types and colors of the foods you eat will ensure that not only will your good bacteria be fed, but your overall health will be improved.  Experiment with different foods that you have not tried or haven’t eaten in a while to discover new ways to stay healthy through eating.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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