September 17, 2010
- Yogurt is one of the five foods you should include in your healthy diet every day (along with leafy greens, nuts, onions and whole grains). Its probiotics help keep your intestinal tract and gut clear of disease-causing germs. Top a bowl with blueberries for an added immunity punch.
- Oats and Barley both contain beta-glucan, a fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant effects that one study showed to be more powerful than echinacea. They may help you antibiotics work better, and they will help speed wound-healing. Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and try a barley vegetable salad (add mushrooms!).
- Watermelon has the antioxidant glutathione, which can help strengthen the immune system and fight infection.
- Sweet Potatoes fortify your skin with beta-carotene, as do carrots, which our bodies convert into vitamin A, a key component in restoring skin’s connective tissue. Try baked sweet potato fries instead of their French counterpart.
- Broccoli is rich in glutathione, and has been known to stimulate the immune system, have cancer fighting properties and anti-aging abilities. Other dark greens like cabbage and kale have similar effects. Drop them into stir-fries and salads, or seek out some new recipes starring this old grocery store standby.
- Garlic has allicin which helps fight infection and bacteria. Two raw cloves a day can help you from getting sick. Chow down on pesto and garlic-studded raw tomato sauce while the summer produce sticks around, or lightly cook cloves in stir-fries.
- Mushrooms have natural antiviral and antibacterial effects. Throw them into omelettes, stir-fries, or try your hand at a triple mushroom tart.
- Oysters contain zinc that has an antiviral effect and is a key component in several immune system tasks including healing scrapes and cuts.