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Food fighters: keeping your immune system strong with the right ingredients

immunity boosting foods

Food is a powerful everyday tool that plays an enormous role in our health and wellbeing and can be an excellent support in maintaining a healthy immune system. Here, Grayshott Spa explains which foods you should be eating to help keep you strong, and enjoy your diet in the process.

Garlic - an active ingredient for a healthy immune system

Garlic has potent antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties and bacteria, viruses, and yeast build up no resistance to it, unlike with synthetic antibiotics. For optimal benefits, garlic should be fresh since the active ingredient is destroyed within about one hour of smashing the garlic cloves.

Beta-carotene for protecting cells

Orange and red foods such as pumpkin, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot (and dark green leafy veg) are all packed with beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant which plays an essential role in protecting cells and boosting the immune system.

Mushrooms - rich in vitamins

Mushrooms are rich in protein, fibre, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals as well as powerful compounds called beta-glucans, which have been long known for their immune enhancing properties. The beta-glucans in medicinal mushrooms (especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake) have been shown to activate and modulate your immune system.

Fermented foods for a healthy gut

Fermented foods like live yogurt and sauerkraut are full of friendly microorganisms that balance your “inner ecosystem” and strengthen immunity. Friendly bacteria have a powerful, beneficial effect on your gut’s immune system, your first line of defense against pathogens, and aid in the production of antibodies.

Green teas for antioxidants

Green teas are rich in a polyphenol called catechin which has been shown to be 25 to 100 times more potent than the antioxidant vitamins C and E. This means it offers great protection to your cells and provides a huge boost to your immune system.

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