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Healthy Eating Tips-For a Strong Immune System

Well, we will wrap up our basic nutrition series with how to add nutrients for a strong immune system. This is our III installment that should have been last week but there was the Holiday. Look forward to "Healthy Living Tips" to follow. Once we get the basics down we will get into the real nitty-gritty of migraine and headache care. Stay Tuned!

The immune system is a complex organ system in the body comprised of white blood cells, skin, mucus and bacteria. Its central role is to seek, recruit, attack and destroy foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses that enter the body.

Consume more vitamin D

Research shows that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body.

Foods high in vitamin D:

  • fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

  • beef liver.

  • cheese.

  • egg yolks.

Consume more vitamins C & E

Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help to destroy free radicals and support the body's natural immune response.

Vitamin C sources:

  • red bell peppers

  • oranges

  • strawberries

  • broccoli

  • lemons

Vitamin E sources:

  • almonds

  • spinach

  • avocado

  • olives

Have more beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body.

Sources include:

  • sweet potatoes

  • carrots

  • green leafy vegetables

Consume more zinc

Zinc is a mineral that can help boost white blood cells, which defend against invaders.

Sources include:

  • pumpkin seeds

  • sesame seeds

  • beans

  • lentils

Consume more Allicin- Allicin is the principal bioactive compound present in the aqueous extract of garlic. When garlic is chopped or crushed, the alliinase enzyme is activated, and allicin is produced. When cooking with garlic, it is recommended to crush or chop it and leave for 10 mins for the enzyme to be activated.

The benefits of garlic to health has been proclaimed for centuries; however, only recently, it's been proposed as a promising candidate for maintaining a healthy immune system. Most studies on garlic use a dosage range of 600-1,200mg a day, usually divided into multiple doses. The minimum effective dose for raw garlic is a single segment of a garlic bulb (called a clove), eaten with meals two or three times a day.

Take some astragalus- Astragalus membranaceus is an important herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used in a wide variety of herbal blends and 'natural' remedies. This Chinese herb has been researched for its cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, and longevity effects. Astragalus membranaceus and Angelicae Sinensis are highly synergistic, meaning they are more powerful when taken together. This combination is traditionally called Dang-gui buxue tang.

The starting point for the preparation of Dang-gui buxue tang in traditional Chinese medicine is 30g of Astragalus membranaceus root paired with 6g of Angelicae Sinensis. This is a 5:1 ratio, which is ideal for extracting the bioactive ingredients of the plants. The main bioactive compound in Astragalus membranaceus is astragaloside IV, which can be supplemented by itself. The standard dose for astragaloside IV is 5-10mg.

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