With the sudden scare of the Enterovirus and Ebola everyone is in a panic wondering if their immune system is strong enough to fight such diseases. Realistically, we should all be more concerned with the upcoming flu season, colds and pneumonia. Aside from washing hands thoroughly and keeping your hands aways from your mouth and face, you should be eating well and getting plenty of sleep each night. There are several foods that can help to boost the immune system and keep you healthy:

Yogurt – Yogurt contains probiotics (live active cultures of good bacteria). Probiotics keep our guts free of germs that cause disease.

Barley & Oats – Barley and oats are full of antioxidants that help build immunity, enable antibiotics to work faster and heal wounds in a flash.

Garlic – Garlic is a old-fashioned fix-me-up. Not only does it ward off vampires but it contains allicin which fights bacteria and infection. You don’t see too many sniffling Italians do you?

Shellfish – These yummy sea creatures help white blood cells produce cytokines (proteins that help clear flu viruses from the body) and also contain Omega-3 fats that reduce inflammation in the body.

Chicken Soup – Mom knew what she was doing when she fed you chicken soup during your childhood colds. The cooking of chicken releases the amino acid cysteine which keeps mucus thin and the respiratory system clear.

Tea – Black and green tea both contain the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine fights viruses in the body and give you an immune boost. Tea anyone?

Beef – Yes! I said beef. Beef contains zinc which assists in the development of white blood cells. A zinc deficiancy can increase your risk of infections. Grill a steak and eat up!

Sweet Potatoes – These sweet, delicious, orange colored jewels contain plenty of beta-carotene. The body turns beta-carotene into vitamin A. We need vitamin A to aid in skin health. Vitamin A is important in the production of connective tissue. Keeping skin healthy prevents wounds and breakdown. Skin is the body’s largest organ and protects the internal organs from disease and infections.

Mushrooms – Mushrooms aid in increasing the activity and production of white blood cells. These smart little cells become more aggressive fighting off infection.

Keep these foods on your grocery list and you’re sure to ward off nasty diseases and infections.

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