Winter can be a hugely vulnerable time for the body, with pesky germs thriving on the warmth of well-incubated office blocks, houses and shops. With so much illness about, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll feel a slight twinge in your throat at some point. But thankfully there are easy ways to combat the onset of germs. Indeed, you can save yourself a lot time and money by avoiding the pharmacy altogether and simply eating your way towards better immunity.
White blood cells in the body work to fight bacteria and harmful toxins. However, to perform effectively, these cells need to regenerate in an effort to defend you from feeling ill. There are a number of key foods we can consume to feed our white blood cells with the nutrients they need to thrive and these may include the following:
Judging from their frequently bad press, you might assume that all forms of bacteria are out to get you. Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘Good’ bacteria is great for regulating the immune system, by increasing its antibodies and preventing the rise of pathogenic organisms like salmonella and E.coli. Many yoghurts include a high volume of ‘good’ bacteria so if you want to develop your flagging immune system, a few quick spoonfuls could really help you out!
Fruit and vegetables
Cheap and easy to buy, fresh fruit and veg is perfect for boosting your white blood cells. Packed with phytonutrients, the likes of peppers and broccoli strengthen the immune system by rebuilding damaged cells and enhancing new ones. Eating fruit is also essential in fuelling any healthy immune system. Naturally detoxifying, fruit contains a number of antioxidants that shield white blood cells from harm. So why not grab some now?
Whilst eating spinach won’t be enough to turn you into Popeye, it’s certainly excellent for boosting the body’s immunity from illness. Spinach and other leafy foods like kale and collard are high in folate which is vital in preventing DNA and blood vessel damage. It may not be the most appealing dish to come home to in the evening, but a plate of spinach really could keep you healthy through the dark winter months ahead.
Oysters may be renowned for boosting the sex drive, but these slimy molluscs are also ideal if you’re looking to improve your immune system. Oysters are crammed with zinc, which can really enhance your immunity by helping white blood cells reproduce more quickly. Zinc also strengthens antibodies, making them more efficient at warding off infection. So, to keep your body in sync, just eat some zinc!
Whilst it wouldn’t be wise to eat it on a hot date with a sexy stunner, garlic is nevertheless a fantastic infection deterrent. Containing key anti-virus elements like allicin and ajoene, garlic juice alone can clear up fungal maladies and even disinfect wounds. All things in moderation though; just make sure it doesn’t immunise your chances of getting cozy tonight.
Carrots aren’t just for rabbits, you know. Try and munch a few if you’re looking to avoid the curse of a nasty cough or cold. Carrots are full of beta-carotene which bolsters the number of white blood cells in the immune system, as well as T cells. So if you’re looking to go to war with an evil disease microbe, it might well be time you crunched on a bit of orange.
Maintaining a strong immune system doesn’t have to be rocket science, just as long as you enjoy a healthy diet, rich in certain nutrients. Whilst foods like oysters and carrots won’t be dead-certs when it comes to fighting off illness, they’ll do you a lot more good than if you’re stuffing yet another quarter-pounder into your mouth. So put down the pasty and get chomping on some immunising foods. Otherwise it could be a long, hard winter...