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Immune System Booster – Food, Herbs and Activities

The Lymphatic System

As recently as 75 years ago the majority of the world’s population were using mostly herbs to heal themselves. Even now the majority of people in third world countries depend on indigenous plants for medicine and many of this medicinal plants are very effective. Some times we forget food is also a healer and not just something that provides nutrition to our body. In many developing countries the practice of herbs and foods to boost the immune system and to heal is used widely.

Now a days we eat overly processed food full of chemicals that has lost its vital nutrient. We eat to much fast food that is full of unhealthy fat. Our fruits and vegetable are not usually fresh. No wonder chronic disease has risen to epidemic proportions and our children are obese and some even have type 2 diabetes already.

We need to return to a more natural and holistic way of life. The trend towards small local farms to grow our food is a step in the right direction. We can get fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables right off the farm. It is good to know where our food comes from and to connect to the land and nature.

We have also forgotten herbs can heal and keep us strong and healthy. they do not work as the modern pharmaceutical medicine which usually targets certain part of the body and has side effects. Herbs work in holistic manner and that is hard to prove scientifically because there are too many variables. But thousands of years of experience with them tell us they do work and we should use them. But we do need to be knowledgeable about them and know how and when to use them.

Twelve Immune system boosters

1. Get outdoors and into the sun. For twenty to thirty minutes daily, get direct and/or indirect sunlight.

The best times are before 9:00am and after 3:00pm in the winter, or after 6:00pm in the summer. Allow the full-spectrum sunlight to enter your eyes by not wearing sunglasses during this time. The sun is most powerful immune system builder.

antibody mediated immune response on black background

Antibody Response

2. Consume adequate oxygen. Put yourself in or neat oxygen-rich environments-oceans, forests, running streams, greenhouses-and learn to breathe deeply. Eat plenty of oxygen-rich green foods. If you are indoors for most of the day, purchase an oxygen – producing air purifier.

3. Drink pure water. The best water purification processes are distilled or molecule organized. Consume in ounces the amount equal to one – half your weight in pounds. Add safe, oxygen – enhancing products to your drinking water.

4.  Eat a totally vegan diet that is comprised of 75 percent or more raw food by volume. Sprouts and green vegetables are the most balanced and nourishing choices.

5. Drink freshly made beverages form sprouted green vegetables twice a day.

6. Use “regular” blue-green algae. Super blue-green algae or Hawaiian spirulina, along with chlorella, are high-concentrated foods that enhance immunity.

cytotoxic response

Cellular Immune Response

7. Stop using immune – suppressing ingredients. These include salt, refined sugars and flowers, dairy products, vinegars, heated oils, and food preservatives, additives, stabilizers, and colorings.

8. Avoid microwaved and fried foods, which can suppress the immune system and lead to cancers and heart and circulatory disease.

9. Eliminate alcohol and drugs. Unless your prescriptions are absolutely essential to your survival, stop taking them. Alcohol and drugs do not mix, except to undermine our immune system.

10. Exercise moderately. Engage in stretching, aerobics, and resistance exercises at least five times a week for thirty to sixty minutes a day.

T-Cell B-Cell communication

T-Cell B-Cell communication

11. Get adequate rest. Sleep and rest helps to recharge the immune system. As part of this strategy, rest the entire body once a week on a juice – and –water fast. This enables the immune system to do a weekly cleanup.

12. Keep a smile on your face. Maintaining a positive attitude is a key to having a belief system that supports immunity, read a book anatomy of an illness by Norman Cousins for a primer on how laughter and humor can enhance the human immune system. Nature, color, sound, and laughter can positively affect the immune system

Foods to Stregthen the Immune System

Feeding your body with immune system boosting foods helps its natural fighting and resisting powers. Immune boosting foods increase the number of white cells in the blood and immune system.

All foods high in Vitamin C, A, B1, B3, B6, B9 B12 and Vitamins D and E help to boost the body’s immune system, as well as foods high in zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, beta-carotene, Omega-3 fats and sulphur, carotenoids, bioflavenoids and selenium.

Anti-oxidants and the Immune System

Anti-oxidants are nutrients that minimize the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that cause cellular damage. Anti-oxidants stabilize free radicals, protect the body from free radical damage, and boosts the immune system.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A has excellent anti-oxidant properties, and foods high in Vitamin A helps to rebuild and strengthen the immune system.  Foods high in Vitamin A content are:  cabbages, broccoli, spinach and al dark green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that empowers the immune system.  Vitamin C rich foods increase the immune systems ability to combat bacterial and viral infections.  The immune system uses Vitamin C to produce antibodies that are essential in order to fight infections effectively.  Foods high in Vitamin C content are:  cauliflowers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums (bell peppers), brussel sprouts, citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins etc) kiwi fruit, strawberries, blueberries and guava.

Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex includes Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12.  These vitamins are potent and powerful immune system boosters.  Foods high in Vitamin B Complex are:  tuna, avocadoes, brazil nuts, bananas, legumes and oats.

Vitamin E
Foods containing Vitamin E have high antioxidant activity.  High Vitamin E content foods are:  sunflower oil, walnuts, popcorn and sweet potatoes.

Proteins

Protein helps to support the immune system.  Protein rich foods enhance and boost the immune system function and include:  tuna, salmon, almonds, peanut butter, skinless chicken breast, eggs, dairy products such as milk and yoghurt.

Minerals
Minerals contribute to boosting the immune system.  The two most important minerals are selenium and zinc.

Selenium is found in crab meat and shellfish (crabs, lobsters, oysters) and is also present in whole wheat bread, brown rice, barley, cashew nuts and onions.

Zinc exhibits anti-oxidant properties which promotes proper immune function.  Zinc is found in pecan nuts, sunflower seeds, wheat bran and raw peas.

ALMONDS
Almonds contain Vitamin E which is a natural immune system booster.

Whole Almonds

CAMU CAMU
The Camu Camu fruit has one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C in comparison to any other food.  As Vitamin C assists with the formation of collagen it stimulates the body’s natural defences and the absorption of iron.

BROCCOLI
Broccoli is super-charged with Vitamins and Minerals.  It is packed with Vitamins A, C and E and contains numerous anti-oxidants.

Dandelion

common weed you find growing everywhere is dandelion. Dandelion leaves can be eaten raw as a salad or cooked. It is very delicious as well as very nutritious with a high amount of potassium among other nutrients. Another common plant nettle is also great for our immune system. It is usually thought of as an herb but It can be eaten cooked as any green leafy vegetable or the dried version can be made into tea. Both nettle and dandelion have plenty of folate and the B vitamins which are needed to make neurotransmitters such as serotonin.This helps lift our mood and energize us when we are overtired and under stress. Our immune system becomes compromised when we are overtired or in a sad. Just by lifting our energy level and our mood, these foods strengthen our immunity to disease. Both plants contain plenty of vitamin A, C, and Iron. All these aid in antioxidant activity.

GREEN TEA
Green Tea is packed with flavonoids which is a type of anti-oxidant.  Green Tea also contains another powerful anti-oxidant called epigallocatechin gallate.

Green Tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine which aids in the production of germ fighting compounds.

Green Tea in Open Infuser

HONEY
Honey is rejuvenating, revitalizing and invigorating and contains natural anti-biotic substances, and contains immune boosting compounds.

Honey contains a complex assortment of enzymes, anti-microbial compounds, organic acids, minerals such as iron, phosphorus, copper, sulphur, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, silicon, iodine, zinc, chlorine, formic acid and hydrogen peroxide.

Honey contains Vitamin C, all the Vitamin B complexes, Vitamins D, E and K, pantothenic acid, niacin, folic acid, amino acids, hormones, alcohols and essential oils.

MUSHROOMS   -  SHITAKE and REISHI
Shitake and Reishi mushrooms are an immune system activating fungi. The body receives nourishment from fungi as the nutrients and medicinal properties of mushrooms penetrate deep into the bone marrow and throughout the entire body.

Shitake and Reishi mushrooms mobilize the immune system to fight off disease.  An immuno- stimulant, Shtake mushrooms increase activity of the human immune system against any invading organisms.  They have anti-viral and anti-tumour properties and have been used effectively to treat viral infections, parasites and cancer, and one of the most important constituents, ‘lintinan’ has been shown to stimulate immune competent cells, stimulates T-cell production and increases macrophage activity.Field Mushroom

Oats

Oats in all its various forms are all medicinal as well as nutritive. It has plenty of fiber that helps in lowering cholesterol. It has anti oxidant properties and plays an important part in lowering the chances of getting certain kinds of cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. Oates is also a central nervous system relaxant and lowers nervous tension and stress.

RED CAPSICUM  -  RED BELL PEPPERS

Red Capsicums (or Red bell Peppers) contain high amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, making them an ideal immune boosting food.

ROYAL JELLY
Royal Jelly is a natural food concentrate that stimulates the body and cellular activity.  Royal Jelly is beneficial to the immune system due to the protein content of biological values in Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, B12 and Vitamins A, C, D, E and M.  it also contains a series of minerals such as Calcium, Copper, Sulfur, iron, Phosphorus, Potassium and Silicon.

Royal Jelly is a nutritious tonic that stimulates the functioning of the endocrine glands and the immune system.  It contains anti-bacterial compouns the stimulate the production of anti-bodies which enhances collagen production and the repair of damaged tissues.  Royal Jelly also increases the flow of blood to the tissues.

SPINACH
Spinach is rich in Vitamin C and is packed with numerous anti-oxidants and beta-carotene, which increases the infection-fighting cells of the body’s immune system.Fresh Spinach Leaves in Bowl

YOGHURT
Yoghurts with live and active cultures stimulate the immune system.

Common Kitchen Herbs and Spices

  • Cinnamon is an antiviral. Use it extensively to cook and use it to spice up your tea
  • Turmeric is antioxidant and an antibacterial. Use it in your soups and cooking.
  • Holy basil relives stress, fever, bronchitis, asthma. Use it in your soup and smell the aroma.
  • Rosemary is a tonic ,stimulant, astringent, and a nervine. Use its essential oil as aromatherapy during time of stress such as interviews and exams. It helps to relaxes nervous tension and improves memory. I dilute the essential oil with jojoba oil and rub a tiny amount under my nose to help me relax and improve my memory when I have an interview. As a culinary herb it is great for roasting meat and to make sauce for pasta dishes.
  • Lemon has an antioxidant and anti bacterial properties. It reduces fever and has high amounts of Vitamin C and is an antibiotic and anti diabetic. Use it every day

Immune System

Top Vegan and Live Vegan Iron Sources

Spinach salad topped with a bit of dressing and mandarin oranges.If you are a vegan, what is the first argument you hear from meat-eating advocates?  Well the sarcastic ones might say something about plants having feelings too, but the most popular rebuttal usually has something to do with iron. And yes iron is an essential mineral because it contributes to the production of blood cells. The human body needs iron to make the oxygen-carrying proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin.  But just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean your going to wither away with anemia.

However, anemia is not something to be taken lightly. The World Health Organization considers iron deficiency the number one nutritional disorder in the world. As many as 80 percent of the world’s population may be iron deficient, while 30 percent may have iron deficiency anemia. The human body stores some iron to replace any that is lost.  However, low iron levels over a long period of time can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms include lack of energy, shortness of breath, headache, irritability, dizziness, or weight loss. So here’s the 411 on iron:  how much you need, where you can get it, and tips to maximize its absorption.

Iron Requirements

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following:

Infants and children

• Younger than 6 months: 0.27 milligrams per day (mg/day)

• 7 months to1 year: 11mg/day

• 1 to 3 years: 7 mg/day

•4 to 8years: 10 mg/day

Males

• 9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day

•14 to 18 years: 11mg/day

• Age 19 and older: 8 mg/day

Females

• 9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day

•14 to 18 years: 15mg/day

•19 to 50 years: 18mg/day

• 51 and older: 8 mg/day

Non-animal iron sources:

Eating red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, but for vegans, obviously, that’s not going to happen. Here are  plant-based foods with some of the highest iron levels:

Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg

Cooked soybeans (1/2 cup): 4.4 mg

Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg

Quinoa (4 ounces): 4 mg

Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp): 4 mg

Tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg

White beans (1/2 cup) 3.9 mg

Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 3.2 mg

Dried peaches (6 halves): 3.1 mg

Prune juice (8 ounces): 3 mg

Lentils (4 ounces): 3 mg

Turnip Greens

Another great source of the mineral iron is turnip greens. They are actually regarded as superchargers, as they are stocked with different nutrient. The vegetable was initially introduced to the rest of the world by the early European settlers. It has become popular ever since. Apart from controlling and preventing a number of health conditions, turnip greens also help to strengthen the general immune system of the body.

Iron Rich Vegetables (Iron in mg); Beet Greens – 1.4, Bok Choy (cooked) – 0.7, Broccoli (cooked) – 0.55, Green Beans(cooked0 – 0.60, Pumpkin (cooked) – 1.7, Potato (with skin) – 1.7, Prune juice (4 oz) – 1.5, Potato (1 large) – 1.4, Peas (cooked) – 0.65, Sea vegetables – 18.1 – 42.0, Sweet Potatoes – 1.7, Swiss Chard – 2, Spinach (cooked) – 1.5, Tomato Juice – 0.6,Turnip Green – 1.6, Watermelon (1/8 medium) – 0.5.

Other Sources; Thyme (dried, ground), Dill weedCumin Seeds, Fresh Parsley, Basil (dried, ground), Cinnamon (ground),Oregano (dried, ground), Turmeric powder, Black pepper, Lettuce, Blackstrap Molasses, Lima beans (cooked), Lentils(cooked), Tofu (raw) and Tempeh.

A Plethora of Vegtables.

I highly recommend adding some natural source of iron to your diet/lifestyle which include : Green leafy vegetables, e.g. Parsley, Spinach, Watercress, kale, collards greens, mustard greens etc.; almonds, beets, avocados, dates, kidney and lima beans, lentils, millet, peaches, pears, pumpkin, dried prunes, blackstrap molasses, raisins, wheat bran, and sesame seeds.Herbs that contain Iron (organic) include: Red Raspberry Leaves, Moringa Seed, Devil’s Claw, Mullein Leaves, Burdock Root, Dandelion Root, Yellow Dock Root (highest natural source), Dong Quai, Alfalfa, Nettle, Chickweed, Horsetail, and EyebrighT.Seaweeds are also exceptional sources of organic, dietary Iron. Good seaweeds to consume for Iron purposes include: Kelp, Dulse, Spirulina, Irish Moss, Chlorella, and Blue-Green Algae.Also nutritional thiocyanate rich food should be included in your lifestyle also: Almonds, Banana, Black eye peas, Brussel sprouts, Buckwheat, Butter Beans, Cassava, Cauliflower, Garbanzo beans, Horseradish, Lentils, Lima Beans, Millet, Mustard (greens), Plantain, Raspberries, Rutabaga,Turnips, and White Yam.

Sweet Potatoes

A healthy vegetable to maintain the required iron store in the human body, sweet potato is very popular all over the world and is widely incorporated in the cuisine culture of a number of regions. It helps to maintain the RDA of iron indirectly.

Tips to get the most iron out of your food:

  • Eat iron-rich foods along with foods that contain vitamin C, which helps the body absorb the iron.
  • Tea and coffee contains compounds called polyphenols, which can bind with iron making it harder for our bodies to absorb it.
  • Calcium also hinders the absorption of iron; avoid high-calcium foods for a half hour before or after eating iron-rich foods.
  • Cook in iron pots. The acid in foods seems to pull some of the iron out of the cast-iron pots. Simmering acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in an iron pot can increase the iron content of the brew more than ten-fold. Cooking foods containing other acids, such as vinegar, red wine, lemon or lime juice, in an iron pot can also increase the iron content of the final mixture.

Sea Vegetable

Sea vegetables, commonly known as seaweeds, are a rich source of iron. They can be found growing in seawater as well as fresh water bodies or lakes. One can commonly find them growing in coral reefs and rocky landscapes. Apart from being a good source of iron, these vegetables also contain high amounts of iodine, which is very essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid glands.

Iron Rich Juice To Combat Anemia – “Iron Relish”

Ingredients You Will Need for this Iron Rich Juice

For this Iron rich juice you will need -1. One big unpeeled apple – cut into small pieces.2. One medium sized orange -peeled and separated segment wise..3. Spinach leaves (around 6-7) – chopped.4. Small beetroot halved and cut into pieces.5. Crushed ice.

How to Make 2 Glasses of “Iron Relish”

Iron is very necessary in order to develop enough hemoglobin in our body for essential oxygen to be delivered into our cells. Deficiency of iron can lead to anemia and this can result in laziness and can slow down physical and mental functioning. The following fruit and vegetable juice helps in keeping anemia away by providing all the necessary nutrients.

You can make this fruit and vegetable iron-rich juice by using a juicer or a mixer/blender.

*In case you are using a juicer, you just need to juice all the ingredients together except the ice. Finally add the ice and serve the juice chilled.

*In case you are using a mixer/blender, you can mix all the ingredients together except the ice with little water and blend it till it is of smooth texture. Then using a strainer, strain the juice and then serve with ice.

Why Is Iron Relish So Healthy?

Iron relish is the best iron-rich fruit and vegetable juice for anemic people. Why? Because it contains the goodness of orange, apple, spinach and beetroot.

Beetroot and spinach are major iron boosters whereas apples are added in order to give away a little sweetness to the recipe.

In order to enhance absorption of iron, Vitamin C is required and in this fruit and vegetable juice oranges are added which are great when it comes to increasing Vitamin C in our body.

Nutrition Values Per Glass of Iron Relish

Energy – 106 KCalProtein – 1.0 Gm.Carbohydrate – 23.7 Gm.Fat – 0.8 Gm.Iron – 1.2 Mg.Vitamin C- 20.9 Mg.

Another Iron-Rich Juice to Combat Anemia – Tomato Apple Juice

Things You Will Need to Make This Fruit/Vegetable Juice Rich in Iron Content

In order to make this tasty tomato apple juice, you need the following ingredients -* 2 medium tomatoes — chopped into pieces.* 1 big apple — not peeled, and chopped into small pieces.* Crushed ice

How to Make 2 Glasses of Apple Tomato Juice

This tangy juice will certainly earn compliments from friends and family alike..

You can make this fruit and vegetable iron-rich juice by using a juicer or a mixer/blender.

*In case you are using a juicer, you just need to juice all the ingredients together except the ice. Finally add the ice and serve the juice chilled.

*In case you are using a mixer/blender, you can mix all the ingredients together except the ice with little water and blend it till it is of smooth texture. Then using a strainer, strain the juice and then serve with ice.

Why Is The Tomato Apple Juice So Healthy?

Anemia results mainly because of deficiency of iron in our body. This is not the only reason. Anemia is caused due to deficiencies in folic acid and Vitamin B12.

Tomatoes are rich in folic acid, Vitamin C and iron. Apple adds a little sweetness to the tangy juice. All in all a nutrient rich fruit/vegetable juice which is perfect for anemic people!

Nutritional Values Per Glass of Tomato Apple Juice

Energy – 90 KCal.Protein – 1.0 Gm.Carbohydrate – 19.6 Gm.Fat – 0.8 Gm.Iron – 1.3 Gm.Vitamin C – 22.9 Mg.Folic Acid - 24.0 Mcg.

Do you have iron sources that you depend on not mentioned here? Share them with us in the comment field!