Tag Archives: immune system

5 Reasons to Add Ginseng to Your Diet, from Cold Prevention to Stress Reduction

ginseng

Ginseng root is an herb that has been used for thousands of years to promote healing and vitality throughout the body. American Ginseng has been studied for the past number of years to examine it’s benefits as a stress reducer, immunity booster, digestive and anti-aging aid… just to name a few! The National Institutes of Health has even declared American Ginseng an endangered species because so many people try to harvest it for its many valued uses.

So why should you find more ways to sneak some more of this super beneficial herb? Here are 5 BIG reasons:

1. Ginseng Prevents Colds and Flu
Consider swapping or supplementing your over-the-counter cold remedy with a dose of ginseng. Increasing evidence is validating the effectiveness of a ginseng extract daily around flu season can help prevent cold or flu symptoms. Sniffles already settle in? Fear not: it is also likely that ginseng helps minimize symptoms and shorten the duration of your cold because of the high levels of polysaccharides, a complex carbohydrate known to boost immune response, according to this recent study.

2. Ginseng Decreases Stress
Looking for some support for your hectic, busy life? The ancient Chinese began using ginseng to nourish the “Yin” or the part of us that tends to get overstimulated. To this day, ginseng helps promote balance, increases energy, and replenishes adrenal function. Research has found that the substances released in ginseng directly affect the adrenal glands, where stress hormones are produced. Prolonged stress causes adrenal fatigue, causing unattractive symptoms like chronic low energy, weight gain, anxiety, depression, and decreased immunity. Let ginseng help you prevent those!

(more…)

5 Virus Fighting Foods That Make Colds Disappear

We’re incredibly close to spring, but that does not mean that cold and flu season is gone just yet. Here’s a list of delicious foods that also help strengthen the immune system and stave off germs and illness. Because you should not have to sacrifice your taste buds to stay healthy and eat well. 

sesame

Tahini
This superfood, which is made of ground sesame seeds, is most often used as a paste. Tahini can be used as a dip and it’s also added to other foods—including hummus and baba ghanoush—to enhance flavor. Yes, it is high in calories but sticking to two tablespoons a day is just fine, especially considering the high amount of magnesium and zinc which are both important for building a stronger immune system.

(more…)

The Food Fighters: 5 Immune-Boosting Nutrients You Need to Ward Off Cold, Flu and Illness

By Team Best Life

For every day of good health you enjoy, you can thank your immune system. Adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours per night), regular exercise, and well-managed stress all contribute to boosting your immune system. In addition, what you eat has a direct effect on how well your body defends itself from microbes and other disease-causing foreigners. And the best foods have plenty of these nutrients.

vitamin c

Vitamin A

What it does: Once converted from beta-carotene in the body, vitamin A helps develop defensive T-cells that protect you from foreign bacteria and viruses.

Where to find it: Beta-carotene-rich foods (look for orange), such as cantaloupe, carrots, winter squash, and sweet potatoes. Also, leafy greens like collard, kale, mustard, and spinach.

Vitamin C

What it does: It stimulates the production of immune cells such as neutrophils, which attack bacteria and viruses while protecting these cells from free radical damage.

Where to find it: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, sweet red pepper, tomato. (more…)

Stop Aging with 17 Day Diet’s Dr. Mike in Men’s Fitness

The second most popular diet of 2012 was 17 Day Diet, and the brand continues to make headlines in the new year. Since its debut in 2010, the book has grown in to a brand where you can apply Dr. Mike Moreno’s 17 Day principles to weight loss, cooking, and even slowing the effects of aging. This month, get some insight on his 17 Day Diet Plan to Stop Aging in Men’s Health Magazine.

Dr. Mike makes an appearance in the magazine’s January issue to talk about the book, but also set you up for your healthiest year yet.

Here are some of Dr. Moreno’s recommendations for prolonging the signs of aging.

1. Keep your heart healthy with exercise: As we age our hearts becomes more effective. In order for our hearts to become stronger with age, we have to do aerobic workouts. Walking, jogging, and running are just a few suggestions. Dr. Mike mentions that with the help of exercise and a healthy diet, “an older person can have the heart of a very young person.” (more…)

5 Allergy Fighting Foods to Help You Breathe Easier this Spring

Most spring allergy sufferers rely on medication to take care of their annoying symptoms, but there are a few natural ways to prevent allergies from ruining your day. Incorporate these foods into your diet on a regular basis to build a foundation that will protect your immune system and prepare it for battle against spring pollen.

Nuts:

Nuts are high in magnesium and vitamin E, which will protect you against the wheezing and coughing that comes from allergies. Magnesium and vitamin E also boosts immunity while fighting free radicals. Try Multigrain Soy Trail Mix.

Salmon:

Salmon and other seafoods have natural anti-inflammatory properties to boost immunity. Aim for 6 ounces of fish, two times a week to get the full effect. Try these Salmon Patties.

(more…)

Women Find Men with a Strong Immune System More Attractive

If you are looking to find a partner, men, you now have more of a reason to eat right and exercise. New research suggests women may lust after a man’s immune system more than a hot bod or smoldering face.

Men with high levels of testosterone are seen as more attractive to women, and the same men have stronger immune responses, researchers report in the journal Nature Communications. Testosterone is responsible for more “manly” features, and women are attracted to them because they signal good health, as proved in a recent study.

Researchers gathered 74 Latvian men in their early 20s and took blood samples immediately before and one month after their first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine which triggers the immune system to create antibodies against the virus. The researchers recorded these levels of antibodies as well as testosterone levels and cortisol, the stress hormone that negatively effects the body.

(more…)

Eat More Honey for National Honey Month

This month is National Honey Month and it just so happens that this week, we’re all about honey. Between the Jewish New Year, which includes a tradition of dipping apples in honey for a “sweet” New Year to First Lady Michelle Obama’s honey beehive at the white house, we just can’t get enough. Plus, there is just no denying that the sweet sugar alternative has some astounding health benefits.

According to the National Honey Board, Americans consume nearly 1.5 pounds of honey per year annually. While honey is certainly not new, it has recently gained popularity as a healthy alternative to sugar. At 60 calories per tablespoon, honey offers a number of advantages.

(more…)

Foods With Naturally Occurring Antibiotic Properties can Ward Off Illness

By Delia Quigley for Care2.com

“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates

In herbology they are called astringent meaning foods and herbs that are natural blood cleansers and antibiotic in nature. The word anti (against) – biotic (life), refers to a list of pharmaceutical antimicrobials designed to kill harmful bacteria in the host body. Problem is, these synthetic forms of antibiotics kill off both the good and bad bacteria leaving the body depleted of living microflora that support immune function.

Including foods and herbs that contain antibiotic properties in your diet can support your immune system and help to defend you from certain infectious bacteria. This can also be said for organisms such as the Lymes spirochete and Candida Albicans, an overgrowth of yeast. There are many foods and herbs known to have natural antibiotic qualities; and with an increased resistance to pharmaceutical antibiotics in people today, it is wise to eat foods that work in your defense on a daily basis.

This is not to imply that you should not take antibiotics when deemed necessary by your medical doctor. However, knowing how to use certain foods as medicine can help you to cut down on over using synthetic antibiotics for minor health conditions. Naturally, consult your physician before proceeding.

(more…)

Fit People Catch Fewer Colds

Think about the people in your life — who gets sick more often and more severely and who doesn’t? New research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that chances are, those who seem to always avoid colds or only suffer symptoms for a short blip are fitter than those who don’t.

Researchers looked at 1,000 adults’ respiratory health for 12 weeks during the autumn and winter of 2008. They also looked at the subjects self-reported data on how frequently they participated in aerobic exercise, their fitness level, what their lifestyle was like, what foods they ate and any recent stressful events, as all can affect the immune system. As you might imagine, the overall number of days of cold symptoms was different in winter and autumn — in winter the subjects had an average of 13 days of cold symptoms and 18 days in the fall. (more…)

The Best Immune-Boosting Foods

The most effective way to fight the flu is to be vaccinated, which causes your body to make antibodies that target specific illnesses. That’s what most experts will say, anyway.

But, nature may be just as effective. Your diet can provide a boost to your immune system, which can help you get through the flu season without so much as a sniffle. Here are some of the best immune-boosting foods, with a couple lesser known choices:

garlicGarlic

Vampires are popular these days. Will their nemesis, garlic, follow? The stinking rose, as it’s sometimes called, contains allicin, a phytochemical that may lower cholesterol and make blood platelets less sticky, which cuts the risk of clots.

But, this tasty relative of the onion has more to offer.

“Garlic apparently stimulates the body’s immune system, particularly enhancing the macrophages and lymphocytes, which destroy cancer cells,” says Dr. Benjamin Lau, physician and author of the book, Garlic for Health. (more…)