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ating right and adopting a healthy lifestyle has numerous benefits that go far beyond losing weight and looking good. Having a great body is a common goal we all aspire to achieve, but the true meaning of a great body needs to be redefined in our minds. A great body on the inside is surely going to look great on the outside as well. Most of the effects of aging happen on a cellular level, where our immune system starts having a delayed reaction to repair the damage. Our bodies defense mechanism whether against infections, inflammations, or aging is done by our immunity. In order to keep our bodies protected, we need to boost our immune system and this can be primarily done via our diet.

We are continuously exposed to organisms that are inhaled, swallowed or inhabit our skin and mucous membranes. Whether or not these organisms lead to disease is decided by the integrity of our body’s defense mechanisms, or immune system. When our immune system is working properly, we do not even notice it. But when we have an under- or over-active immune system, we are at a greater risk of developing infections and other health conditions. Sadly, too many of us do not eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods which we need to keep ourselves healthy year-round. You cannot just eat an orange or grapefruit and expect one quick burst of vitamin C to prevent a cold. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a hefty dose of exercise. With some exceptions, it is best to get vitamins and minerals from fresh food sources rather than in pill form. Make sure you have the recommended daily doses of super vitamins and minerals as, vitamin A, C, D, and E; moreover, minerals as, Selenium, Iron, and Zinc which are known for their strong immune boosting effects. It is preferred to have the previously mentioned vitamins and minerals from natural sources or even supplements on daily basis. Depending on where you live and what time of the year it is; you cannot always get your hands on high-quality fresh food. Keep this in mind frozen options are fine. They pack a similar nutritional value as fresh counterparts. Just choose plain frozen foods rather than those with added sugars or sodium. When searching for how to boost your immune system, try the following 10 foods: • PROBIOTICS: They are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your immune system. Probiotics are found in yogurt, pickles, and fermented cheese. • GINGER: It helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in our organs due to its warming effects. • GINSENG: It plays a role in antibody production; it helps the body to fight invading microorganisms.

• BROCCOLI: It is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fibers, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible. • OATS: They contain a type of fiber with potent antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities. • GARLIC: Studies have shown that, this potent onion relative contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. • FATTY FISH: Salmon, mackerel, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, increasing airflow and protecting lungs from colds and respiratory infections. • BLACK AND GREEN TEA: People who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink. • MUSHROOMS: They increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. This is a good thing when you have an infection. • CHICKEN SOUP: It contains collagen, which can help boost the immune system, in addition to amino acids and nutrients that help prevent inflammation. If you are willing to go the extra mile to keep your body healthy and protected try the following bonus tips: • Quit smoking. • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. • Exercise regularly. • Maintain a healthy weight. • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. • Get adequate sleep. • Take steps to avoid infections by maintaining a good hygiene. • Try to minimize stress. Eating right and being hydrated are both essential to a strong immune system, which offers protection from seasonal illness such as the flu and other health problems including arthritis, allergies, abnormal cell development and cancers. Help protect yourself against infection and boost your immunity by including these nutrients in your eating plan.

March 2018 | 67

Profile for The Fitness and Lifestyle Magazine

Fitness and Lifestyle Magazine - March 2018 Issue  

Fitness and Lifestyle Magazine - March 2018 Issue  

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