Boost Your Immunity, Lung Function (And Energy) with These Super Foods
(10 minute read)
In order for a virus to infect your body it must enter your cells to enable it to survive. This is because viruses cannot replicate on their own, instead they must hijack your cellular infrastructure and leverage it to make copies of themselves. Once enough copies have been made, infected cells burst open and new copies of the virus is released and freed to infect neighbouring cells. Boosting your cellular NAD+ levels and sirtuin activity may be a good way to boost your immune system and lung function and protect yourself from viral infections. You can boost your NAD+ levels through supplementation, but there are certain superfoods that gives you a natural push.
Drinks That Boost Your Immune System
- Black tea – Black tea is loaded with theaflavins, a type of polyphenol that is thought to have certain immune-supporting and antioxidant properties.
- Ginger tea – This type of tea is often used to support immune and gut health. Try making it at home by adding fresh ginger to boiling water and letting it steep for 10-20 minutes.
- Goat’s milk — consumed by Sardinian shepherds, used sparingly in pastas, soups, and grated over vegetables, it is rich in zinc and selenium, which are essential for optimal immune system activity
- Green or herbal teas — Green tea contains theophylline, a powerful compound that acts as a bronchodilator to improve airway function and ease breathing difficulties
- Orange juice – Fresh orange juice is considered one of the best juices to boost the immune system, thanks to its content of vitamin C. In addition to supporting a healthy immune system, vitamin C can also generally help support a healthy response to stress
- Tomato juice – Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium, tomato juice is a great source of many important immune system booster vitamins that your body needs. It’s also high in antioxidants such as lycopene, a carotenoid that provides tomatoes with their signature hue
- Wheatgrass juice – Wheatgrass has secured its slot as one of the most popular immune boosting juice shots, especially among health-conscious consumers. Derived from the leaves of the common wheat plant, wheatgrass is a good source of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help support immune system health
Food That Boost Your Immune System
- Astragalus — sometimes referred to as the “upright” herb this super herb packs a mean punch
- Barley — either in soups, as a hot cereal, or ground in bread
- Beans — all kinds: black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, blackeyed peas, lentils
- Fruits — all kinds, especially those with hard red, orange and yellow skins.
- Nuts — all kinds: almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews
- Oats — slow-cook or Irish steel-cut are best
- Olive oil — green, extra-virgin is usually the best. Note that olive oil decomposes quickly, so buy no more than a month’s supply at a time.
- Resihi mushrooms — the king of all medicinal mushrooms, mix it into your morning smoothie or youghurt
- Sweet potatoes — don’t confuse with yams
- Shiitake mushrooms — in soups, sauces, or stir fries, they contain more than 100 different compounds with immune-protecting properties
Food That Boost Your Lung Function
- Apples — the phytochemicals found in apples has been shown to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation
- Bananas — studies show that the potassium found in bananas helps the lungs contract and expand, which can prevent breathing problems
- Garlic — sometimes eaten pickled on Okinawa, garlic is one of nature’s most powerful natural medicines possessing powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress
- Ginger — a potent spice that has been extensively studied for its medicinal properties, especially when it comes to lung health
- Greens — leafy greens like kale, spinach, chards, beet tops and fennel tops are jam-packed with essential nutrients that can support lung health
- Salmon — as one of the top lung cleansing foods, salmon is a great source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
- Turmeric — one of the best foods for your lungs thanks to its content of curcumin. Use as a spice or a in a tea
Factors That Negatively Influence Your Immunity
- Too much sitting — a 2012 study in a noted health journal found that being chronically sedentary can negatively impact immune system health and function
- Overtraining — while too much sitting certainly impairs the immune system, the other extreme — overexercising — can do the same
- Negativity — an often-cited major study found people with a more positive mindset experienced a more robust immune system response overall
- Fear — signals danger to our bodies, setting up a fight, flight or freeze response that can send a shockwave through the body, including one’s immune system
- Alcohol — consistent alcohol overuse is not beneficial for health overall, including immune system health, so it’s best to not overdo it
- Loneliness — has been shown to, at least indirectly, negatively affect the immune system. One study showed that people who get daily physical affection are far healthier that people who live alone
- Processed foods — fried foods, baked goods, fast food, convenience meals, white bread, pasta, crackers, chips, tortillas, bacon, salami, bologna, lunch meats, soda, fruit juice, sweet tea, sports drinks, energy drinks, syrup, table sugar, agave nectar, molasses
If you want learn more about which immune boosting foods and herbs to take and/or which foods promote healthy longevity download our FREE ebook – Eat Well, Live Healthy, Extend Your Life