Should you or should you not get a flu shot? It’s a personal decision that you face every year. Doctor’s recommendations and advertising claims at every drugstore lead many to believe that the vaccine will prevent you from getting sick this flu season. However, the CDC website reports: Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups AND there are plenty of other cold and virus strains going around for which there are no vaccines. Therefore, regardless of whether or not you choose to get a flu shot this year, it is most important to make lifestyle changes to increase your chances of staying healthy. These include, consistently getting good quality sleep and managing stress levels, as well as regularly eating immune boosting food for preventative medicine.
Here are my top 3 types of food to eat to for a robust immune system:
1) Beef up on mushrooms. Mushrooms enhance the cellular immune function and stimulate general immunity in the body. There are mushrooms that kill viruses, mushrooms that kill bacteria, and even mushrooms that kill yeast. Shiitake mushrooms contain properties that tackle all three! Even the common white button mushroom is effective in boosting the immune system. Reishi mushrooms are well-known for their attack on invaders, such as the Epstein-Barr virus. They aren’t edible like other mushrooms, but the compounds can be extracted in either water or alcohol (available in this tincture). I drink homemade reishi mushroom tea almost daily to boost my immune system.
2) Consume probiotic rich foods regularly. Healthy bacteria levels inside our bodies help ward off infections and viruses from taking over. Probiotic rich foods include, naturally fermented vegetables and pickles, kombucha, and broth. They all contain probiotics (in higher amounts than found in yogurt) and support our immune system.
3) Increase your intake of of “stinky” sulfur-rich vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi contain glucosinolates which are sulfur-containing nutrients. In addition, cruciferous vegetables offer other vitamins, nutrients and fibers that are important to your health. Other vegetables high in sulfur include collard greens, kale, bok choy, watercress, mustard, Brussels sprouts, split peas, tomatoes, sweet potato, jicama, turnips, avocados, parsley, spinach, and asparagus. like cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions (boost our natural ability to produce glutathione an antioxidant), shallots, and garlic. The compounds are the strongest when eaten raw. However, you can minimize the effects of cooking by slicing and allowing them to rest for 10 minutes before subjecting to heat.
Most importantly minimize sugar (it feed viruses and bacteria) and dairy (increases mucous production and can decrease immune function). For the best results incorporate these additions to your daily routine. If you feel like you are coming down with something, increase your intake of the immune boosting foods and eliminate the sugar and dairy.
If you’re looking for how to use add these foods into your lifestyle, check out the Q13 Fox News Pinterest Page For Foods that Boost Immunity recipe ideas to add to your weekly meal plan!