Immunity Booster: Diet

By Charmaine Gooden

Diet is the cornerstone of good health. “Food choices play a large role in boosting our immunity,” says Dr. Chaddah. In addition to a nutrient-rich, balanced diet, it is important to detect food sensitivities that can weaken the immune system. Signs of food sensitivity are cramps, bloating, headache, mood swings, recurring infections, joint pain, runny nose, skin rashes, dark circles under the eyes, and fatigue. Puremedica uses a blood test to check their patients for food sensitivities. Here are their top immunity boosting dietary recommendations:

Increase: Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein and whole grains.
A diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, lean sources of protein and whole grains has a higher content of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that are necessary to boost the immune system.

Increase: Indulge in Spices
Spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne can help to increase the circulation.  By increasing your lymphatic circulation you’re bringing in nutrients and oxygen that remove toxins, thereby improving the efficiency of the immune system.  As well, cinnamon is a natural diaphoretic, meaning it induces perspiration and is, therefore, detoxifying.

Increase: Garlic and Onions.
They have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties.

Increase: Water
It’s the liquid of life. Water is very cleansing and a natural purifier. If you’re drinking water, you’re probably not drinking sugary beverages that aren’t great for you.

Decrease: Refined Carbs and Sugar
They lack nutritional value. Sugars promote the growth of bacteria and viruses.

Decrease: Processed and Junk foods.
These lack nutritional value. Eating these foods means you’re missing out on essential vitamins and minerals.

Decrease: Caffeine
Moderation is the key. Caffeine can cause dips in blood sugar, which can be a stress to the body. It can also disrupt sleep patterns.

Decrease: Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking has an adverse affect on the immune system and the body’s other defenses.  This leaves you more susceptible to respiratory infections like influenza and pneumonia.

Decrease: Dairy products
They are mucus producing and will exacerbate any chest congestion.

Decrease: Alcohol
Alcohol is itself a sugar, which promotes the growth of bacteria and viruses. It also disrupts sleep patterns.