If you’ve been feeling weak lately and have noticed that you’re getting sick a lot with minor colds and flus, you may have a compromised immune system.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to fortify your immune system through lifestyle choices like diet.
Here are some foods that are great for your immune system:
1. Yogurt And Other Probiotics
“Probiotic organisms are claimed to offer several functional properties including stimulation of the immune system,” one review states(1).
“Probiotics can enhance nonspecific cellular immune response characterized by activation of macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocites, and the release of various cytokines in strain-specific and dose-dependent manner.”
High-quality organic varieties of yogurt are the best (just make sure to skip brands loaded with sugar). Yogurt also contains vitamin D, which is also good for your immune system(2).
Other probiotic-containing fermented foods include kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut.
Garlic is widely known for its immune system boosting properties.
“Garlic (Allium sativum) holds a unique position in history and was recognized for its therapeutic potential,” write the authors of one study(3).
“Garlic could be useful in preventing the suppression of immune response associated with increased risk of malignancy as it stimulated the proliferation of lymphocytes, macrophage phagocytosis, stimulates the released of interleukin-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma, and enhances natural killer cells.”
In other words, if something is compromising your immune system, garlic could be a way of helping to get it back up to par.
While garlic supplements are widely available, nothing really beats fresh garlic for a therapeutic dose.
3. Oats And Barley
Oats and barley, which contain oat beta-glucan (ObetaG), have been proven to improve immune function in animals(4); in one 2004 study, soluble oat fiber combined with moderate exercise was found to increase immune function and decrease risk of infection, especially respiratory infection, in mice(5).
Chock full of fiber, oats and barley also help keep your digestive system running smoothly, which improves your overall health.