By Vicky Chan of NourishU
Recipes That Improve the Immune System
Health preservation and sickness prevention are the main themes in Chinese medicine and strengthening the immune system is the key in achieving these objectives. When the immune system is healthy, it can counteract adverse effects and prevent the development of sickness. It can also enable self-healing and lessen the impact from invading elements.
It has been known for many decades that sugar depresses the immune system. It was only in the 70s that they found out that vitamin C was needed by white blood cells so that they could phagocytize bacteria and viruses. White blood cells require a fifty times higher concentration, at least inside the cell as outside, so they have to accumulate vitamin C. Vitamin C and glucose have similar chemical structure and they compete for one another upon entering the cells. If there is more glucose around then less vitamin C will be allowed into the cell. Therefore, a low sugar diet is absolutely necessary to enable more vitamin C to get into the cells and increase immune function.
Following a diet rich in antioxidants is also essential to support good immune function. Abundant in many fruits and vegetables, antioxidants combat free radicals which can damage DNA and suppress the immune system. Choosing healthy omega-3 fatty acids available in oily fish and flax seeds over saturated fats found in meat and dairy products can help increasing your immune functions.
Foods for Boosting the Immune System
Egg yolks are loaded with choline, which is proven to help combat breast cancer.
Green tea can slow down the growth of cancer cell. Drink green tea after each meal can kill germs growth in mouth and can increase elasticity of arteries.
Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, riboflavin, selenium and other nutrients that keep the immune system healthy, they also help stave off cancer and prevent cancer growth. Wood-ear mushroom has blood thinning effects similar to aspirin which can prevent blood clots without the side effects
Korean ginseng can prevent cancer, calm nerves and treat neural disorders, treat low blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and skin disease.
Cooked tomatoes have been proven to prevent uterus, prostate, bladder and pancreatic cancer. Tangerine tomatoes are a little-known species, distinctive for their orange color. They have a better form of lycopene which is particularly effective in fighting breast, prostate, ovarian, cervical and colon cancer. Cooked tomatoes also can treat and prevent cataracts, muscular degeneration, diabetes, and more.
It is the most inexpensive common food that can give your immune system a boost. Add a couple of spoonfuls of minced garlic to your steamed rice or fried rice, or to your daily meal and it will help your body to prevent colds, fight viruses and kill bacteria.
Drinking plenty of water and steering clear of sugary beverages, like soda and energy drinks, also help fend off infection by flushing out your system.
Many tonic herbs have superior properties that have long been known to enhance the immunity of the body. Mushroom, ginseng, ling-zhi, cordyceps, Chinese yam, dang-shen, astragalus and many of the common herbs are part of the Chinese diet to boost the immune system.
Winter Vegetable & Mushroom Soup
Strengthens the body constitution, improves energy and body resistance, promotes general health and strengthens the immune system.
- Button mushrooms – half cup
- Onion – 1 large (finely chopped)
- Garlic cloves – 4 (minced)
- Carrot – 1 large (peeled and thinly sliced)
- Parsnip – 1 large (peeled and thinly sliced)
- Green cabbage – 1 small head (shredded)
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
1. Heat oil in large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté at least 5 minutes or until onion is golden. Add carrot and parsnip and sauté 5 minutes or until carrot is crisp-tender.
2. Stir in cabbage and cook, covered, 5 minutes or until beginning to wilt. Stir in 3 cups water, mushrooms and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until mushroom and winter vegetable soup is richly flavoured.
this delicious image from epicurious.com
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**Featured image from simplyfreshdinners.com