We’re exposed to hundreds of toxins everyday. From the exhaust fumes we breathe to the chemicals in foods, soap and shampoos, plastics, pesticides and more. That’s why it’s important to do all you can to keep your body as healthy as possible. And one way to do that is to mind what you eat. Here are four foods that will give your immune system a boost and fend off toxins.
Fruits and cruciferous veggies
For those who don’t know, cruciferous vegetables are those that make up the cabbage family: broccoli, brussel sprouts and bok choy among others. These super veggies contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber, which are all essential for good health. As far as your immune system goes, broccoli is thought to prevent premature aging and cancer, as well as boost detox enzymes. A couple of other cruciferous veggies that can amp up your immune system include spinach, beets and artichokes.
As for fruits, well, you’re probably aware that fruits are essential to great health. We’ve all been taught since a young age that we need to eat them. However, a couple of fruits that go the extra mile in terms of immune system enhancement are apples, papaya and blueberries.
These delicious finger fruits are packed with nutrients that give toxins a knockout punch. For instance, cranberries prevent urinary tract infections, improve cardiovascular health and reduce cancer risk. Additionally, many berries are loaded with antioxidants: strawberries, blackberries, cranberries and blueberries are a few that can boast just that.
Your face flushes, sweat beads off your forehead, and your mouth is on fire. We all know these symptoms after we’ve eaten a chilli that goes beyond our heat threshold. What you may not know is that the chemical substance that causes this reaction is called capsaicin. It’s found in peppers and produces the heat that has been inspiring hot wing eating challenges for decades.
In terms of your immune system, capsaicin flushes toxins out of your system, stimulates your metabolism and increases your blood circulation – all which make it a perfect immunity booster. What’s more, the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. Of course, don’t reach for the ghost chili if you don’t generally eat spicy foods. It’s important to note that capsaicin can cause stomach problems if consumed with reckless abandon. Moderation is best.
Garlic may just be your liver’s best friend. Not only does it kick start the enzymes that are responsible for removing toxins, but it also helps prevent liver damage. In addition, it helps reduce the risk of nitrosation, which has a carcinogenic effect.
For those who don’t know, nitrates are the chemicals found in meats that are added to produce an attractive red color. Nitrosation happens when those nitrates are transformed to nitrites when exposed to high heat levels, such as when you’re grilling burgers or sausages. In short, this process can cause cancer. Garlic helps reduce that risk, and therefore gives your immune system an added boost.
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