Summer colds are blowing in like a song by Seals & Crofts.
A BITE OF BIOLOGY
The body depends on its immune system to combat antigens (viruses, bacteria and allergens). These harmful agents are attacked by white blood cells that, when victorious, enable the body to maintain its health.
Optimal nutrition leads to a stronger immune system because the white blood cells are strengthened and increase in number in response to certain vitamins and minerals.
If you design your diet in such a way that it includes the proper amounts of these vitamins and minerals, you boost your immune system, empowering it to ward off infection.
Different people will see their White Blood Cell count increase at different paces. For example, vegans, some studies have shown, tend to have lower White Blood Cell counts, overall. As a result, they have to work a little harder to see some return on the investment.
Here are ten vegan options to consider when you set about prepping your next meal -- or go nuts (heh heh) and use them all together in one amazing dish to put up your best fight.
1) Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Cabbage, Bok Choy
Vitamins A, C and E as well as fiber and antioxidants, including glutathione
Healthiest raw or lightly cooked
2) Capsicums & Citrus
Bell Peppers, Oranges, Mangoes, Grapefruits
Vitamin C in abundance
Vitamin E, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Niacin
Richest of all nuts in nutrients
Blueberries: Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium, Fiber, Manganese, and Flavonoids that reduce cell damage
Elderberries: Antioxidants; reportedly fights inflammation, blocks Flu virus
Selenium and crucial B vitamins Riboflavin and Niacin
One of very few plant-based sources of Vitamin D
Antioxidants, Organosulfur Compounds
Fights bacteria, viruses and fungi
Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
Stops growth of certain bacteria
8) Yogurt (Plant-Based)
Probiotics (live, active bacterial cultures)
Good for the gut, reduces inflammation from bacteria
Antioxidants, Folate, Fiber, Vitamin C
Superfood that repairs DNA
10) Sweet Potatoes
Beta-carotene in abundance, which is converted to Vitamin A
Combats free radicals and pathogens
My favorite line in Gertrude Stein's poem "Vegetable" asks/says: "What is cut. What is cut by it. What is cut by it in."
Consider this as you boost away. Cheers!