Rev Up Your Immune System
By, Brett Bauer
To be on top of your training during the winter, you need to be on top of your immune system! It’s that time of year when the cold and flu are going around, and before you know it, you can be down and out of the gym. As always, nutrition is key for results. Adding in some key nutritional supplements and foods can help boost your immune system.
Here are some herbal supplements and items I like to have on hand during the season:
- Echinacea and Goldenseal– Goldenseal is paired with echinacea as an immune-activating herb and natural antibiotic treatment for colds.
- Zinc– fights against viruses like colds. Some foods you can consume with high amounts of zinc are black beans, oatmeal, cashews, peas and lentils.
- Vitamin C– great for helping decrease and lessen the duration of colds. Citrus contains high amounts of vitamin C as well as strawberries, bell pepper and pineapple.
- Green Tea – antioxidants to help fight diseases which may help fight colds. It has (epigallocatechin gallate) EGCG and can fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying.
- Garlic – great germ fighting abilities since it acts as a natural antibiotic.
- Ginger – natural immune booster and can also help nausea.
- Colostrum – a milk-like substance that jump-starts a newborn’s immune system. Colostrum contains special enzymes that prevent its immune and growth factors from being digested.
- Glutamine – Glutamine can help you produce growth hormone levels and boost your immune system. For athletes, this is important since heavy workouts tend to greatly deplete Glutamine levels since glutamine is a primary energy source for your immune system.
Veggie Juices – taking juices are great for overall health and well-being. But most importantly great as an immune system booster. Try a cold pressed juice with some of these ingredients:
o Lemon Juice – contains lots of antioxidants and vitamin C, and it also balances the levels of alkali and acids in the body.
o Apple Cider Vinegar – The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is apple juice, which has a wide range of vitamins and minerals and contains vinegar, an acidic liquid that is known to contribute to the efficiency of the immune system.
o Cranberry Juice – a great source of potent antioxidants such as flavonoids and vitamin C, which are effective in promoting the immune system.
o Beet Juice – can help boost immune system with Some of the essential nutrients that are present in beet juice are beta carotene, vitamin C, carotenoids.
o Kiwi Juice – This juice contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, which are essential for a healthy immune system.
o Broccoli Juice – has good amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin B1 and C, calcium, protein, potassium and sulphur.
o Carrot Juice – it can strengthen the immune system since it contains vitamin C, vitamin B complex, potassium, iron, sodium and phosphorus.
If you can, try drinking of the fresh vegetable juices with some of these ingredients to give your body that extra natural boost. They will help keep your body fighting against flu season and keep you fro missing a rep in the gym.