- Get Fish on Your Side
The omega-3 in fatty fish like salmon,sardines,mackerel and tuna help protect your heart and keep your brain healthy.And yes,they’re essential to your immune system.
Two substances-docosahexaenoic acid(DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid(EPA)- enhance the activity of B cells. Aim for two to three four-ounce servings of fish a week.Pregnant women and children should eat a bit less or be careful to choose fish that typically contain less mercury,like Atlantic mackerel,light tuna and salmon.If you’re not particularly fond of fish,you can find supplements-look of fish,you can find supplements-for one that provides about 2 grams each of EPA and DHA a day.
- A Sugar for Resistance
Beta glucan is a surprisingly powerful sugar known as a polysaccharide,it can help ward off cancer while boosting your immune system-plus it reduces cholesterol.
Researchers have found that it can even make antibiotics work better. Beta glucans often come in tandem with other polysaccgarides-and they’re all sugars that encourage the production of the white blood cells that target tumors and viruses.
You can get these substances from oats,barley and other grains.
But they also turn up in exotic mushrooms,such as reishi,shiitake and maitake.If you decide you’r like to go the supplement route,start at around 3 grams a day-or follow the directions on the packaging.And be sure to let your doctor know that you’re taking the supplement.
- To Ward Off Infection
The sulfur compounds in garlic especially allicin-fight infections and bacteria,and they spur the immune system to stay vigilant: in a British study of 146 people who took garlic daily through cold-and flu season,it reduced the risk of getting sick by more than half.
Other research suggests that people who get a lot of garlic have up to a 50 percent lower risk for certain cancers.You can get more garlic through your diet or use extracts-try 250 milligrams a day.
- It Goes Great with Garlic
The antioxidants lycopene helps protect the DNA of immune cells from damage.and there’s some evidence it can protect against prostate cancer.
The good news is that lycopene becomes even more potent when it’s cooked-say,in pasta or pizza sauces.Add some garlic to those dishes,and you’re getting a potent immune-boosting tag team.You can also get lycopene from watermelon and other brightly colored fruits.With supplements,people usually start at around 10 milligrams,twice daily.