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11 Foods that Will Boost Your Immune System and Make You Healthier

11 Foods that Will Boost Your Immune System and Make You Healthier

It is well known that what you eat determines how you feel. Our bodies need vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients in order to function properly so that you could be your best self. However, bacteria and viruses do attack and people do get sick once their immune system weakens. Whether your immune system is weak because of stress, or malnutrition or a chronic disease, the right food will help.

1. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most cited foods to fight bacteria and viruses and help you be and stay healthy. What separates garlic from other alliums is allicin, which can’t be found in the necessary amounts in other members of the onion family. Perhaps the smell will put you off, but you can easily put some in your salad, in a sauce or a home cooked meal, and still reap the benefits.

2. Chicken Soup

This is a well-known fact, and if you ever wondered why, here’s the answer: Cystein, which is an amino acid that gets released from chicken during cooking, bears a certain chemical resemblance to acetylcysteine—the bronchitis drug. This is how it works: Cystein stops the accumulation of inflammatory white cells in the bronchial tubes, and the broth keeps mucus thin. In order to further boost its immune power, add garlic and mushrooms.

3. Mushrooms

Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms are your answer as they contain the biggest amount of immunity boosters out of all mushrooms. They are efficient because they help your body produce more white blood cells and making them active and aggressive (in a good way).

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4. Beef

We are citing beef because of zinc. Zinc deficiency is one of the biggest nutritional shortfalls. With so many vegetarians and people cutting back on beef (or any red meat for that matter) it is no wonder that this is the main reason why some people get ill. This immunity boosting mineral can also be found (in nor so great amounts) in oysters, milk or yoghurt, poultry (see the pattern here) and pork.

5. Sweet Potatoes

When talking about the immune system, we are not just talking about the blood; we are also talking about the other organs, especially skin. As the largest human organ, skin is also the biggest barrier between you and bacteria/viruses. In order to keep her healthy, you need vitamin A, and our recommended source for it is sweet potato. It will deliver the right amount of beta carotene, that will then be transformed into vitamin A and used to produce connective tissue. You can also vary by eating cantaloupe, carrots, pumpkins etc.

6. Fish

We cannot accentuate the importance of this food. Fish, as well as oysters, lobsters, crabs, and clams, are effective and can help white blood cells produce cytokines (basically proteins that help eradicate flu viruses from your body. Additionally, don’t forget that they are a fantastic source of omega 3 acids.

7. Grapefruit

The benefits of citruses have been known for quite some time, and we don’t need to list in detail why vitamin C, present in grapefruit, lemon, oranges etc. is good for your health. We will, however, say, that red grapefruit is high in bioflavanoids, which produce positive reactions in your system and boost your immunity.

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8. Cauliflower

Broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower are high in antioxidants, especially gluthatione, which fends off viruses. Not only do they improve your overall health, they are a big source of choline. This nutrient keeps bacteria out of your system, keep your cells properly functioning and help in the gastrointestinal area

9. Honey

Buckwheat honey does not only cure your sore throat by coating it, it also has antioxidants and antimicrobial properties.

DRINK:

10. Tea

The key words here are “amino acids”. Green and black tea have an abundance of L-theanine; a substance that will give you enough virus-fighting interferon in your blood stream—even decaf versions.

11. Yogurt

The difference between a yoghurt that helps your digestion and a yoghurt that boosts your immune system is the bacteria involved. What you need is Lactobacillus reuteri—a specific probiotic that appears to stimulate white blood cells. If you don’t find it, rest assured that every yoghurt has it, but only in small quantities.

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DO NOT FORGET

Step 1: Identify what you need.

Let’s say that you love eating vegetables, yoghurt, and foods rich in vitamin C. It’s not the increased quantities of yoghurt you need. It’s a good old chicken soup.

Step 2. Don’t overdo it.

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Eating two liters of chicken soup will only make you sick. One plate with a salad and some beef will be more than enough.

Step 3: Opt for natural, rather than synthetic.

By synthetic we mean pills. All the useful elements can be extracted from the food and packed in a pill, but a lot of the good stuff is lost in the process. Sometimes it is more useful to eat a clove of garlic in a salad than to pop a pill or two.

Step 4. Combine

Above we have listed a perfect combination: Warm tea-containing L-theanine, honey to coat your sore throat, and lemon to add some vitamin C. Do not rely on only one food to help you be healthy.

These foods are not just good for your immune system—they keep you fit, keep your teeth healthy, keep you in a good mood… they are simply fabulous. So why wait?

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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