Superfoods are a fad that will never get old, and for good reason! In addition to many being alkaline, there are also several superfoods and herbs that can also specifically help boost your immune system.
What Are Alkaline Superfoods?
Superfoods (and "super" herbs) are nutritional natural wonders of the food world. They're generally packed full of a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and other properties that make them exceptional in terms of their health benefits and how they positively impact your body's systems.
Alkaline superfoods as their name indicates are of the variety which are alkaline producing in the body, in addition to their exceptional nutritional value. When you eat foods that are highly alkaline it helps to balance your pH levels and prevent your body from becoming too acidic.
Benefits Of Alkalinity For The Immune System
The body has difficulty in producing energy and functioning properly if there is an acidic internal environment. Too much acidity means less oxygen for your cells for energy production. White blood cells are a key hallmark of the body's immune system which help to defend against pathogens, toxins and anything else that may pose a threat to health and wellbeing.
To maintain optimal health as well as a strong immune system, having a good alkaline and acidic balance in the food you eat is essential. If the body is to be in its best shape, it must be slightly alkaline, which is in the pH range 7.3 - 7.4 pH. Scientists measure the levels of acidity and alkalinity of the body and the food that people eat with the pH scale. This logarithmic scale has values from 0 to 14 - 0 most acidic-14 most alkaline. Lower pH levels indicate higher acidity. Distilled water is neutral with a pH level of 7.
Most food that people eat in the modern "Western diet" tends to be acidic, which can lead to various types of health problems in addition to negatively impacting the immune system. All alkaline and particularly alkaline plant superfoods can help to remedy this. Research indicates, and many health professionals agree that your daily diet should be about 80% alkaline and a maximum of 20% of acidic food to help promote good health.
How Do Superfoods Help Boost The Immune System?
Superfoods, especially alkaline ones, help the immune system by supplying the nutrients that have "antioxidant" properties. As the name indicates, antioxidants" help prevent against oxidative damage which can cause havoc on the body's cells and defences against disease.
Antioxidants and nutrients that superfoods and herbs contain to varying degrees which are particularly beneficial for boosting immunity include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamins B12 & B-6
Antioxidants can be either man-made or of the natural varieties. The body actually produces its own antioxidants but these, by themselves, are less effective with dealing with "free radical" waste substances caused by oxidation. The naturally-occurring antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables are much more effective preventing or slowing down cell damage caused by oxidation. Studies confirm that diets made up of high levels of fresh plant-based foods provide the body with an infusion of natural antioxidants that are not just great for the immune system, but also beneficial to your health and wellbeing as a whole.
Some alkaline superfoods in the form of herbs can also very helpful when it comes to immunity. Called "antiviral herbs", they contain properties that help slow viruses from developing. They do this by strengthening the immune system, enabling the body to be better able to attack against any viral invaders.
This natural "broad spectrum" immunity boost could be considered superior to the specific targeting of what antiviral drugs do by design. The reason for this is that pathogens can mutate over time and become less susceptible to drug treatments.
Top Immune-Boosting Alkaline Superfoods & Herbs
Here are some outstanding alkaline superfoods and herbs that in addition to being considered anti-acidic magic and containing alkali wonder nutrients, thanks to their incredible natural qualities, they're also great for helping to boost the immune system and prevent disease...
Most of us are familiar with garlic as food. It is widely used in most peoples' kitchens and features in many recipes but you may not be aware of its powerful benefits for the immune system.
Garlic provides many minerals and vitamins, which are necessary for health. Raw garlic is a great source of minerals: potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Garlic is a perfect example of an antiviral herb.
Research has demonstrated that garlic - or more specifically some of the botanical compounds that garlic contains - is very efficient at combating pathogens such as those which can cause infections Among them include those responsible for causing the common cold, flu, pneumonia, and even tuberculosis.
Garlic can also help reduce the risk of cancer, control hypertension, and boost the overall functioning and health of the cardiovascular system.
So where does garlic get these amazing immune-boosting powers?
Whole garlic contains a compound called alliin. When digested, this releases a substance called allicin.
This produces chemicals that boost the response of the immune system.
Additionally, the selenium content contained in garlic is an antioxidant mineral which is good for the heart, thanks to its ability to help fight hardening of arteries.
Antioxidants are also useful in preventing heart attacks and strokes due to their quality of helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
While most people will know garlic well, many may wonder what elderberry is.
Elderberry Flower is a powerful superfood packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Although maybe not that well known, this amazing plant has many health benefits and has been found to reduce the length and severity of cold and flu symptoms.
Elderberry, as used in herbal medicine, is a dark purple berry produced by the European elder tree. There are other elderberry varieties, such as American Elder, Elderflower, and Dwarf Elder, but don't confuse them with the European elderberry which is the powerful alkaline superfood with notable immune-boosting qualities.
Elderberry has been recognised for centuries. Like garlic, elderberry contains antioxidants and has strong antiviral properties. It gives the immune system a powerful stimulus.
The reason elderberry has such potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities is thanks to immunostimulants it contains named "anthocyanidins".
Turmeric Root is an all-natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which are both crucial properties for boosting immunity.
Turmeric has long been used in India and has had a lot of publicity in recent years, quite deservedly so. Not only is it a tasty spice but it has many healing properties. It has been successfully used as a treatment for numerous health issues. The amazing properties of turmeric can be attributed to its most important ingredient, which is curcumin.
Curcumin is a bright yellow biochemical, the principal therapeutic part of turmeric. In addition to its medicinal properties, it is also used as a dietary supplement, a food colouring and flavoring agent.
Its immune-balancing properties can also assist those with chronic stress, a prime cause of immune system problems. Curcumin boosts immune responses through a number of other properties and constituents.
One of these is aromatic turmerone, sometimes called ar-turmerone. There is even some research to suggest that this chemical can stimulate the repair of the stem cells of the brain. These stem cells are seen as a possible way of treating neurodegenerative problems, such as Alzheimer's and stroke.
Green tea has been drunk and used as a traditional medicine in China and Japan for millennia. It is now widely available in Western countries. It is a source of calcium, iron, and potassium but its greatest health benefit is provided by polyphenols.
An antioxidant powerhouse, studies have shown that consuming green tea regularly can have positive effects on mental clarity, energy, and endurance as well as its ability to help ward off disease.
Green tea's specific immune-boosting polyphenols are also called catechins or flavanols.
Lemons are a well-known fruit that most people use in only small quantities to enhance the taste and flavour of food and drinks. However, they very rarely consume them alone because of their strong, sour taste.
Although acidic before consumption, as a result of citric acid, lemon becomes alkaline during digestion.
Lemon has an abundance of Vitamin C but also has useful quantities of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
Thanks to this mighty combination of compounds, lemons are excellent at boosting your immune system.
Vitamin C greatly helps against colds. By stimulating brain and nerve functions, potassium helps your blood pressure.
Iron promotes haemoglobin. This chemical in the blood takes oxygen to cells that are damaged. Hence, it is important for the body's fight against infection.
Magnesium, another micronutrient of lemon, not only assists the immune system but also in reducing inflammation.
Other Beneficial Foods & Herbs For The Immune System
Even though they're not officially classified as alkaline superfoods, there are two other herbs that are widely celebrated and used to help fortify immunity. Thanks to their qualities, we include them as ingredients in our DEFEND Immunity Superbooster Blends...
Echinacea is widely used as an herbal remedy for viral infections including the common cold or flu. A native flower in North America, research shows that Echinacea can actually increase the number of white blood cells, which fight infections.
This well-known antiviral herb has acquired a reputation as a natural cure for a variety of ills, particularly common colds. Some other benefits of echinacea are reduced inflammation, greater immunity, and improved levels of blood sugar. Echinacea is a source of antioxidants, so valuable in reducing stress and inflammation.
Finally, we come to ginger. Most of us are familiar with ginger ale and ginger beer and ginger as a flavouring but what about its qualities as an immune-boosting nutrient?
Ginger has long been used in traditional medicine to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the common cold and flu.
Like turmeric, ginger also has its origins in Southeast Asia. Many recipes include rhizome, the "root" section of the stem found underground.
Also like turmeric, ginger has many health properties, which come from its natural oils, of which gingerol is the most important. It is this, which gives ginger most of its medicinal properties that are strongly anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant.
- A balanced pH helps contribute to a strong immune system
- Alkaline superfoods can contribute to boosting immunity
- Antiviral herbs offer numerous properties that help fight infections
- Echinacea & ginger are other immune-boosting superfoods with other incredible health benefits
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