Nutrition plays a large role in immune function. Our bodies rely heavily on the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates to sustain energy, growth, metabolism, and cellular repair. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are needed in smaller doses for white blood cell production and formation of anti-microbial barriers in the body. An increasing amount of research also shows that many phytonutrients (plant nutrients) have a significant effect on our immune systems. Three of the many phytonutrients that can be taken to charge-up your immune system this winter are polyphenols, allicin, and ginsenosides.
These colourful nutrients are found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They influence the immune system by reducing inflammation, altering DNA transcription, and providing antioxidant support. Great sources include berries, cloves, chestnuts, green tea, cocoa, and even popcorn.
On top of enhancing antibody and immune cell production, allicin has anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities that help prevent infections from taking hold. Well-known sources include garlic and onions.
There is strong scientific support showing that active chemicals called ginsenosides in Panax ginseng help prevent and reduce symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. These therapeutic adaptogens enhance the production of antibodies and immune system cells when your body is under stress. Panax ginseng is commonly taken as an extract or tea.
If you want to make it through this winter without the set-back of a cold or flu, adding immune-boosting phytonutrients to your regular nutritional plan may give you the extra edge you need. Polyphenols, allicin, and ginsenosides are amongst the great phytonutrient options that can be consumed as a food or a natural health product.
Originally posted at: https://naturalfactors.com/articles/preventing-winter-colds-with-immune-boosting-phytonutrients/ and used with permission.