Source:  Food Matters

My desire to stay well has much more to do with building my immune system all year-round rather than just surviving this year’s flu season. When nearly 1 of every 2 men, and 1 of every 3 women will be faced with a cancer diagnosis, it’s imperative to continuously support and build up your immune function to live cancer-free and healthy!

Seasonal changes, aging, and stresses of the holidays can suppress your immune system and leave you depleted. Using natural supplements, foods, and keeping up on lifestyle changes throughout the year can help you maintain your strength and stay well.

NOW is the time to put these immune powerhouses into practice for the entire year!  Here are my ESSENTIAL IMMUNITY BOOSTERS:

My personal favorite… Poor sleep interferes with your immune function, multiplies your chances of getting sick, decreases longevity, and drastically affects your ability to fight cancer. Less than 7 hours a night and you’re doing yourself a health disservice!

It thrills me to see TURMERIC more widely available. Turmeric is a cancer cell destroyer and works on nearly every type of cancer. Its active compound, curcumin, has the ability to simultaneously kill and promote healthy cellular growth. I suggest juicing or taking in capsule form (organic only) for highest benefit, you need a minimum of 95% curcuminoids and 3 grams 3-4 times daily.

I grew up banned from eating them, but medicinal mushrooms are potent immune boosters and should be a part of your health routine. The Shiitake, Reishi, and Maitake mushroom stimulate the immune system, build up our resistance to viruses, and block tumor formation. The ABM mushroom (Agaricus Blazel Murill) is clinically the strongest cancer-fighting and immune-boosting mushroom available.

Increasing your Vitamin C dosage is one of the easiest ways to boost immune function. Low levels of C are linked to infection and disease. Vitamin C is not dangerous in heavy doses, showing no side effects from the increase. Lyphospheric Vitamin C can break cell’s lipid barriers and increase absorption by up to 90% preventing viruses, disease, cancer, and improving cardiovascular health.

Another cancer fighting vitamin, Vitamin D has been clinically tested to reduce risk of 17 different types of cancer. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to auto-immune disorders and directly correlated to cancer deaths. The vitamin helps kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Sunshine is still your best source of vitamin D, I recommend 20-30 minutes a day in direct sun with exposed skin (early morning or late afternoon is a great time).

Nothing works for boosting my immune system or spirit more than a homemade bowl of chicken soup. There is a reason why this is a go-to for cold and flu season, the chicken provides cysteine and amino acid that breaks up congestion, while the hot soup can strengthen the movement of white blood cells and the broth is ultra hydrating. Any combination of bone in chicken and broth slow cooked with celery, onion, carrot, and herbs is all it takes!

While a plant-based diet reduces inflammation and creates an alkaline environment, your body needs ZINC for immune support. If you’re deficient, animal products are better sources than plant, think only organic grass-fed beef, chicken, shellfish, or lamb. Zinc builds immunity and is actually very anti-inflammatory. Vegetarians, be sure to intake good amounts of legumes and nuts to maintain your intake.

I love the taste and loathe the stinky breath, but garlic is well worth it! The sulfuric acid compounds in garlic are strong enough to eliminate bacteria and infections while studies show that garlic consumption may reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. Use fresh garlic for max benefit as heat can decrease the potency.

I eat two Brazil nuts a day to keep my selenium levels where they should be. You may not hear of selenium as much as other immune boosters on this list, but it’s very important in fighting cancer. Selenium reduces the risk of several cancers and it’s considered a “miracle mineral” for its immune-boosting qualities.

Your body contains ten times more bacteria than cells. Friendly bacteria not only attack pathogenic bacteria and fungi, but they also trigger appropriate white cell reactions to invaders. Surprisingly, one of the main functions of friendly bacteria is to stimulate your immune system. By eating probiotic-rich foods and maintaining good intestinal flora, a person can also maintain a healthy immune system.

What Secret Immune Boosters Would You Add to The List?