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Dieticians suggest ways to eat to pump up your immune system

Eat for Immunity
Posted at 12:15 PM, Jul 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-20 12:15:00-04

Adults average two to four colds per year and children average six to eight. Making healthy lifestyle choices can keep us from getting sick. Luckily, there are some easy and natural ways to strengthen our immune system and prevent colds and the flu all year long.

80 percent of our immune system is located in our gut so it is really important to keep our intestines healthy. One way is to eat probiotic foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchee.

Start using thieves' oil, a blend of clove, cinnamon, lemon rosemary and eucalyptus oils. It has been proven to be more than 99 percent effective against airborne bacteria.

Get enough vitamin D. Either get in the sun for 20 minutes a day or start eating more eggs, milk and fatty fish. And don't forget to get enough sleep because an insufficient amount weakens the immune system.

Zinc, which most people don't get enough of, is essential for immune cell function. Foods high in zinc include oysters, lean beef and pumpkin seeds.

Finally - eliminating sugar is the best way to prevent illness. Refined sugar drastically decreases immune function. If you are starting to feel sick avoid sugar because it can be the breaking point.

Also consume more foods with glutamine - an amino acid found in protein foods. Our immune cells depend on glutamine to do their jobs. This is especially important for active people because if you don't have enough glutamine your body will borrow from skeletal muscle.