Searching for a diet to rebuild immune system strength can be frustrating, because recommendations vary. A number of books have been written about what foods strengthen the immune system. The Chinese diet to boost the immune system includes a chicken soup tonic that contains chicken, deng shen, broomrape, and sliced ginger. Prevention magazine recommends beef, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, tea and yogurt. Other experts recommend avoiding beef and eating a diet rich in vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, because of the enzymes they contain. Any of these could be an effective diet to rebuild immune system strength. The primary goal should be overall good nutrition.
There are a number of vitamins, minerals, plant components and herbs that are beneficial to the immune system. Researching what foods strengthen the immune system can be complicated, because certain vitamins work best when taken with other vitamins. For instance, vitamin C, probably the most commonly recommended vitamin for infection resistance, works best when taken with calcium and magnesium. Calcium, among the other vital roles that it plays in the body, helps the cells absorb Vitamin C and other nutrients more efficiently. Magnesium plays the same role and is also essential for proper function of the muscles and nerves. So, an effective diet to rebuild immune system strength must include foods that contain Vitamin C, magnesium and calcium, or a combination of foods that contain these important nutrients.
To further complicate the search for what foods strengthen the immune system, calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for the proper absorption of Vitamin C, work best when taken with iron, manganese, and Vitamin D. The body cannot absorb calcium, if Vitamin D is not present, which is why milk is fortified with Vitamin D. In addition, a lack of Vitamin A in the diet can lead to frequent infections and Vitamin A works best when taken with zinc, calcium, B-complex, and vitamins C, D and E. It seems nearly impossible to come up with a diet to rebuild immune system strength that takes all of these things into consideration. Some people rely on a daily multi-vitamin to lay down a basis for overall good nutrition and as insurance on days when the foods we eat are not the best. But all multi-vitamins are not the same. The best advice is to look for a good one from a reputable company. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, except when it comes to what claims a manufacturer can and cannot make, but there are other self-regulating trade organizations that many of the better manufacturers belong to. This may not be your discount drug store vitamins, but they may be worth a few dollars more.
Even if you take multi-vitamins, efforts to incorporate a diet to rebuild immune system strength into your lifestyle is still a good idea. Scientific research about what foods strengthen the immune system indicates that mushrooms are a good choice. Edible mushrooms are a valuable source of biologically active compounds called beta glucans. Numerous studies have shown that beta glucans stimulate the immune system, providing protection from colds, influenza and infections, as well as AIDS by inhibiting viral replication. If you prefer not to eat mushrooms, beta glucans are found in numerous plant foods, including oats, barley and yeast.
What foods strengthen the immune system? Seafood and fish are good choices, because they are good sources of calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and vitamins A, C, D, E and B complex. Seafood and fish are also the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to be beneficial in preventing heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Omega-3 supplementation can improve overall mental function and reduce symptoms of depression. Dietary experts recommend two servings of salmon per week or four servings of tuna, not only to be included in a diet to rebuild immune system strength, but also to provide adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
In general, eating a well balanced diet to rebuild immune system strength is a good idea. Investigating what foods strengthen the immune system is a worthwhile effort. In addition, there are numerous herbs which can be beneficial.