View Full Version : How do you boost your immune system

14th December 2004, 07:24 PM
It just occured to me that it might be useful to share experiences on what works in boosting the immune system. The Superfoods book by Dr Stephen Pratt that came out last year (see http://my.webmd.com/content/article/81/96952.htm) was very convincing on the amazing role that certain foods can do in fighting infections and even reversing infection etc.
The ones he identifies are as follows - I have put an asterisk after the three that he singles out as being most important:
Blueberries *
Salmon *
Spinach *
Tea (green or black)
He also suggests similar foods for each category.
I have been trying to incorporate these into my diet - not great on the soya front but looking for ideas. :-)

The three things I personally believe in are garlic, citrus juice and propbiotic yoghurt.

Any recommendations?

14th December 2004, 07:43 PM
My suggestion would have been tomatoes, but they're on the list. Beyond that, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and avoid touching your face/eyes. Oh, and if you know someone is ill or has been around someone else who is ill, uninvite them!

14th December 2004, 08:40 PM
Yah drinking lots of water and eating lots of fruit. Also orange juice helps too. Same with getting a proper sleep. And always always wash your hands with soap and water for over 15seconds. Cooking vegetables and putting food in freezers takes away all the nutrishion in food as well.

14th December 2004, 10:17 PM
I don't know exactly how to boost your immune system but I would say just have a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise (I'm so guilty of not doing this...). I take a multivitamin every day since I eat not so balanced food and I can tell a huge difference in my energy when I don't take it. I woudn't overdo any ONE vitamin since I think that any vitamin or mineral in excess can actually be bad for you. I just saw a study on Vitamin E and how the large doses that people now take are actually hurting them. It's raising their chances for cancer or some crazy thing like that. I don't think it was exactly cancer but it was something bad. So only 100% of the daily recommended value is all you need. Just because 100% is good doesn't mean it's 2x as good if you take 200%. Keep that in mind.

Don't know if any of that made sense! :D

14th December 2004, 10:22 PM
It's not something I've actually thought about until now, but it has been on my mind lately as I'm so keen to keep Erin well for next week. I've started giving her multivitamins in her juice, but getting a 2 year old to eat their veggies is an almost impossible feat, and it stresses me out no end. Despite skipping meals, eating too much junk and drinking too much alcohol, I rarely get ill, but i'll be interested to see others' tips on keeping well.

Tweety Pie
14th December 2004, 10:25 PM
Why do you say never touch face/eyes? I've not heard that before! Do you simply mean so as to avoid getting germs into your system?

14th December 2004, 10:32 PM

Proven immune system boost. :-D

14th December 2004, 10:59 PM
I think I can kinda answer Jenny's questions... don't touch your face because your hands could have picked up germs that give you gross nasty zits or something and don't rub your eyes or else you are more prone to getting "pink eye". And if you touch your nose you made urself more prone to getting a stuffy nose. And wash your hands before you eat cuz if you don't then u'll pick up ur food and eat all the nasty bacteria which makes you sick.

14th December 2004, 11:50 PM
There's nothing more horrible than seeing someone sail into the toilet and back out without washing their hands. We could make threadworms extinct just by everyone washing their hands every time, I reckon.

A few summers ago I got a nasty eye infection from rubbing my eyes when they itched from hayfever. Result was they were a damn sight more itchy and painful than they would have been.

15th December 2004, 02:58 AM
Eat well, get enough sleep, wash your hand alot and exercise. Excercise is good for you, it boosts your immune system and makes you ahppy and it's good for your heart...

15th December 2004, 02:59 AM
Oh, and shitake mushrooms and ginseng, I've heard. No reasons though...

15th December 2004, 03:41 AM
Ok guys just to let you know lets use bacteria instead of germs because germs means sperm and ovum...I dont wanna sound rude here its just I just learned this in bio and i liek the feeling of knowing something people usually get wrong

15th December 2004, 12:07 PM
I agree 100% with Linzi.regular handwashing with hot soapy water,not touching your nose/eyes as this is how colds are transmitted.And of course, uninvite contagious individuals who invade your house....

15th December 2004, 12:34 PM
Just on supplements/vitamins, etc....

The Superfoods book and other recent articles I have read suggest very strongly that it is the combination of different nutrients in food working together that has the greatest effect on health so supplements cannot be relied upon.

Also, do you not think that it is through the air that we catch colds etc? So being contained in a small space with other people such as an aircraft cabin or an office seems to bring on bugs?

15th December 2004, 01:21 PM
Interestingly, although my immune system is rubbish these days compared to how it used to be (something I put down to pain more than anything else), in terms of getting chest infections and the like, I haven't been getting the truly evil stinkers that take ages (and a round or two of antibiotics) to shake for the last 3-4 years. The single biggest change dietwise in this time is that I've taken to drinking tea. Plain, ordinary black tea, relatively strong but fairly milky. As I don't tend to have much else in my diet that's got calcium in it, I tend to feel the milk is a good idea. Of course, it could all be coincidental, it's difficult to tell. I do know that I feel a heck of a lot better when I am exercising regularly in any case.

15th December 2004, 04:05 PM
Sneezing is the perfect way to pass on a virus.The virus is contained in the droplet propelled from your nose.putting your hand over your nose as you sneeze transfers them to your hand and as you open doors the virus is transferred to the door or to the handle of your shopping trolley.
Next person touches the door handles or takes your trolley.They feel tired, put their hand over their mouth to yawn or rub their eyes.Heck they may even pick their nose :-o 48 hours later they're ill!
Problem with airplanes or confined spaces is the airconditioning system.In such a small area, someone can sneeze directly on you or cough.The aircon system will recirculate the same air that someone sneezed into 2 mins before down the back.It's a very effective way of infecting someone.Viruses can live on surfaces like elevator walls and kid's toys for several hours.
Most bacteria and viruses are killed off by hot soapy water.Handwashing will break the cycle of infection.I'm not talking about the quick dip under a tap that you see people in public washrooms doing.They might as well not bother.Use hot soapy water for at least 30 seconds of washing and rinse thoroughly.Dead easy........

16th December 2004, 12:10 AM
I always sneeze into my upper arm, so as not to get unpleasent bacteria on my hands. I have a good immune system I think, although I eat/drink loads of beans, tea and soy in the form of chocolate soymilk. Oh yes, and my mother put garlic in everything, and none of us seem to have immune system problems, as we never get sick.

16th December 2004, 12:30 AM
Getting enough sleep, as Joy said, is very important. When I wake up feeling like death with tonsillitis or a bad cold, it's usually the morning after I went to bed at 3am.