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Boost Immunity with Four Natural Foods and Supplements

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by: Elizabeth Walling
Tags: immunity, foods, health news

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(NewsTarget) Far from images of hand sanitizer and face masks, real protection from modern disease and illness happens from the inside out. Building a strong immune system is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of modern illness. The best way to improve your immunity is through natural foods and supplements like these:

Vitamin D

An important regulator in immune response, vitamin D is a key factor in maintaining strong immunity. The properties of vitamin D activate the body's natural defense against pathogens and viruses, triggering the proper response when the body is exposed to a harmful microorganism.

Natural food sources for vitamin D include egg yolk, Atlantic herring, shrimp and other types of seafood. However, vitamin D supplementation is generally recommended in addition to a healthy diet. Ideally you should supplement with a source like fermented cod liver oil, which is a highly concentrated source of natural vitamin D. Otherwise, a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement is the next best choice.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains important fatty acids, like lauric acid, which are used by the body to manufacture specialized antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral substances. Coconut oil is such a ready source of these valuable nutrients; it should be included in the diet of anyone with the goal of improving their immunity. Extra virgin coconut oil is unrefined and will retain the most natural benefits. You can also include foods like unsweetened dried coconut or coconut milk to access these important fatty acids.


The essential role of probiotics in the body is only beginning to surface in the scientific community. However, many traditional cultures valued probiotic foods because they instinctively understood the importance of maintaining healthy gut flora with these foods. It is said that 70 percent of the immune system is based in the gut, so it makes sense to include probiotics as a top immunity booster.

One 2009 study showed a statically significant improvement in immunity in those who supplemented with a probiotic compared to a placebo. Many individuals have noticed similar benefits on their own when they began taking a probiotic supplement or began including more probiotic foods in their diet.

Probiotic foods include naturally lacto-fermented vegetables and fruits (such as sauerkraut) and cultured dairy products such as kefir and yogurt. In addition, probiotic supplements are often recommended because the modern diet and lifestyle is especially destructive to gut flora. A quality probiotic supplement will contain at least several strains of probiotics and no less than 10 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) per gram.

Olive Leaf Extract

The active component in olive leaf extract is oleuropein, which is converted to elolenic acid in the body. This in turn heightens immunity and enables the body to destroy viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and fungi. Olive leaf extract is even considered a natural antibiotic by many alternative health enthusiasts. For the best results, find olive leaf extract that has been standardized to at least 10 percent oleuropein, and preferably closer to 20 percent.

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About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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