12 Natural Immune System Boosters
Wow! Did you know that some pain relievers, anti-oxidants and anti-depressants are right there in your ref and kitchen cupboards? Flavor-boosting spices and seasonings pack a powerful health punch – they can ease pain, steady your blood sugar,
Wow! Did you know that some pain relievers, anti-oxidants and anti-depressants are right there in your ref and kitchen cupboards?
Flavor-boosting spices and seasonings pack a powerful health punch – they can ease pain, steady your blood sugar, soothe digestive upsets and more.
1. Turmeric cuts your risk of diabetes.
This exotic spice has a golden-yellow hue and slightly peppery, gingery taste. Adding as little as one teaspoon of turmeric to your daily diet could cut your risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as half!
This spice is loaded with curcumin, a potent antioxidant that nourishes the insulin-producing pancreas, say researchers. Just sneak it into your favorite fish, chicken, beef, vegetables and rice dishes to jazz them up.
2. Ginger eases pain.
In India, ginger is considered a universal medicine. It’s used to help heal pretty much everything, including headaches, muscle pain, joint pain and even bad back injuries.
Ginger’s secret: It’s packed with gingerols, which are plant compounds that ramp up production of pain-numbing endorphins, dampen inflammation, improve blood flow, and relax tense, spasming muscles. Eating one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (or three slices of candied ginger) a day quells aches and pains for up to 63 percent of women within two weeks.
3. Cardamom can lower blood pressure.
In a study in India, when folks with high blood pressure added cardamom to their daily diets, it helped normalized their pressure readings in as little as 12 weeks. Turns out, cardamom relaxes the muscles lining blood vessels so they’re less likely to tighten up and cause blood pressure surges. The study-proven dose is roughly 1/2 teaspoon daily.
4. Sage strengthens memory.
Feeling foggy? A single dose of sage can instantly sharpen your memory skills, helping you recall names, places, and other facts more quickly and accurately for at least three hours straight. How? Plant compounds called phenols block the breakdown of acetylcholine–– a brain compound that’s essential for clear-headed thinking and the formation of new memories.
5. Rosemary helps clear congestion.
If you’re feeling under the weather, adding 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary to a meal can ease congestion and sinus pressure, plus help speed your recovery from a bad head cold.
Rosemary’s antioxidants also dampen sinus inflammation, improve drainage, and can even strengthen your ability to destroy cold viruses. Rosemary tastes great in omelets, herbed breads, roasted potatoes and poultry dishes. Or sip one cup of rosemary tea daily until your symptoms ease.
6. Saffron fights depression.
Clinical trials suggest that eating a daily pinch (less than 1/10 of a teaspoon) of this golden-yellow spice eases depression for 75 percent of women, making it more powerful than many prescriptions for antidepressants.
Credit saffron’s crocin, an antioxidant that prods the brain to produce more mood boosting serotonin. Saffron has a slightly sweet, earthy flavor, and it’s wonderful in seafood, rice, beef and tomato-based dishes.
7. Garlic strengthens immunity.
Eating just one clove daily can cut your risk of infections (viral or bacterial) in half,. This flavorful herb is packed with at least 33 different sulfur compounds–– raw materials needed to build fast, powerful, germ-killing white blood cell.
Tip: Let chopped and crushed garlic “rest” for 10 minutes before cooking (air exposure allow garlic’s sulfur compounds to be converted into their most active form).
8. Cinnamon revs energy. Eating sugary or carb-laden fare (sodas, bread, bagels, sweets) causes sharp spikes and dips in blood sugar, which can exhaust the central nervous system and leave you feeling drained and sluggish, studies reveal.
But sprinkling 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon onto your meals each day can slow sugar and carb absorption in the small intestine, improving blood sugar control by 29 percent and cutting your bouts of fatigue by as much as half.
9. Peppermint soothes digestive upsets.
According to researchers, adding peppermint to a daily diet can help soothe indigestion, cramping, queasiness and other digestive ills for up to 60 percent of women. Peppermint’s menthol helps intestinal muscles contract properly and prods the gall bladder to release digestion-enhancing bile.
10. Anise relieves gassiness. It’s perfectly normal to pass gas 14 to 20 times daily, say researchers. But if you’d rather not be that “normal,” try chewing 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of anise seeds (which taste a lot like licorice) after your two biggest meals of the day.
This simple trick can help quash gassiness in as little as 48 hours. Anise seeds are 75 percent anethole, which spurs the release of digestive enzymes, improving food breakdown so that gas formation doesn’t occur. Plus it helps break up large, painful gas bubbles.
11. Basil can prevent new cancer cells.
Research have found that regular use of basil–– as little as 1/2 teaspoon four times weekly –- helps shut down the growth of new cancer cells. The credit goes to basil’s antioxidant-rich oil, which stimulates the formation of immune system super cells that quickly destroy abnormal cells on contact. Basil pairs beautifully with dishes containing lots of tomatoes, onions, garlic or olives.
12. Paprika relieves inflammation.
If you only grab the paprika when you’re making deviled eggs, you’re missing out! Researchers say enjoying 1/2 teaspoon of this spice daily could cut your levels of tissue inflammation by as much as 20 percent. Paprika is rich in saponins–– natural compounds that bind to inflammatory molecules in the digestive tract, blocking their absorption. Why should you care about quelling inflammation?
Chronic inflammation can worsen dozens of different health problems, including skin rashes, arthritis, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. This spice is available sweet, spicy, and smoked so you can try it on anything–– from beef, chicken, and fish to beans, rice, and roasted veggies.
(Photo credits to the owner)