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Food that Fight Cancer, Aging and Boosts Your Immunity.

Updated on December 7, 2012
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Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables are known to reduce the risks of getting cancers. Scientists have shown that avocado for example contains a lot of nutrients that prevent cancer like vitamins and phytochemicals. Studies have also shown that phytochemicals extracted from the avocado can inhibit growth of cancer cells. Polyphenols are antioxidants that are found naturally in most fruits like blackberries, blueberries, grapes, strawberries; and vegetables such as broccoli, celery and parsley in addition to chocolate and green tea. These polyphenols have been reported to prevent and treat allergic diseases of the immune system.

Flavonoids are water soluble polyphenolic molecules which have been also reported to contain antioxidant activities. Flavonoids, are found in a large range of vegetables, fruits and teas; they are reported by scientists to possess anti-allergic activities and inhibit histamine release, and synthesis of inflammatory cytokines.Eating fresh food that is high in nutrients like garlic for example, can increase the production of white blood cells, and act as an antibacterial agent against infections. Garlic is also a rich source for antioxidants.

Consuming papaya has been correlated with anti-inflammatory effects. Mushrooms consumption is also recognised to enhance immunityand have been used since ancient times to treat cancer. Eating nuts will provide antioxidants such as vitamin E, in addition to omega 3 fatty acids and zinc. When mentioning omega 3 we can’t forget a major source for it which is fish; omega 3 help increase the activity of white blood cells and regulate immunity in the body. Berries are a rich source of vitamin C, antioxidants and bioflavonoids, and why not snack on some chocolate as it is now proven to contain antioxidants which will definitely draw a smile on your immune system. Eating yogurt is also vital as it contains those live cultures such as lactobacillus which can increase resistance to infections and cancer. Protein that can be found in poultry and lean meats is also essential to boost immunity and it can be a source of zinc.

In a study published in 2010, 49 healthy individuals were put through a healthy diet that is rich in organic products, whole grains, fruit and vegetables and poor in processed foods; another 56 healthy individuals were provided with diet rich in processed foods and poor in fruit and vegetables. The oxidative DNA damage and DNA repair was measured for both groups and the individuals in Group I presented lower levels of oxidative DNA damage and lower levels of DNA damage than those individuals in Group II. This strongly suggests that a diet rich in organic products, integral grains, fruit and vegetables and poor in industrialized products can protect against oxidative DNA damage.

The intestinal microbiota can synthesize a lot of essential vitamins like cobalamin (vitamin B12), pyridoxal phosphate (active form of vitamin B6), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin (vitamin B3), biotin, tetrahydrofolate (generated from dietary forms of folate) and vitamin K. Numerous studies correlated the deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E and zinc with a dysfunctional immune responses, particularly T-cell responses. A recent study strongly suggested that vitamin A deficiency altered gut microbiome, which in turn inhibited a special kind of white blood cells called Th17 from differentiation and working effectively. Iron deficiency has been correlated with an impaired innate immune responses through its role in the generation of toxic oxygen and nitrogen intermediates. More vivid information on the effect of micro and macro nutrients will be discussed further in the next section.

It is also vital to keep in mind that our daily calorie intake can also alter our immunity as diets using schemes with less than 1200 kcal per day can harm our immune cells by depleting them from the required energy. Excessive energy intake and obesity can also harm our immune functions and is linked to an increased rate of catching infections. Diets high in saturated fat can also imbalance our immune functions.


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