Antioxidants to Strengthen Your Immune System

What can you do to build up your defense system?

Seasonal allergies are on the rise, mostly due to added stressors on the immune system due to greater chemical pollutants in the air, water, & food; earlier weaning & introduction of solid food to infants; food additives & genetic manipulation of plants, resulting in food components with greater allergenic tendencies.

You can give your body’s defense system daily support to help it deal with the extra stress & histamine release by eating specific nutrients & antioxidants.


Best Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals

The top antioxidant vitamins and minerals to support the immune system response & reduce histamine are flavanoids (like quercetin), vitamin A, C, E, Zinc, Selenium and Copper. These antioxidants are thought to provide protection for the lungs, as free radicals can both stimulate bronchial constriction & increase reactivity to other agents.

Eating a variety of antioxidant rich foods like mushrooms, kale, sunflower sprouts, avocado, spinach, cabbage, berries, kiwi, bell peppers, & asparagus is an excellent way to get what you need.

Garlic & onions, which are part of the Allium family, can inhibit inflammatory response caused by allergen-inhalation challenges. Onions contain quercetin & isothiocyanates, which may inhibit the biosynthesis of an inflammatory substance called arachidonic acid.

The Power of Beta-Glucans

Supporting the body’s innate defense system through immunomodulating agents like beta-glucans & flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and baicalein found in Turkey Tail mushrooms help to stimulate & activate our T cells and reduce inflammation. They also contain prebiotic properties that help to keep our gut healthy - which is where we house about 70-80% of our immune system in the GALT (Gut-associated lymphoid tissue, which is a component of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue that works in the immune system).

Comments (2)

  • Brandi on Nov 05, 2022

    Hi Anita – Health Canada has not published any risk information for consumption of Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail) other than:
    1. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
    2. For use in reductions of symptoms, consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen.

    Some suggest being cautious with antidiabetes drugs or the drug Tamoxifen as Turkey Tail might change the way they work in the body. Best to have a professional monitor closely in these situations.

  • Anita on Oct 05, 2022

    Are there any medical contraindications for using turkey tail?

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