Turns out Mom sure knew how to increase immunity when she'd pass
out the chicken soup when we were sick. She may not have known
that the amino acid cysteine created by cooking chicken simulates
acetylcysteine which is a drug for bronchitis or that the chicken
broth thins out mucus much like a cough syrup or that a
University of Nebraska study found chicken soup could block
inflammatory white blood cells so they couldn't build up in the
bronchial tubes, but she somehow knew it was good for us when we
were sick. I used to think my mom was psychic because she always
seemed to know what I was doing, what I was thinking and how I
was feeling without being told. Just a little scary, right? I
realize now as an adult she was picking up on subtle clues from
me that she was able to interpret by knowing me so well. The same
thing is true when looking at your health and how well your
immune system is working.
To know if your immune system is doing its job or not, do some
observing of your overall health and diet. Here's a few questions
you can ask yourself:
If your answers to these questions indicate that your immune
system is not doing the best job for you, then you may be looking
for natural solutions for how to increase immunity. I have 2 tips
today for how to increase immunity that Mom may not have known
about or even heard of. Beta Glucan and mushrooms. Let's take a
look at how both of these work and can be natural solutions in
how to increase immunity.
- Do you seem to catch every illness that is going around? This is
a big clue that your immune system may not be functioning its
best. It is normal to get sick a few times a year with a cold,
flu or virus, but more than that could be an indication of a
weakened immune system.
- Do you eat or drink much sugar? A study in the American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition reported that even ingesting the amount of
sugar found in 3 cans of soda a day could cause your white blood
cells to fail in killing bacteria for 5 hours after eating or
drinking sugary foods or drinks.
- Is your nose dry? Mucus collects germs and helps to get them out
of the body. If your nose is too dry and you are not producing
enough mucus, you may be holding on to more germs than can be
- Are you over-stressed? Stress has definitely been linked to a
weakened immune system.
- Do you get enough sleep? Inadequate sleep in amount or quality
can over-stress the body and weaken the immune system.
How To Increase Immunity: Mushrooms
According to Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH, director of the
Institute of Herbal Medicine in Washington, DC, recent studies
have shown mushrooms to be supportive of white blood cells that
fight off infections. With their immunosupportive agents, they
can help protect you from viruses, bacteria and even yeast. There
are even mushrooms being used to kill cancer cells and for nerve
regeneration. Shiitake, maitake, and reishi seem to be the ones
that have the biggest impact for immune system support. Dr.
Joseph Mercola tells us that polypores are the mushrooms that
work best as antivirals and Paul Stamets has recently made the
discovery that the polypore, Agaricon, can help fight off
diseases such as smallpox and the flu. Dr. Mercola also believes
it is better to go with a mushroom blend so that your body
doesn't become resistant and adapt to one particular mushroom.
There are 2 mushroom blend supplements that I like to help me
with immune support. This one combines the powerful
organic mushroom blend of reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black
trumpet, and Poria cocos mushrooms and the other one has
a blend of reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and
Agaricus blazei, with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen
This second one leads us to the next immune support tip – beta
glucan. One of the reasons mushrooms are being found effective
for immune support is that they have polysaccharides,
glycoproteins, ergosterols, and triterpenoids. These are all
precursors to beta glucans. Let's take a look at beta glucans and
how they are another of the natural solutions for how to increase
How To Increase Immunity: Beta Glucan
Beta glucan is a complex carbohydrate of the simple sugar
glucose. It can come from cereals like oats and barley or from
yeast, bacteria and fungi. Beta glucans differ in structure
according to how the glucose is linked. Yeast beta glucan is
linked in such a way that it has been found to enhance and
stimulate macrophages, a type of white blood cell that kills off
foreign invaders and stimulates other immune cells to fight them
off. The beta glucan that comes from baker's yeast is the most
potent anti-infective beta glucan immunododulator. This is the
type that I get from this supplement along with the
mushroom blend. Since the body does not produce beta glucans by
itself, we have to get them from the foods we eat or supplements.
Baker's yeast, shiitake mushrooms, barley, oats, rye, and wheat
are all sources of beta glucan. One study from Norway reported
that when animals got beta glucan from eating oats and barley
they were less at risk for contracting flu, herpes and anthrax.
They found it to be an immune booster for people by increasing
the effectiveness of antibiotics and helping wounds heal faster.
Other studies have found beta glucan to be effective against
bacterial infections and viral infections and even lessen
duration of symptoms of the common cold.
With cold and flu season upon us, building up our immune systems
is extra important to stay healthy and productive. So get out the
chicken soup, mushrooms and beta glucans to help your immune
system do the best job it can for you.