Try These Immune-Boosting Berries

The next time you start feeling a sniffly, sneezy cold or the dreaded flu coming on, pop some blueberries or grapes. They may help you feel better faster.

Researchers from Oregon State University analyzed hundreds of compounds and found that resveratrol, found in red grapes, and pterostilbene, found in blueberries, may give your immune system a boost. These compounds work with vitamin D to increase the expression of the CAMP gene, which has been shown to play a key role in the body’s immune system.

This was just a lab study, but there are lots of good reasons to eat grapes and blueberries:

  • Grapes may help protect your blood pressure from salty and fatty foods, as well as help keep your blood vessels relaxed and blood flowing freely. Grape juice is an immune system booster, too.
  • Blueberries have been found to improve memory in older adults at risk for dementia, as well as ward off varicose veins, ulcers, hemorrhoids, heart disease and cancer.

Not a fan of grapes or blueberries? Here are more ways to strengthen your immune system:

  • Eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away. Studies reveal that soluble fiber, found in oat bran, seeds, apples and other fruits, may boost levels of immune-supportive proteins. (Discover other sources of pectin.)
  • Turn that frown upside down. Researchers found that people who are optimistic have a stronger immune response.
  • Take a cue from Eastern culture. A study found that people who practiced the meditative art of qi gongdaily for a month experienced significant improvements in their immune system function. (Find out why meditation helps.)

Chow down on these 5 foods to fight off a cold or flu. 

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