Immune food

Your immune system is an incredibly complex and useful thing. Not only does it provide a barrier to infection it also fights infections once they have begun, it weeds out errant cells, and as we have discussed in this column it acts as a two-way communication system between your mind and body. Your immune system is central to your wellbeing and finding ways to support it helps support your overall quality of life. That is why a group of researchers recently examined a large range of compounds found in foods to see which, if any, might give your immunity a boost.

The research involved studying 446 food compounds and after this analysis there were two compounds that stood out. Those compounds were pterostilbene from blueberries and resveratrol from red grapes. Both of these compounds belong to a category called stilbenoids and they exerted their effect by helping vitamin D to increase the expression of a particular gene.

The gene in question is CAMP (cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide) which plays a role in your “innate” immunity, or your first line of defense against infection. The CAMP gene relies on vitamin D to function and stilbenoids somehow seem to maximise the effect of vitamin D in this regard.

This is only laboratory research but it does strongly suggest that these substances from red grapes and blueberries could support human immunity. The poetic Beauty of it all is that these stilbenoids are produced by these plants to fight infection and it appears that when we eat them, we get the same effect.

It is not hard to imagine that somewhere, sometime, and somehow a Master of Mind, Space, and Time is reclining with quiet satisfaction and thinking, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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