The major destructive force that the
immunity system faces is in the form of free radicals. Free radicals
damage healthy cells by causing mutations which can lead to serious
illness. There are substances, present in foods, however, that can
destroy free radicals. These substances are called antioxidants.
A diet rich in antioxidants, then, will
greatly strengthen the immune system. One of the best antioxidants is
Vitamin C. Good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, green
peppers, cantaloupes and broccoli. It should also be noted that
smoking severely depletes Vitamin C reserves.
Vitamin E is another important
antioxidant. Whole grain foods and vegetable oils are good sources of
Another group of antioxidants are known as Caretenoids.
These strengthen the immune system by developing more lymphocytes.
The best sources for carotenoids are the red, yellow and orange
fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupes,
pumpkin, etc. and leafy green foods. The four important carotenoids
are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these
provide excellent protection against disease.