Broccoli and Cabbage Boost Immunity
Eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens and Brussels sprouts, can increase your body’s ability to fight infection and cancer, UCLA researchers say. A chemical in these foods, sulforaphane, can stimulate a wide range of antioxidant defense pathways and may be able to interfere with the age-related decline in immune function, according study director, Andrew Nel, Ph.D. Keeping the immune system healthy also seems to help reduce inflammation, a root cause of many age-related problems, including heart disease, degenerative joint disease and diabetes.
The best way to take advantage of all these foods have to offer: eat them raw, lightly steamed or in a quick stir-fry. Cooking reduces sulforaphane levels.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Maintaining robust immunity is critically important to living a long, healthy life. Try to include one serving a day of sulforaphane-rich cruciferous vegetables in your diet whenever possible to keep your immune system functioning well as you age.
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