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August 1, 2013

Prevent a Cold with This White Edible

Give the frontline soldiers of your immune system some reinforcements by serving a skewer of white button mushrooms with your favorite meals.

Nothing brings you down like a summer cold. But eating white button mushrooms may help make colds less likely. Seems something in mushrooms encourages your dendritic cells — important immune system helpers — to grow up and get to work.

Mushroom Secrets

Dendritic cells lasso viruses — like the rhinoviruses and influenza viruses responsible for colds and flu. Then they bring those viruses to your germ-killing B lymphocytes to be finished off. And though it’s not clear how or why, researchers think that polysaccharides — compounds in white button mushrooms — may help trigger the whole process. But there’s no reason to hold out on mushrooms while researchers unravel the mystery. We already know that mushrooms have a host of health-promoting qualities: They’re low in fat, low in calories, and full of a little antioxidant called ergothioneine, which is good for your arteries. So slice them up and add them to salads, omelets, and cookouts for a low-calorie, fat-free, juicy, meat-free treat. (Related: Try a light yet satisfying lunch with this Sauteed Mushroom Salad recipe from EatingWell.)

More Immune Boosters

Mushrooms are just one way to give your immune system a leg up. Here are a few more steps that will help your body fend off bugs:

Move those feet.
Snooze it up.
Scrub up.


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