Protect against: Poor night vision, colds, cancer
Carrots are the richest single source of beta carotene, which has an immune-stimulating and anti-cancer effect - probably through mopping up excess free radicals which cause cell mutation.
Beta carotene can also be converted into vitamin A, essential for the eyes to see in dim light. Vitamin A also helps to keep the mucus passages in the mouth, nose and throat healthy, decreasing the risk of catching colds and flu.
Protect against: Colds, cancer
Red peppers are a rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene - boosting the immune system and protecting against everything-from colds to cancer.
To increase their effect, eat them cooked or chargrilled. Heat softens the peppers’ cell walls, allowing more of the beta carotene to be released.
Protect against: Cancer, liver disease, infection
These contain immuneboosting lentinan, which is used as an anti-cancer drug in Japan.
In studies, lentinan has been shown to reduce the rate at which tumours spread and to improve symptoms in hepatitis B patients.
The benefit is thought to come from lentinan’s ability to stimulate white blood cells called T-lymphocytes.
A Japanese study found that a shiitake mushroom extract slowed the immune system’s deterioration in HIV patients.
by ANGELA DOWDEN, Daily Mail