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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Eat Your Way to a Strong Immune System


Research suggests that women who identify as LBTQ are more than twice as likely to be overweight as their heterosexual counterparts. We have all heard that diet and exercise are the key components to maintaining a healthy weight. But good nutrition is not just about preventing obesity; there are many benefits to a balanced, healthful diet. The following foods, for example, are great immunity boosters. Replace other, less healthy items in your diet with these vitamin-rich goodies and your immune system will reap the benefits and keep you from getting sick. And who doesn't want that?
Yogurt contains live bacteria, called cultures, that act as pro-biotics in the body. This means that they help your digestive system do its job, thereby keeping you regular and helping to prevent digestive illnesses. Try putting individual yogurt packets in the freezer as a replacement for ice cream, or have yogurt with your cereal in the morning instead of milk. If at all possible eat organic-- it's good for you and the planet!
Garlic is a natural antiseptic. Eating garlic when you feel a cold coming on significantly reduces your chances of the cold taking over your body. Add chopped garlic cloves to almost any sauce, pizza, or stir-fry dish. And try to refrain from buying pre-chopped garlic; the fresher cut the garlic is the more germ-fighting properties it has.
Beta carotene, the compound that is a precursor for Vitamin A, boosts your body’s production of T cells, which are a key component of your immune system. Chomp on carrots, raw or cooked, to get the benefits of beta carotene. Carrots have also been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
March is colorectal cancer awareness month-- folks over 50, remember to get the highly preventive colonoscopy screening once ever ten years!
The omega-3s in fish are powerful in reducing inflammation, which in turn reduces symptoms of various illnesses. Plus, fish has vitamins that help your T cells produce virus-fighting agents. Whether you eat canned tuna or cook an elaborate grilled salmon, your immune system will be stronger.
Black tea --decaf or caffeinated-- contains an amino acid that fights viruses in the body. If you’re a frequent coffee drinker, try replacing at least a few of your usual cups of jo with tea instead. As a bonus health benefit, a cup of black tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee, which means that a cup of tea will dehydrate you less than coffee will.
Not only does ginger naturally reduce anxiety, it has chemicals that help break down the type of virus that causes common colds, and it relieves pain and reduces fevers. Ginger teas are a great way to get your dose of ginger. Make your own ginger tea by shaving some ginger into boiling water and adding a little honey and lemon. Some stores also sell candied ginger—while these products can be high in sugar, they are delicious and easy to eat! Just be careful that when you are buying an item labeled as “ginger” that is has ginger listed as one of the first ingredients. Most ginger ale, for example, actually contains very little of the spicy root and is loaded with high fructose corn syrup* instead.
Taking a hot bath with shaved ginger helps when you feel a cold coming up.

For recipes and tips on healthy eating, visit

Keep your immune system healthy and you will be happy!


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