Give yourself a NEWSTART
Good nutrition is more about what you do eat, rather than being about what you don’t eat.
Nutrients and phytochemicals work in synergy to enhance immunity. Eat a healthy diet instead of just using vitamin and mineral supplements as insurance. A high-fibre diet blunts harmful, excessive immune responses in the lungs. At the same time a high fibre diet boosts antiviral immunity by activating killer-T cells. Additionally, soluble fibre transforms the personality of immune cells. They go from being pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that enable us to recover faster from infection.
Good sources are: Beans, oats, oat bran, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, peas, and potatoes. Greens and cruciferous vegetables are especially useful for boosting immunity in the gut and the skin.
Berries are excellent immune boosters because of their high content of Anthocyanins and polyphenols. Onions and garlic increase natural killer cell activity and help to inhibit inﬂammation.
By eating natural foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, we can help keep our immune systems operate smoothly. Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6 and B12 are powerful antioxidants and immune boosters.
Minerals such as Selenium and zinc deserve especially attention for immune health. Selenium also helps Natural killer (NK) cells to proliferate and increases their virus-fighting activity, Brazil nuts, cashews, oats, brown rice, lentils, and spinach provide good amounts of this trace mineral. Zinc is a trace mineral that exerts antioxidant activity and is essential for all immune cells. Zinc deficiency reduces the efficiency of T-lymphocytes.
For a healthy immune system, the body needs certain essential fats. The body cannot manufacture these, so they must be obtained from nutritious food. One class of friendly fats is the omega-3 fatty acids, which empower the cancer-killing forces and inhibit cancer-cell growth. Flaxseed, walnuts, green soybeans and spinach are all good sources of omega-3 fats. Studies show that reducing fat intake to 22-25% of the total diet can improve the viral ﬁghting protection of immune cells.
Sugar is an immune suppressor and encourages inflammation that fuels chronic complications of viral infections. Sugar weakens the white blood cells’ (WBC) ability to destroy bacteria. Limit rich desserts to special occasions and use sugar with moderation.