Immune-boosting foods raise flu defense-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
ASIDE from flu shots and constant hand washing as protection against influenza, according to US health officials, there is now one more area worth looking into.
US dietitians point to healthy foods as a defense against flu. Even a small nutritional deficiency can affect the body’s ability to stay healthy, said Heather Mangieri, a registered dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, Health Day reported.
“A strong immune system doesn’t guarantee your body can fight off every flu bug, but it is a powerful defense,” said Mangieri in an academy news release. “Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune response.” She provided the following overview of
foods that may boost the immune system of our body:
• Protein is an essential part of your body’s defense system. Sources of protein include seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
• Vitamin A helps prevent infections by keeping the skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, lungs and intestines healthy. This nutrient, found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach and red bell peppers, also helps the body regulate the immune system.
• Vitamin C triggers the production of immune-boosting antibodies. Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and tangerines are among the foods rich in vitamin C.
• Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may provide a boost to the immune system. People who want to get more vitamin E in their diet should eat sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower or safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter or spinach.
Some believe that zinc, a nutrient found in lean beef, wheat germ, crab, wheat bran, sunflower seeds, black-eyed peas, almonds, milk and tofu, may also improve functioning of the immune system.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2013.