This Is How You Can Eat To Beat Colds & Flu
You don’t have to be one of the fallen heroes in this years fight against colds and flu. Armed with these immune boosting tips, victory will be simple. The secret lies in the fundamental ways you eat to fortify your body. Let us get you started on the road to success.
What you eat plays a major role in the strength and efficacy of your immune system. Therefore, your eating plan is your front line defense against colds and flu. Nutrition expert, Melissa Kelly, outlines the key factors in a diet that promotes immunity.
Eat These Nutrients For Immunity
Vitamin A– A deficiency in Vitamin A is associated with reduced antibody function and lymphatic response.
Selenium – A deficiency in selenium is associated with impaired antibody function.
Vitamin C – A deficiency in Vitamin C is associated with impaired antibody function. While the presence of Vitamin C is associated with the provision of antioxidant activity which supports healing at inflammatory sites.
Beta Carotene – Increases the production of immune signaling molecules.
Vitamin E – A deficiency in Vitamin E is associated with impaired antibody production.
Zinc – A deficiency associated with decreased resistance to infections.
You Can Find Them In
Vitamin A: Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and kale.
Selenium: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and eggs.
Vitamin C: Pawpaw, Brussels sprouts and strawberries.
Beta Carotene: Orange vegetables such as; butternut, pumpkin and carrots.
Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, spinach, asparagus and Swiss charde.
Zinc: Oysters, lean beef, lean chicken, baked beans and dairy.
Researchers also report that a number of Vitamin D receptors exist in immune cells. Their research has shown that Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune response. Vitamin D rich foods include; salmon, sardines, milk, tuna and eggs.
Eat To Fortify Your Gut Microbe
It may seem surprising, but a healthy micro-biome in the human gut has a direct role in optimal immune system function. This is because it contains the largest number of immune cells in the body. And, as a result, constitutes approximately 60% of the entire immune system.
Kelly elaborates,“Your gut modulates your immune system. In other words, your gut turns it on and off. Therefore, a healthy gut bacteria is the best prevention against colds and flu.”
You can ensure that you have healthy gut bacteria by eating:
- resistant starch
- fresh food
- less processed food
“Resistant starch is a fiber component that is not found in all fruit and vegetables. It can be seen as a prebiotic.”
“The best sources of resistant starch are legumes, beans, cooled potato, cooled rice and green bananas. Many people cut these out for weight loss purposes. However they shouldn’t, as resistant starch is necessary for a strong immunity and healthy weight loss,” explains Kelly.
“You should also take a probiotic throughout the year. Your immune system is not only important once a year. It is important every day of the year in order for you to be healthy and have energy.”
She adds, “Omega 3 is also important to gut health and you require a lot of it. The omega 3/omega 6 ratio also modulates your immune system. We tend to have too high an omega 6 level. Therefore, we should counteract this with omega 3.” Omega 3 is found in fatty fish. Such as salmon, pilchards, mackerel and sardines.
Sugar As An Immune Suppressant
There is evidence to suggest that sugar acts as an immune suppressant. The often-cited 1973 neutrophilic phagocytosis study out of Loma Linda University is a key example.
Neutrophils are small white blood cells.They’re also the most abundant white blood cell, or leukocyte, in the body. Experts explain that neutrophilic phagocytosis is the process by which neutrophils dispatch offensive microbes.
The Loma Linda study observes the effect of sugar ingestion on neutrophilic activity. After an overnight fast, subjects are administered oral 100 gram portions of either glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, or orange juice. Researchers then draw blood before and after the administration of the sugar. Before mixing it with a shot of a fairly common bacterial strain to determine the neutrophilic phagocytosis response.
This study shows that after the ingestion of sugar, the neutrophilic response decreases significantly. While fasting significantly increases the response. This tells us that sugar decreases our immune systems ability to respond to foreign microbes.
The Link Between Sugar & Inflammation
One of the major problems with eating sugar is that it creates inflammation in the body. And inflammation compromises the immune system. As a result eating sugar is often a cause of sore throats.
This is because sugar is a highly acidic food. Researchers have show that eating a diet which is too acidic compromises your gut health.
Start correcting the acid/base balance in your body with alkalinising foods. Such as sprouts, sesame seeds, tahini and green leafy vegetables. Begin your day with a tall glass of water and a slice of fresh lemon.
Did you enjoy this article? Read How To Self-Medicate A Cold Or Flu.