Diet & Immune Function

by Trace on March 21, 2010

Foods that can Boost Your Immune System

Nowadays we are surrounded by so many different types of virus and your body is under the environmental attack everyday.

It is your immune systems (white blood cells) job to protect your body from those daily invisible attacks.

Research by a Sydney-based research team has shown that the amount of dietary fibre in the diet plays a fundamental role in keeping the immune system healthy and autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes at bay.

One of the obvious differences is diet with people in western countries consuming more “fast” foods. In addition to the effects that this has on weight gain, a diet of highly processed food appears to reduce the quantity and quality of gut bacteria.

FriendlyBacteria

It has been known for a while that having a decent colony of “friendly” bacteria results in a healthy gut and a healthy body.

Source: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation http://www.jdrf.org.au/blog/2009/11/11/research-shows-you-really-are-what-you-eat/

Also refer to My BLOG Entry Diet & Micro-organism balance

Plenty of fresh fruit & vegetables

FruitVegies.#4461830Prevention is better than a cure … boost your immune system with plenty of antioxidant rich fresh fruits and vegetables.

A Dieticians Association of Australia spokeswoman,  Dietician Denise Griffiths, said it was important to choose the fruit and vegetables that were in season.

“Some studies have shown that carotenoids can help immune function, and the antioxidant allicin is said to have antiviral properties,” she said.

“But there is no silver bullet for a strong immune system. Eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables each day will give us the best mix of antioxidants, in the right amounts.”

“According to a UK study involving more than 180 people, eating breakfast may also help fight off colds and flu,” she said.

“Along with stress, the researchers found that missing breakfast was linked to susceptibility to illnesses, such as the common cold.”

Top tips to a healthier winter:

1) Choose a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, in a range of colours. Picking those in season is good for the budget.

2) For a healthy immune system, havezinc, found in lean red meat, fish and poultry, wholegrain cereals, legumes, reduced-fat dairy foods and nuts.

3) Start the day with a warm winter breakfast. Missing breakfast can be linked to susceptibility to illnesses.

4) Include yoghurt in your diet. Yoghurt is a good source of healthy bacteria, and a food known for its immunity boosting properties.

5) A diet rich in fruits and vegetables with high levels of Vitamin C – to help fight infection by enhancing immune system function, ie citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins, grapefruit and lemons), capsicum, broccoli and kiwifruit

7) Tea is a natural source of antioxidants called flavonoids, which help strengthen the body’s immune system.

8) Drink plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated.

9) Keep up with regular exercise –it’s a known immune system booster.

10) Visit a dietician if you are unsure.

Learn more at Dieticians Association of Australia http://www.daa.asn.au/

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