By Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.
According to the American medical community we are now into what is commonly referred to as the cold and flu season. Even so, whether you accept this news as fact or fiction, catching these types of viruses can be dangerous any time when it attacks a weakened immune system. So why not play it safe and work all year round to strengthen your immune system using some immune efficiency eating tips. But, above all, do not ignore the most widespread way to quickly weaken the immune system by eating foods filled with processed sugar which makes the body highly susceptible to bacterial or viral infections.
I have abstained from eating sugary-filled items for over nine years that has helped protect my immune system from common cold and flu viruses. Before nine or so years ago consuming a soda, fruit drink, candy, ice cream, cake, and/or alcohol was seemingly an every day event for one or more sugary-filled treats. Consequently, especially during this time of year based on that old sort of dietary practice my immune system was more vulnerable to viruses and in evidently an ugly bug would get a hold of me every time. Conversely, avoiding all processed sugary-filled food items has greatly facilitated in no longer being overtly susceptibility to contracting cold and flu viruses.
Today it is all about the nutrient-dense leafy greens, berries and nuts to boost my immune system. Whenever possible I enjoy eating oily fish such as salmon, tuna and trout that are rich in selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. These fish in particularly contain the good type of fat that reduce inflammation, increase airflow and protect lungs by increasing the activity of white blood cells that eat up bacteria. Onions, leeks, garlic, shallots and scallions have anti-inflammatory effects that fight infection and bacteria. Consuming mushrooms regularly stimulates the immune system by increasing the production and activity of white blood cells that help to fight off infection.
My almost daily favorite immune booster is eating plain yogurt. Occasionally I do spring for the more expensive Greek yogurt, but both have the active cultures (known as probiotics) which are friendly bacterium that keeps down the population of infectious germs. Blueberries or strawberries go really well with plain yogurt and act as an antioxidant enzyme. Aside from yogurt, there is no doubt in my mind that ever since I went back to the nutritional basics of eating beans and other legumes, which by the way are rich in zinc, I found out that this food group really fortifies the white blood cells infection fighting capabilities. Accompanying those beans are usually raw leafy greens like spinach or cabbage. Lastly, I believe eating raw nuts that are highly rich in protein, a spectrum of micronutrients, minerals and antioxidants have worked to prevent cold and flu like infections.
Mr. Jones, Marketing Strategist, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on healthy eating practices of foods & beverages.