Cold and Flu Season?…Not for you!

Colds, strep, and flu are rampant right now in our area, so I’ve taken a few actions this week to boost our immune systems:

  1. Remind everyone about the need to routinely and effectively wash hands (preferably for at least 20 seconds in warm water and ideally without antibacterial soap)ColdandFlu
  2. Increase consumption of
    • cruciferous veggies (bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale)
    • mushrooms
    • berries
    • pomegranate seeds
  3. Encourage adequate (or even extra) sleep

Check out Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman MD for a summary of the data supporting the immune-modulating effects of cruciferous veggies, mushrooms, berries, and pomegranate seeds.  If you’re planning your meals for next week, consider Dr. Furhman’s list from Super Immunity:

Top Super Foods for Super Immunity

Kale/collards/mustard greens

Arugula/watercress

Green lettuce and cabbage

Broccoli and brussel sprouts

Carrots and tomatoes

Onions and garlic

Mushrooms

Pomegranates

Berries (all types)

Seeds (flax, chia, sesame, sunflower)

Additionally, Dr. Fuhrman provides 5 rules for a powerful immune system:

  1. Eat a large salad every day
  2. Eat at least 1/2 cup of beans/legumes every day
  3. Eat at least 3 fresh fruits every day, especially berries, pomegranate seeds, cherries, plums, oranges
  4. Eat at least once ounce of raw nuts and seeds every day
  5. Eat at least one large (double-size) serving of green vegetables every day

And avoid:

  1. Barbecued meat, processed meat, and commercial red meat
  2. Fried foods
  3. Full-fat dairy and trans fat
  4. Soft drinks, sugar, and artificial sweeteners
  5. White-flour products

Whether you just want to make it through flu season unscathed or you want to prevent immune-related diseases, start incorporating the recommendations above to generate super immunity.

 

Reference

Fuhrman, Joel. Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free. 2011

Photo Credit: http://metabolicgastronomer.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/webmd_rm_photo_of_cold_and_flu_virus_composite.jpg