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The Importance of Diet

ANTIOXIDANTS

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells. To see an example of oxidation, cut an apple in half and rub one side with lemon juice. Wait a couple of minutes and you'll notice the untreated side turns brown, or in other words, oxidizes. The treated side remains white because the vitamin C in the lemon is an antioxidant and has prevented oxidation from occurring.



Foods High in Antioxidants

Fruits
Cherries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, wild blueberries, black currants, pomegranate, grapes, oranges, plums, pineapple, kiwi fruits, grapefruit
Garlic
Stimulates infection-fighting white blood cells and contains a phytochemical that possesses anti-bacterial properties
Cereals
Apricots, Prunes, Dates
Spices
Broad beans, pinto beans, soybeans
spinach
Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds
Soy Products
Rich in isoflavanoids, that help balance your hormone and cholesterol levels
Broccoli
Good source of vitamins A and C, and folate, and is also rich in phytochemicals (plant compounds that have protective properties)
Vegetables
Kale, chili peppers, red cabbage, peppers, parsley, artichoke, Brussel sprouts, spinach, lemon, ginger, red beets
Blueberries
Packed with antioxidant vitamins C and E
Dry Fruits
Apricots, Prunes, Dates
Legumes
Broad beans, pinto beans, soybeans
PUMPKIN
High in carotenoids and B-group vitamins
NUTS AND SEEDS
Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds


Supplements

To make sure your immune system has all the ammunition it needs to fend off the flu, you may want to top up with supplements with potent flu-fighting nutrients.

Vitamin C
Long recognized for its immuneboosting properties, it increases the production of disease-fighting white blood cells and antibodies
Vitamin E
Helps the immune cells produce antibodies and can help reverse some of the weakening of the immune
Echinacea
Boosts your immune system, helping prevent and treat viruses
Carotene
Our bodies convert beta carotene into vitamin A, which has antioxidant and immune-boosting functions, such as the production of infection-fighting
Cod Liver Oil A rich, natural source of flu-fighting nutrients, including vitamins A and D and omega-3 fatty acids. Zinc Increases the ability of white blood cells to fight off an infection.
Selenium
An essential mineral for immune function, selenium has antioxidant properties that help prevent cellular damage from free radicals.


Probiotics

Probiotics are healthy bacteria added to food or dietary supplements that may help you keep colds and fevers at bay this winter.

Probiotic foods contain live bacteria that are believed to be beneficial in the digestive tract. Foods like curd, yogurt and miso are all good sources of probiotics. Studies show that probiotics may even benefit people who are already sick, and the good bacteria boost the immune system’s response to the illness-causing invaders.

In fact, probiotics are thought to have several beneficial effects on the immune system. They may protect against germs and there is evidence to suggest they may improve immune function by increasing the number of plasma cells. Clinical trials have shown that probiotics may reduce the number of respiratory tract infections in children. Probiotic foods and supplements have been shown to aid in the treatment and prevention of acute diarrhea and in decreasing the severity and duration of flu symptoms in children.

MAKE COMFORT
FOODS HEALTHIER

Simple tweaks that make
your favorite comfort foods a bit more comforting for your waistline.

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DROP STRESS &
DRESS SIZES

Prepare for a busy week.
Learn how to fight stress and stay in shape using these relaxation tips.

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