Eat healthy to stay well this winter – part 1

Tips for eating healthy food to keep you well this winter.

Eat healthy to avoid getting sick this winter.

Eat healthy to avoid getting sick this winter.

Flu and cold season is here. Today, more than ever, it is important to know about nutrition and specific food that contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which have potent nutrients that can enhance our immune systems and ward-off colds, the flu and help in recovering from illnesses. Good nutrition is necessary for maintaining personal health but when your body is battling illness or flu symptoms, your diet can become even more essential for healing and maintaining wellness. Michigan State University Extension recommends consuming a nutrient rich diet daily to contribute to overall health.

It is vital that we eat an array of food to be sure that we receive adequate vitamins and minerals in our daily diet to help strengthen our immune to avoid illness. Immune boosting food like tuna and salmon are rich in omega- 3 fatty acid and have been shown to reduce low grade inflammation in the body. Citrus fruits provide plenty of great nutrients including vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues for your entire body.

Antioxidants are nutrients that block cell damage that is caused by free radicals. Good sources of vitamin C are: Cantaloupe, citrus fruits and juices, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, lemons, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and watermelon. Yeasts (brewers) and medicinal mushrooms can also serve as a powerhouse food that is packed with nutrients which helps boost our immune systems.

 Prebiotics and probiotics found in bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole wheat foods promote the growth of “good bacteria” that is found naturally in your gastrointestinal system (GI system) and needed for digestion and enhances calcium absorption. Probiotics are also “good bacteria” or live cultures which are found naturally in your GI system. Food sources of probiotics that support the GI system are fermented dairy foods, including: Yogurt, kefir products, aged cheeses and non-dairy foods, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and soy beverages. Together prebiotics and probiotics can help keep your GI system healthy.

Read Eat healthy to stay well this winter – part 2.

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