Thursday, 29 August 2013

Immunity power increasing foods

Foods That Boost Immunity:

 It takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away. It turns out that eating some pretty surprising nutrients will help keep your immune system on guard.
You can ensure your body and immunity run smoothly by rounding out your plate with plenty of colorful servings of fruits and veggies,

8 to 10 glasses of water a day, at the very least. 

The following ingredients can add extra flu-fighting punch to your winter meal plan:
 1. Yogurt (CURD) :
Probiotics, or the "live active cultures" found in yogurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the gut and intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs. Although they're available in supplement form, a study from the University of Vienna in Austria found that a daily 7-ounce dose of yogurt was just as effective in boosting immunity as popping pills. In an 80-day Swedish study of 181 factory employees, those who drank a daily supplement of Lactobacillus reuteri—a specific probiotic that appears to stimulate white blood cells—took 33% fewer sick days than those given a placebo. Any yogurt with a Live and Active Cultures seal contains some beneficial bugs, but Stonyfield Farm is the only US brand that contains this specific strain. 
Your optimal dose: Two 6-ounce servings a day.

 2. Oats and Barley :
These grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities more potent than echinacea, reports a Norwegian study. When animals eat this compound, they're less likely to contract influenza, herpes, even anthrax; in humans, it boosts immunity, speeds wound healing, and may help antibiotics work better.  Your optimal dose: At least one in your three daily servings of whole grains.
Your optimal dose: At least one in your three daily servings of whole grains.

 3. Garlic :
This potent onion relative contains the active ingredient allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; the garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold. Other studies suggest that garlic lovers who chow more than six cloves a week have a 30% lower rate of colorectal cancer and a 50% lower rate of stomach cancer.
Your optimal dose: Two raw cloves a day and add crushed garlic to your cooking several times a week.

 4. Fish :
Selenium, plentiful in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs, and clams, helps white blood cells produce cytokines-proteins that help clear flu viruses out of the body. Salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, increasing airflow and protecting lungs from colds and respiratory infections.(CAUTION:- RECENT RESEARCHES SAYS MEAT EATING CAUSES UNWANTED AND UNEXPECTED DECEASES GROWTH IN HUMAN BODY)
Your optimal dose: Two servings a week (unless you're pregnant or planning to be).

 5. Chicken Soup :

When University of Nebraska researchers tested 13 brands, they found that all but one (chicken-flavored ramen noodles) blocked the migration of inflammatory white cells-an important finding, because cold symptoms are a response to the cells' accumulation in the bronchial tubes. The amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the bronchitis drug acetylcysteine, which may explain the results. The soup's salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. Added spices, such as garlic and onions, can increase soup's immune-boosting power.(CAUTION:- RECENT RESEARCHES SAYS MEAT EATING CAUSES UNWANTED AND UNEXPECTED DECEASES GROWTH IN HUMAN BODY)
Your optimal dose: Have a bowl when feeling crummy.

 6. Tea :

People who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink, in a Harvard study. The amino acid that's responsible for this immune boost, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea—decaf versions have it, too.
Your optimal dose: Several cups daily. To get up to five times more antioxidants from your tea bags, bob them up and down while you brew.

 7. Beef :

Zinc deficiency is one of the most common nutritional shortfalls among American adults, especially for vegetarians and those who've cut back on beef, a prime source of this immunity-bolstering mineral. And that's unfortunate, because even mild zinc deficiency can increase your risk of infection. Zinc in your diet is very important for the development of white blood cells, the intrepid immune system cells that recognize and destroy invading bacteria, viruses, and assorted other bad guys, says William Boisvert, PhD, an expert in nutrition and immunity at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. (CAUTION:- RECENT RESEARCHES SAYS MEAT EATING CAUSES UNWANTED AND UNEXPECTED DECEASES GROWTH IN HUMAN BODY)
Your optimal dose: A 3-oz serving of lean beef provides about 30 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for zinc. That's often enough to make the difference between deficient and sufficient. Not a beef person? Try zinc-rich oysters, fortified cereals, pork, poultry, yogurt, or milk.

 8. Sweet Potatoes :
You may not think of skin as part of your immune system. But this crucial organ, covering an impressive 16 square feet, serves as a first-line fortress against bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables. To stay strong and healthy, your skin needs vitamin A. "Vitamin A plays a major role in the production of connective tissue, a key component of skin," explains Prevention advisor David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, CT. One of the best ways to get vitamin A into your diet is from foods containing beta-carotene (like sweet potatoes), which your body turns into vitamin A.
 Your optimal dose: A half-cup serving, which delivers only 170 calories but 40% of the DV of vitamin A as beta-carotene. They're so good, you might want to save them for dessert! Think orange when looking for other foods rich in beta-carotene: carrots, squash, canned pumpkin, and cantaloupe.

 9. Mushrooms :
For centuries, people around the world have turned to mushrooms for a healthy immune system. Contemporary researchers now know why. "Studies show that mushrooms increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making them more aggressive. This is a good thing when you have an infection," says Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH, director of the Institute of Herbal Medicine in Washington, DC.
Your optimal dose: Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms appear to pack the biggest immunity punch; experts recommend at least ¼ ounce to an ounce a few times a day for maximum immune benefits. Add a handful to pasta sauce, saute with a little oil and add to eggs, or heap triple-decker style on a frozen pizza.


  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids:According to Dr. William Sears, noted pediatrician and author, "Omega-3 fatty acids act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria." This is good news for the immune system, which is constantly under attack from bad bacteria, causing many respiratory illnesses. Foods high in omega-3s include eggs, nuts and dark, leafy greens. Fish is considered an excellent source of omega-3s. Make fun fish-shaped fish cakes out of canned wild salmon, or feed your kids crispy, baked fish sticks with ketchup. If your child refuses fish, try adding one to three teaspoons of flax seed oil, which also contains omega-3 fatty acids, to fruit smoothies or yogurt. 

     Omega-3 FAs are found in oily fish (mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, trout, salmon), flaxseed oil, canola, soy, and walnut oils, dark green vegetables, parsley, seaweeds, nuts, seeds (pumpkin and sesame seeds, tahini), legumes (hummus), and wholegrain cereals.

  • Vitamin C: fruit such as citrus (oranges, guava) and coloured berries (strawberries, blueberries and boysenberries) are excellent sources of vitamin C. Fruit juices are also good sources of vitamin C if they are vitamin C fortified. While freshly squeezed orange
     juice is a good source of vitamin C, ripe fruits have higher vitamin C content than "green" or pre-ripe fruits. Vegetables such as red capsicums, parsley, broccoli and cabbage are also rich sources of Vitamin C.

  • Zinc: zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. The best sources of zinc include lean meat, chicken, fish, milk and other dairy foods (cheese), brewers yeast, egg yolks, legumes (soy beans, lima beans, lentils, peas), wholegrains (bread), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pecans. A moderate amount of zinc is found in vegetables.
  • Vitamin A and beta-carotene: milk, egg yolk and fish oil (cod liver oil) contain vitamin A while beta-carotene is found in high levels in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, apricots, mangoes and green leafy vegetables.
  •  Vitamin E: foods rich in vitamin E include wheatgerm, whole oats, cold pressed olive oil, fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, fish, poultry, meat, eggs and raw nuts and seeds.

11. Probiotics:

Probiotics encourage the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria that are needed to regulate the body's immune function. One of the most popular ways to get probiotics into your kids is to feed them yogurt with live, active cultures. Luckily, most kids like yogurt, but if yours doesn't, probiotics can also be purchased in powder form and added to milk or juice. Since probiotics have no noticeable taste, this is an easy immune-booster that even the finickiest eaters can benefit from. For the best protection, probiotics should be taken every day.

12. Fruit:

Not only are fruits a tasty snack, they're also some of the best immune system boosters. Citrus fruits and berries are both rich in antioxidants that work to rid the body of free radicals that weaken the immune system. Include a variety of berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, along with tangerines and oranges, in your child's diet every day. For a one-two immune power punch, make a smoothie using probiotic-enhanced yogurt or probiotic powder, a variety of fresh or frozen fruits, ice and low fat milk.

13. Vegetables:

Let's face it, one of the hardest things for most parents to get their kids to eat is a variety of veggies. Broccoli, carrots and red, yellow and orange bell peppers all contain beta carotene and vitamin C, two notorious immune strengtheners. If your child tends to turn his nose up at veggies, make them fun by calling broccoli little trees, and try giving your child low fat ranch dressing or hummus to use as a dip. Make vegetables fun and be sure to show your kids that you enjoy eating them, too.
According to the American Dietetic Association, whether you buy fresh, frozen or canned, feeding your kids a variety of fruits and vegetables is a good way to ensure they're getting plenty of vitamins and nutrients.

14. Boost sleep time: Studies of adults show that sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to illness by reducing natural killer cells, immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells. The same holds true for children, says Kathi Kemper, M.D., director of the Center for Holistic Pediatric Education and Research at Children's Hospital, in Boston. Children in day care are particularly at risk for sleep deprivation because all the activity can make it difficult for them to nap. How much sleep do kids need? A newborn may need up to 18 hours of cribtime a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours. "If your child can't or won't take naps during the day, try to put her to bed earlier," says Dr. Kemper.

15. Breast-feed your baby: Breast milk contains turbo-charged immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. Nursing guards against ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary-tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Studies show that it may also enhance your baby's brain power and help protect her against insulin-dependent diabetes, Crohn's disease, colitis, and certain forms of cancer later in life. Colostrum, the thin yellow "premilk" that flows from the breasts during the first few days after birth, is especially rich in disease-fighting antibodies, says Dr. Shubin. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms breast-feed for a year. If this commitment isn't realistic, aim to breast-feed for at least the first two to three months in order to supplement the immunity your baby received in utero.

16. Exercise as a family: Research shows that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults and regular activity can benefit kids in the same way, says Ranjit Chandra, M.D., a pediatric immunologist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. To get your children into a lifelong fitness habit, be a good role model. "Exercise with them rather than just urge them to go outside and play," says Renee Stucky, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Missouri Medical School. Fun family activities include bike riding, hiking, in-line skating, basketball, and tennis.

17. Guard against germ spread: Fighting germs doesn't technically boost immunity, but it's a great way to reduce stress on your child's immune system. Make sure your kids wash their hands often -- and with soap. You should pay particular attention to their hygiene before and after each meal and after playing outside, handling pets, blowing their nose, using the bathroom, and arriving home from day care. When you're out, carry disposable wipes with you for quick cleanups. To help kids get into the hand-washing habit at home, let them pick out their own brightly colored hand towels and soap in fun shapes, colors, and scents.
Another key germ-busting strategy: "If your child does get sick, throw out her toothbrush right away," says Barbara Rich, D.D.S., a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. A child can't catch the same cold or flu virus twice, but the virus can hop from toothbrush to toothbrush, infecting other family members. If it's a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, however, your child can reinfect herself with the same germs that got her sick in the first place. In that case, tossing the toothbrush protects both your child and the rest of your family.

18. Banish secondhand smoke: If you or your spouse smokes, quit. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins, most of which can irritate or kill cells in the body, says Beverly Kingsley, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. Kids are more susceptible than adults to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke because they breathe at a faster rate; a child's natural detoxification system is also less developed. Secondhand smoke increases a child's risk of SIDS, bronchitis, ear infections, and asthma. It may also affect intelligence and neurological development. If you absolutely can't quit smoking, you can reduce your child's health risks considerably by smoking only outside the house, Dr. Kingsley says.

19. Don't pressure your pediatrician: Urging your pediatrician to write a prescription for an antibiotic whenever your child has a cold, flu, or sore throat is a bad idea. Antibiotics treat only illnesses caused by bacteria, "but the majority of childhood illnesses are caused by viruses," says Howard Bauchner, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and public health at the Boston University School of Medicine.
Studies show, however, that many pediatricians prescribe antibiotics somewhat reluctantly at the urging of parents who mistakenly think it can't hurt. In fact, it can. Strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have flourished as a result, and a simple ear infection is more difficult to cure if it's caused by stubborn bacteria that don't respond to standard treatment. Whenever your child's pediatrician wants to prescribe an antibiotic, make sure she isn't prescribing it solely because she thinks you want it. "I strongly encourage parents to say, 'Do you think it's really necessary?' " Dr. Bauchner says.

No comments:

Post a Comment