First, enrich your diet with antioxidants. These are vitamins and minerals found in foods or supplements that help to remove harmful oxidants from the body. Oxidants are toxic byproducts of cigarette smoke, pollution, sunlight exposure, and the conversion of food to energy.
Antioxidants include Vitamin C, E, and beta carotene.
Here’s a list of foods rich in those antioxidants:
Vitamin C: tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, strawberries (also high, prunes, grapes, artichoke, berries)
Vitamin E: astaxanthin (salmon), wheat germ, nuts and seeds,vegetable oil, fish oil
Beta Carotene: carrots, winter squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots
Second, include a wide variety of foods to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrients. Include health fat sources such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, seeds, and flax. Choose lean sources of protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, and beans (black, pinto, white). Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, provide more fiber, phytochemicals, and micronutrients than processed carbohydrates, so choose complex more often.
In addition, moderate regular exercise can also protect and enhance the immune response. Twenty to thirty minutes of brisk walking, 4 to 5 times a week can help maintain a healthy immune system.
Jennie Wade, MA, MEd, RD, LD, Body Truth Center for Wellness, LLC 9403 Kenwood Road Suite A120, Cincinnati, OH 45242 www.bodytruthcenter.com