Foods to Help Keep Flu at Bay
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reports flu outbreaks reaching epidemic levels and encourages all Americans to
get flu shots, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds people they can
help protect themselves against infections and boost their immunity through
strong immune system doesn't guarantee your body can fight off every flu bug,
but it is a powerful defense," said registered dietitian and Academy
spokesperson Heather Mangieri. "Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune
"A relatively mild deficiency of even one nutrient may make a difference in your
body's ability to fight infection," she said.
Mangieri recommends working with a registered
dietitian to get the nutrition needed for a healthy defense, starting with an
eating plan full of nutrients well-recognized for their roles in building a
- Protein is part of the body's defense mechanism.
Eat a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs,
beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and
protects you from infections by keeping skin and tissues in your mouth, stomach,
intestines and respiratory healthy. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from sweet
potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, milk, eggs or
foods labeled vitamin-A fortified, such as milk or cereal.
Vitamin C protects you from infection by
stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more of
this healthy vitamin in your diet with citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit
and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods
fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals.
Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes
free radicals and may improve immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet
with fortified foods, sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower or safflower oil,
hazelnuts, peanut butter or spinach.
Zinc helps the immune system work properly and
may help wounds heal. Zinc can be found in lean beef, wheat germ, crab, wheat
bran, sunflower seeds, black-eyed peas, almonds, milk and tofu.
Other nutrients including vitamin B6, folate,
selenium, iron and copper, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, may influence
immune response also.
"A registered dietitian can help ensure you're
getting the nutrients your body needs to function and protect itself," Mangieri
said. "An RD can also build an eating plan that works for your unique
nutritional needs and lifestyle."
Beyond the flu, a healthy immune response may
offer protection from other health problems, including arthritis, allergies,
abnormal cell development and cancers.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Immune to Harm?
and The Flu Fighters in Your Food
provide more information on this important subject.
As well as choosing the right foods in your diet, you can boost your family's immunity with Juice Plus+!
Published clinical research indicates that
Juice Plus+ supports several measures of immune function - in law school students at the
University of Florida and in elderly people in a study conducted at the
University of Arizona. Juice Plus+ was also shown to reduce moderate or severe common cold symptoms in an
8-month study of 543 health care professionals at the Charite University Medical Centre in Berlin, Germany. In a study of 41 healthy, fit policemen in the Austrian
Special Forces "Cobra" unit, the
Medical University of Graz, Austria found that those on Juice Plus+ lost fewer duty days due to illness.
To fully understand the power of Juice
Plus+ and this body of
research please watch this video: