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Eat to Improve Your Health

Por Emiliana Faillace, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ -
Eat to Improve Your Health

The immune system protects your body from infections. If it is strong, you remain healthy; when it becomes weak, you are more likely to get sick. Some of the factors that decrease your defenses are bad eating habits, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, and some medicines.


There are two basic things you can do to stay healthy: eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Consider the following:

  • It has been proven that several foods contain substances with healing properties. Try to use organic products instead of artificial or processed ones. It is also advisable to avoid leaving fruits and vegetables for long periods of time in the refrigerator, since this reduces the action of many vitamins and minerals.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, start by reducing the amount you consume each day. The daily recommendation is no more than 6 ounces of wine for women and no more than 12 ounces for men.
  • Try to reduce animal fats (like butter, cream, and bacon) in your diet.
  • Foods that could negatively affect your immune system are: eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, pork, wheat, molluscs, and sodium glutamate (which is found in most Chinese foods). This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate these foods from your diet, but pay attention to the way your body reacts after eating them.
  • Try to eat an adequate amount of leafy green vegetables, because they are rich in vitamins, beta-carotene, and minerals; red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which prevent weakness of the immune system. Zinc is also important; this mineral stimulates the immune system, and you can find it in non-refined cereals, seafood, and legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
  • Don’t forget to eat fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, which contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are known for their heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory properties.

Strengthen your defenses with these foods:

Anti-infective:

  • Basil
  • Blueberry
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic 
  • Lime
  • Thyme
  • Yogurt
  • Cloves

Anti-inflammatory:

  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Cabbage
  • Camomile
  • Cherries
  • Cucumber
  • Lime
  • Salmon or tuna
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon

With a purifying action:

  • Leek
  • Artichoke
  • Onion
  • Green beans

 

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