“Your kids are probably going to get the swine flu.”
This is not the phrase you want to hear from a doctor, especially after finding out both your kids have strep throat – which equals a drastically weakened immune system already.
If you haven’t heard, there is a lot of bad news about the flu these days. As Mr. Right and I found out, even doctors are cynical. But while I’m not one to buy into paranoia, I will say this: getting the swine flu would really suck. Times that by four people and it’s a formula for about a month’s worth of horror.
In an effort to help a body out, I wondered: what can I do?
Sure, there’s the obvious – washing hands, not touching nose, eyes and mouth – but what about my best bud – my immune system? How could I give her a little turbo boost, a little wash and wax? While the world is swallowing vitamin C and Echinacea tablets, what should I eat?
Here’s what the experts recommended:
- Natural, unprocessed foods. So long potato chips – hello baked potatoes.
- A laundry-list of the usual healthy suspects: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, as well as lean, nutrient-rich fish and poultry.
- Total knockout: 5 to 9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day.
Whoa… 5 to 9 servings per day.
If you’re wondering how your budget or veggie-hating kids will be able to survive the 5 to 9, fear not – further research defined the ever-ambiguous “serving:”
Presenting: A serving, defined.
1 medium fruit or 1/2 cup small or cut-up fruit
3/4 cup 100% fruit juice
1/4 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, apricots)
1/2 cup raw or cooked vegetables
1 cup raw leafy vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach, kale)
1/2 cup cooked beans or peas (kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils)
Here’s what a sample diet of immunity boosting goodness would look like:
- ¾ cup Simply Orange juice
- 5 to 10 medium-size pieces of melon
- Organic yogurt
- Sandwich topped with handful of spinach
- 5 carrot sticks (or radishes, one of my favorite veggie underdogs!)
- Granola mix with 5 to 10 dried apricots. Here’s a recipe, though it uses processed foods – feel free to substitute!
- 1 cup of cooked veggies with dinner entrée
Serving count: 8 servings!
For even more immunity power, make sure to include the three muske-tears: garlic, onion and ginger. Seek recipes containing their full-bodied flavors. My source also recommends 5 to 9 raw servings of each per day.
Sources: Mary A. Connelly MD ABFP, ABIHM, Medical Director, Bellin Health Center for Health & Healing, Green Bay, Wisc.
National Cancer Institute 5-a-day for better health campaign.
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