Eating to Live Longer We have heard the saying “we are what we eat. ” Researchers believe that eating certain foods will boost our immune system, foods such as garlic, and oranges. To help reduce the chances of a heart attack, we should eat less fat, sodium, cholesterol, fewer calories, and more fiber. Making better food choices for a healthy body does not mean that we have to exclude all our favorite foods. Healthy foods create energy in our body and provide minerals and vitamins to keep us healthy. There are many fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants that prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Many researchers believe that eating a calorie restricted diet will extend our life span. Eating a healthy diet of foods that boost our immune system will increase our blood flow and decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease. Eating the proper types of foods to boost our immune system will increase the number of white blood cells. Vitamin C is at the top of the list of immune boosters, because there has been a great deal of research on the effect of Vitamin C than any other nutrient. Production of Vitamin C supplement is inexpensive and is available naturally in many fruit and vegetables such as; oranges, lemons, lime, grapefruit, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, green peppers, and kale. Vitamin C increases the production of infection fighting white blood cells, antibodies, and increase levels of interferon. Vitamin C also produces the antibodies that coat cell surfaces preventing the entry of viruses (Sears, 2006). Vitamin E is an important antioxidant and stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that destroy germs and cancer cells and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. In the Harvard School of Public Health study 87,000 nurse’s participated in a study using Vitamin E supplementation, the study showed that it cut the risk of heart attacks by 50 percent. The recommended amount of Vitamin E per day is 100-400 milligrams per day, people who smoke, and consume high amounts of alcohol will need a higher dose. Beta carotene increases infection fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T- cells. It is also an antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Studies have shown that it can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease especially strokes and heart attacks. Bio flavenoids helps the body against environmental pollutants, and also reduces the cholesterol’s ability to form plaque in arteries. A diet containing a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, at least six servings per day will help the immune system work in top form. Zinc helps white blood cells fight off infections; it also increases killer cells that fight against cancer. A word of warning, too much Zinc in the form of a supplement (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function (Sears, 2006). Rich sources of Zinc are oysters, cereals, crab, beef, turkey dark meat, and beans. Garlic is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection fighting white cells and increases the efficiency of antibody production. Garlic contains sulfur, such as allicin and sulfides; garlic is an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream. People who eat a great deal of garlic have a lower incidence of intestinal cancer. Selenium found in tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables, egg yolks increase killer cells and mobilizes cancer fighting cells. Omega-3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat bacteria. Selenium found in tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables, egg yolks increase killer cells and mobilizes cancer fighting cells. Omega-3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) increase the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. Echinacea is a Native American plant that is a natural infection fighter. It is a top selling herbal remedy and one of the oldest. Echinacea works indirectly killing the germs by strengthening our immune system. Echinacea has been used for many years to fight virus, such as the common cold and flu virus. The best research on Echinacea comes from Germany; they use double-blind placebo-controlled studies, the gold standard for scientific research on drugs. The study has shown that Echinacea users experienced less frequent virus infections (cold’s and flu’s) by one-third to one-half compared to the group that took dummy pills. Making healthy food choices is one of many changes that can help reduce a chance of a heart attack. Eating the right foods with less fat, sodium, cholesterol, fewer calories, and more fiber will help reduce chances of a heart attack. Making better food choices for your health does not mean giving up our favorite foods. According to Barbra Schneeman PH. D, Director of the Food and Drug Administration Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplement recommends using the food label to determine dietary trade-offs. The FDA requires nutrition information to appear on packaging for most prepared foods. An example of using a food label is when a person is concerned with their high blood pressure and wants to limit how much salt (sodium) they eat. By looking at the label they can compare which product has the least sodium. Here are some tips for healthy eating; choose lean meat and poultry, bake, broil, or grill all food. When you eat out at a restaurant ask for steamed, grilled or baked dishes. Choose foods and beverages low in sugar. Pick food that provides dietary fiber, like fruit, beans, vegetables, and whole grains. In conclusion, research has shown that eating certain foods will boost your immune system. To help reduce the chances of a heart attack, we should eat less fat, sodium, cholesterol, fewer calories, and more fiber. There are many fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants that prevent heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Many researchers believe that eating a calorie restricted diet will extend our life span.
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