Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Flu-Fighters

One of my favorite sections in the Wall Street Journal is the weekly Health and Wellness supplement. This week's seasonal topic: The Flu, or more accurately, how you can eat your way to a healthier immune system. According to article writer Laura Landro, the key ingredients to fighting germs are: Vitamin D, Selenium, Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B-6. These can be found among the usual suspects of a healthy diet, whole grains, beans and legumes, green and brightly colored fruits and veggies and fortified milk.

What this article tells me is that while winter may be a time for indulging in your favorite potato chips, cookies, and pies, it should also be a time for beefing up on all the healthy food as well. Our dinner last night was a case in point: an appetizer of edamame, main course of lean pork loin marinated with plenty of garlic and lime juice and a side of sweet potato cubes baked in the oven with olive oil. So far we got a few of the colors necessary for a healthy diet, green and yellow-orange, plus fiber and protein. But let's go to the video tape to be sure.

By the video-tape, I mean Prevention Magazine's Nutrition Advisor edited by Mark Bricklin, a recent Goodwill find that outlines all the vitamins and minerals in over 1,000 foods. So here we go:
Edamame: protein, folate (B vitamin), calcium, zinc
Sweet potato: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin, fiber
Pork: thiamine, zinc, B vitamins, niacin, potassium

Not too shaby. Interesting fact also gleaned from Prevention, sweet potatoes have more vitamin a than most other vegetables. So go for seconds and thirds of the spuds this Thanksgiving!

Sources: Landro, Laura. "The Flu-Fighters-- in Your Food." The Wall Street Journal. 11/24/09
Bricklin, Mark. Prevention Magazine's Nutrition Advisor: The Ultimate Guide to the Health-Boosting and Health-Harming Factors in your Diet. Emaus: Rodale, 1993.

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