II. Foods that Strengthen the Body Immune System and Help Protect Against Swine Flu
It is likely that a weakened immune system could make you more susceptible to a virus,and that eating well can give your body the best chance of fighting back. There are waysto protect your health in general that can make you less likely to contract the swine fluvirus such as eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of fluids and getting enough vitamins in your daily diet. In such a difficult time it isimportant to rely on both science and natural healing systems to prevent the swine fluvirus. Science recognizes that 80% of your immune system is actually living in thedigestive tract. Much of what our bodies need to fight off infection is in glorious foods.What we eat may help to optimize the strength of the membranes in your ears, nose andthroat to form an internal physical barrier against invading organisms. Proper nutrition isimportant for an energetic immune system.As Dr Nick Phin, the head of Pandemic Flu Planning at the Health Protection Agency,
explains: “A person who
is malnourished is likely to be more susceptible to infectionsand for most people, a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet will be an important factor
in helping to maintain a healthy immune system.”
1. Protein and the Epithelial Cells
Protein-rich foods like meat, chicken, eggs and fish, milk, dairy foods, pulse, vegetables,nuts, seeds and soya-based foods all supply vital nourishment for the epithelial cells inthese membranes. Three average-sized servings a day of any of these are important tomain
tain the integrity of these “barrier” tissues.
. If you are a vegetarian, try canned anddry beans, lentils or soy products such as meatless burgers and tofu or fortified soy milk.
2. Vitamin A and the Respiratory Membranes
Eating plenty of bright orange and dark green fruits and vegetables such as carrots andpumpkins, apricots, mangoes, spinach and cabbage will keep levels of vitamin A toppedup. Vitamin A is needed for making respiratory membranes strong.
3. Vitamin C and the Macrophage Cells
If the virus does penetrate these physical barriers, it is the job of white blood cells toengulf and eat viral invaders. Vitamin C appears to be especially important in playing arole in mobilizing bug-eating macrophage cells, as well as having its own specific anti-viral properties. Given that we cannot store this nutrient in our bodies, ensuring that somevitamin C-rich foods are on the menu each day is important. This can be anything from