Over the past few months we’ve been visited twice by Dr. Carol DeFranca, chiropractic orthopedist of Norwell Spine & Sports and clinical director of FirstLine Therapy, whose mission is to provide therapeutic health and wellness services to the community.
Last week Dr. Carol shared some very important tips to help boost your immune system – I’ve included a few highlights from our conversation below. But you should really come and hear Dr. Carol yourself – she’s an amazing wealth of knowledge and offers FREE monthly “living better” seminars @ the South Shore Natural Science Center. Her next seminar, on women’s health issues, is December 1 from 7-8pm at the Science Center.
Let’s talk about staying well this flu season which is really a multi-step process. It’s (hopefully) common knowledge that simple steps like washing your hands often will help prevent the spread of germs and keep you healthy. But it’s also important to remember to get plenty of rest, keep your stress level down and keep up with your exercise regiment.
*Keep your sugars to a minimum since eating or drinking around 8 tbs, roughly 2 cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by up to 40%! And the immune-suppressing effects of sugar starts less than 30 minutes after ingesting sugar and lasts for up to 5 hours after.
*Limit alcohol intake as alcohol produces a nutrition deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune-boosting nutrients.
*Load up on immune boosting foods:
- Vitamin C, in amla fruit, lemons, broccoli, orange, kiwi, among others, increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies.
- Prebiotics, in fruits like bananas, vegetables like mushrooms and nuts like almonds, help probiotics thrive when we eat them.
- Probiotics protect your intestinal lining which is important in nutrient absorption and production of vitamins and fatty acids, and help improve whole body immune responses that kill viruses and bacteria. Probiotics are found in yogurt and fermented milk like kefir.
-My personal favorite Dr. Carol highlighted was tea, in particular green tea, which helps inhibit viral replication and enhances your bodies ability to recognize invading organisms.
There are many immune boosting foods out there like olives, mustard greens, avocado, flax seed, salmon and the list goes on. For more information come and check out one of Dr. Carol’s free seminars where she provides yummy and nutritious foods to help illustrate the connection between food and health.