This time of year it feels like everyone you come in
contact with is sick! Here are some natural ways to keep you healthy and well
through this cold and flu season.
Chestnuts Bolster Immunity
Chestnuts have been popular for centuries in both Asia
and the Mediterranean regions. Chestnuts differ from other nuts by having low
fat content and high fiber. They have a mild, sweet taste and a crumbly
consistency. An excellent source of potassium, folate, vitamins B6 and C, chestnuts
strengthen the kidney-adrenal system and bolster the immune system to fight off
the flu and combat infections. This flu season, introduce more chestnuts into
your cooking; they are good roasted in the oven, cooked with chicken, lamb,
beef, or pork, or in any dish with beans and legumes.
Beta-Carotene Builds Immunity
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that improves
immune function and promotes mucous membrane health. In fact, a 1997 study
conducted by the Institute of Food Research in the United Kingdom suggested
that dietary intake of beta-carotene can enhance cell-mediated immune
responses. How to get these beta-benefits this flu season? Eat more
orange-colored vegetables, including carrots, winter squash, butternut squash,
pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and yams. Additionally, these are all excellent
sources of Vitamin C, a famous immune support.
Eat Healthy Daily
Get five to nine fruit and vegetable servings every day.
Here’s why: By now, you have probably heard that the new USDA recommendation
for optimal health is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables of
all colors. The countries with the highest amount of centenarians eat very
large portions of vegetables and consume almost none of our modern packaged
foods. These centenarians live to a ripe old age in surprisingly good health,
suffer from very little heart and liver disease and show limited instances of
cancer and degenerative diseases.
A few tips: Eat foods of all colors – red, yellow,
green, white, and dark green – to get a variety of vitamins and nutrients and
optimize your body’s immunity. Also, go organic when possible and always clean
your vegetables well. Buy what’s in season for the best taste, best nutrition,
and the best price.
Top immunity food picks: broccoli, bok choy, Brussels
sprouts, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes,
carrots, beets, bell peppers, mushrooms, chives, garlic, leeks, daikon radishes,
citrus fruits, and berries.
Treat Your Body Right
Encourage your body to fight flu and other infections by
giving it the care it needs.
• Get at least seven hours
of quality sleep every night. Studies show that your immune system function
drops by an average of 60 percent after just three nights of poor sleep.
• Keep your stress level low
with meditation, Tai Chi, or yoga.
• Dry body brushing daily
can activate lymph circulation that is important to clear out toxic debris and
• If you feel your immune
system has already been compromised and illness is on the way, consider my
Cold/ Flu formula, which supports recovery as it boosts your immune
system. It will stop the illness in its tracks!
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a
bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging
expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and
contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices
acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of
Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother,
Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition
to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment
for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao
at email@example.com. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.