• Stack Your Immune System

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    With the threat
    of the H1N1 flu virus this year, you might want to trade the sugary
    treats for some “power foods” to boost your immune system.

    Nutritionists
    agree that by adding “super foods” to your diet, you may
    keep the flu at bay. Christen Sherwood, owner of the Healing House
    Center for Natural Health in Clear Lake, said that one such power
    food – elderberries – are “proven to work as good
    as Tamiflu.”

    Elderberries
    are high in antioxidants and contain antiviral properties that are
    great for preventing flu and colds, she said.

    Rita Sheldahl,
    a licensed and registered dietician at Mercy Medical Center-North
    Iowa, suggests fruits and vegetables of any kind. “The darker
    the color, the better they are for you,” she said.

    It’s best
    to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
    To maximize the variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,
    aim to consume two different colors of vegetables and fruits with
    each meal. Cover two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruit,
    whole grains, and beans, and one-third with lean protein.

    So instead
    of popping cookies and drinking eggnog, try some of these foods
    to prevent flu and colds:

    • Spices like
      turmeric, cayenne pepper and garlic: Sherwood said that these
      spices reduce inflammation, which helps strengthen your immune
      system.

      “Garlic
      is especially great if you feel like you’re getting a cold,”
      said Sherwood, a certified clinic herbalist. “You can mix
      garlic with a honey syrup and let it sit for 48 hours and eat
      that as well.”

      Garlic
      can reduce bronchial infections and is effective in fighting
      sore throats and infection, while honey is brimming with healing
      energy and antibacterial power, she said. Try mixing honey,
      lemon and ginger in hot water to fight the common cold, suggests
      Sherwood.

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    December
    24, 2009

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