Winter is coming! Forget Game of Thrones… Influenza time is coming! And if all the effects from down under are to be considered as a benchmark for this winter, then we should be expecting a tough one this year. So lets start building our vegetarian immunity!
The signals coming from the other side of the globe are that this years influenza will be a tough one. Malta will not be spared! So how do we vegetarians and vegans power-up to prepare for this?
The immunity system in the body is our natural defence mechanism. It protects us from infections, illnesses, viruses, bacteria, parasites, cancer sells and toxins. The food you eat fuels your immunity system. Therefore it is as strong as the food and fuel you give it. Vegetarians and vegans have an advantage here, since they avoid the cholesterols found in animal based foods.
Here is a list that will help vegetarians and vegans to power-up their already positive and healthy lifestyle.
Beta carotene (Vitamin A) neutralises free radicals and increases the number of infection fighting cells. Eat spinach, cilantro, carrots and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin V2 (Riboflavin) give a helping hand in reinforcing your immunity system. You need to eat green leafy vegetables, whole grains and yeast.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) which is found in nuts and whole grains will help improve your natural resistance.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridocine) will help in the production of antibodies that support in the fighting of diseases. For this you need to eat bananas, green leafy vegetables, carrots, peas and wheat germ.
Vitamin B12 is also thought to contribute to the immunity function. This vitamin can be obtained from B12 supplements or fortified soy and hemp and almond milk and cereals, or milk an dairy products. Vegans should make sure that they are taking the necessary amount of B12.
Vitamin C is considered as a powerful antioxidant and immune booster and at the same time offers protection to the body from infections. It is found in citrus fruits like lemon, sweet lime, orange as well as in melons, peas and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin D is being given more importance in the role of triggering the immunity system. You need to expose your skin to sunlight for Vitamin D. Fifteen to twenty minutes a day should be enough. Theoretically it shouldn’t be a problem in sunny Malta!
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps in the production of antibodies. Good sources of Vitamin E are greens, whole grains and almonds (yummie).
There are a few minerals that will greatly help us.
Copper is key for the immune function and can be found in sunflower seeds, peanuts, mushrooms and prunes.
Iron is essential for the formation of white blood cells and can be found in lentils, beets, greens, bitter gourd and dry fruits.
Selenium which isn’t a mineral from Krypton! It actually is a powerful antioxidant. eat fruits, vegetables walnuts and sunflower seeds for this.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fats can be found in walnuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds and salba/chia seeds.
Make sure you are eating or taking your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. A bit of exercise never does any harm 🙂 Power-up for this winter’s influenza.
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