What foods boost immunity?

  • Draft version of what i did at llumc...
  • What foods boost immunity?
    An adequate diet helps maintain immunity and keeps you healthy. Almost all nutrients in the diet play a crucial role in maintaining an “optimal” immune response. Too much can cause the immune system to not function well.
    What May Stimulate Immunity
  • Probiotics
    Active acidophilus cultures, found in many yogurts, promote a strong digestive system. Probiotics are friendly gut bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics play an important role as a part of a healthy diet that acts as a “natural” barrier against infection. Some of the beneficial effect of friendly-boosting bacteria consumption include: (i) improving intestinal tract health; (ii) enhancing the immune system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients; (iii) reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance and (iv) reducing the risk of certain cancers.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Foods rich in Beta Carotene, Vitamin A
    Rev up your immune system by eating all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Such plant foods contain many nutrients that can boost your immunity. A diet high in carotene foods, such as spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots, could provide immune-stimulating doses of beta-carotene. Studies have shown that the more beta-carotene, the greater the increase in protective immune cells. A vegetarian diet rich in vegetables and fruits has shown to help stimulate immunity.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin C
    Vitamin C helps to keep your immune system healthy. It is used by your body during the healing process and may protect against cancer. Studies support the fact that fresh fruit consumption, particularly fruits high in vitamin C, has a beneficial impact on the lung.
    [1] Examples of fruits high in vitamin C include kiwis, oranges and grapefruits.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin E
    Vitamin E has also been shown to provide additional benefits to help support a strong immune system or patients who suffer from various infections.
    [2] Nuts, seeds and avocadoes are some examples of foods rich in vitamin E.
  • Foods rich in Zinc
    This mineral helps produce antibodies as well as other white-blood-cell activities that help boost the immune system. Adults deficient in zinc, for example, often have more colds and respiratory tract infections. It is found in any foods high in protein including beans, seafood, peanuts and fortified cereals.
  • A Low-Fat Diet
    Our bodies need essential fatty acids for many important metabolic functions but the wrong kind of fat blunts immunity. Not only is the type of fat consumed important but also the amount taken. Fish oil (containing omega-3 fatty acids) and olive oil (a monounsaturated oil) actually seems to improve immunity.
  • Garlic
    Garlic has also been reported to improve the immune system of patients with AIDS.
    [3] It has a wide range of antibiotic activity inhibiting a variety of microorganisms- bacteria, molds and yeasts, viruses and parasites.
  • Foods that May Lower immunity
    O High Fat Diet, Especially Polyunsaturated Vegetable Oils, Such as Corn and Safflower Oils

    Too much fat, especially the wrong type impairs immunity. Eating too much vegetable polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 fatty acids) predominating in corn, safflower and sunflower seed oils can decrease immune functioning. Additionally, the omega-6 vegetable fats tend to oxidize more quickly, forming oxygen free radicals that attack immune cells. Numerous animal studies find that vegetable type fats hinder immune functions and free-radical-fighting activity.

    O Sugar
    Sugar prevents the ability of white blood cells to sweep up and kill bacteria.

    [1] Nutrition and lung health. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 2005 Apr; 9 (4): 362-74.
    [2] Nutrients and their role in host resistance to infection. J Leukoc Biol, 2002 Jan; 71 (1): 16-32.
    [3] TH Abdullah, DV Kirkpatrick, et al. Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in aids with garlic. J Oncology 2 : 52-53, 1989.

    TIPS: Immune-Boosting Diet Strategies
  • *The best diet to build resistance to infections, as well as cancer, is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially garlic and those rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C.

*Go easy on meat, especially fatty meats
*Restrict omega-6 fatty acids of the type in corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower seed oil.
*Eat seafood, especially fatty fish, as well as foods high in zinc.
*Go easy on sugar. There is some evidence it lowers immunity.


"A House of Proteins" chapter

Heard of this book: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II? It has the latest studies on many cool stuff. For community rotations, I had to give a Case Study (during the PRO lecture) to the Cardiac Rehab patients.
Here's a little snippet.
Relationship Between Animal Protein Consumption and Heart Disease Death in Men Aged Fifty-five to Fifty-nine Across Twenty Different Countries.

This study suggests that the more protein you eat, the more heart disease you have. Studies in human show that eating plant protein has even greater power to lower cholesterol levels than reducing fat or cholesterol intake.

Chart 4.4. Disease Groupings Observed in China
This study shows that affluent people who eat extravagantly (high fat, protein) have certain set of diseases while the poorer people have diseases totally different from the affluent. The major causes of death in the US are the same as richer states in China. This shows that food plays an important role in the type of diseases contracted.

Diseases of affluence (Nutritional Extravagance)
Diseases observed:
Cancer (colon, lung, breast, leukemia, childhood brain, stomach, liver) diabetes, coronary heart disease

Diseases of Poverty (Nutritional inadequacy and poor sanitation)
Diseases observed : Pneumonia, intestinal obstruction, peptic ulcer, digestive diseases, pulmonary tuberculosis, parasitic disease, rheumatic heart disease, metabolic and endocrine disease other than diabetes, diseases of pregnancy and many others.

Foods associated with Blood cholesterol

*As intakes of meat, milk, eggs, fish, fat and animal protein go up…
Blood cholesterol
*As intakes of plant-based foods and nutrients (including plant protein, dietary fiver, cellulose, hemicellulose, soluble carbohydrate, B-vitamins of plants (carotenes B2, B3), legumes, light colored vegetables, fruits, carrots, potatoes and several cereal grains) go up…
Blood cholesterol decreases


8 treasure dessert- Taiwanese style

We ate this at a Taiwanese restaurant...
For Taiwan shaved ice, you pick eight ingredients (that's why its called 8 treasures), which are spooned into the bottom of a wide, fairly shallow bowl. Then the bowl goes to the shaved ice machine, which covers the "toppings" with a snowy mountain. Over that goes a drizzle of sugar syrup, then a generous pour of sweetened condensed milk. The result tastes like snow ice cream with buried treats.
For Vietnamese shaved ice, you pick three ingredients, which are layered with the ice in a 10-ounce glass, then topped with syrup and coconut milk. It is more difficult to eat than the Taiwan version – and both are best if eaten quickly, before the ice melts.

Making Jiaozhi

Darl's specialty: Jiao Zhi! Recipe's really simple.
Jiaozi dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour, up to 1 1/4 cups cold water ,1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling: Up to you. In this recipe, its tofu, chives, onions, garlic, minced carrots, mushrooms, mushroom seasoning, salt, shoyu flavoring, pepper, sesame oil, ginger, etc.

Stir the salt into the flour. Slowly stir in the cold water, adding as much as is necessary to form a smooth dough. Don't add more water than is ncessary. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. Mix filling ingredients well.
To make the dumpling dough: knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter.Place a small portion (about 1 level tablespoon) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumplings.To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. Bring the water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready Drain and remove. If desired, they can be pan-fried at this point.While cooking, add mixture of vinegar and water to the pan.
Sauce: ginger, soy sauce.
Disclaimer: All the recipes posted are for my personal references and/or adapted from mentioned instructors or books. They/I reserve the rights to it. Please remember to cite your sources! Thank you.