FATIMA GOOLAM talks to Wendy Lord, a Johannesburg-based dietician about our immune systems. We all enter the world with an immature immune system, which is slowly primed through healthy diet and healthy lifestyle choices to defend the body against disease.
HEALTHY EATING HABITS
Wendy believes that food is there to be enjoyed and is a fundamental part of our lives. “Healthy eating means eating a well balanced diet that supplies the body with all of the nutrients it requires,” she says. This means eating sufficient proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as ensuring an adequate intake of fruit and to provide your body with a good supply of vitamins and minerals. It also means limiting the amount of sugar you eat and choosing low GI (glycaemic index) carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. Sugar attacks the immune system almost immediately making it vulnerable to infection and disease. Healthy eating is a habit that must be learnt, as is learning to eat foods from the earth and not those that have long lists of ingredients.
Fruit, vegetables and whole grains must be included in our daily diet.
Carrots, green beans and strawberries contain phytonutrients.
Fruits high in vitamin C like kiwi and orange increase the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, which coat cell surfaces which block out viruses.
Opt for alkaline foods as acidic foods create toxicity, disease, fatigue and illness.
A deficiency of Omega 3-fatty acids can suppress the immune system.
Probiotics and prebiotics help to maintain the good bacteria in the gut, which are important for ensuring optimal functioning of the immune system.
EXERCISE AND SLEEP PATTERNS
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