I started this blog a year ago, with some trepidation, as I was unsure if anyone would read it. I needn’t have worried as in one year 55,681 people have read the blog which is very pleasing.
I can see how many times a particular blog has been read, and despite weight loss being the most common reason why many people choose to make changes to their diets, its seems that the concept of Supereating is almost as popular as a topic.
Supereating is brand new way of eating that maximises the nutrients in food by pairing foods that complement one another. Nutrients work as team players, never in isolation,and some nutrients encourage the action of others whilst some hinder.
This week we are told that record numbers of people are suffering with colds and flu ( a nine year high in fact ) should one feed a cold, starve a fever? Last week, findings published in the Journal of Nutrition suggested that the contrary to the old adage starve a fever, those with fever should actually ensure that they eat too. But what should you eat? Can Supereating help? I would say this, but the answer is ‘yes’. The immune system is reliant upon many factors, not least nutrients, and there is a direct link between being run down, or under-fed, and the efficient workings of the body’s defences.
All nutrients play a role in the immune system, but here is a list of those that I consider to be vital, a quick description of what they do, and lastly, a typical days eating that combines the nutrients in food, maximising those that work together.
Involved with antibody production and cell replication (so that cells divide normally and do not mutate) and supports the thymus gland
Friends – protein, fat, zinc iron
Foes – plant sterols, low fat diets
Eggs, liver, cheese, apricots, sweet potato, butternut squash, peppers especially red and orange.
Works to support both B and T cells
Friends – folic acid and B12
Foes – overcooking or frozen food
Chicken, lamb, eggs, avocado, cabbage, cauliflower, legumes and brown rice
Has many roles to play in the immune system: it can increase antibody production and is a component of both interferon and complement
Foes – excessive water intake
Limes, lemons, sweet potatoes, berries, peppers, cauliflower, kale, soft fruit
Can increase the concentration of T cells
Friends – vitamin C and selenium
Foes – low-fat diets, plant sterols
Avocados, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, olive oil, eggs, tuna
Required by the thymus gland in the manufacture of T-cells
Friends – vitamin B6 and protein
Foes – excess cellulose, phytates, high calcium intake, alcohol, refined sugar
Chickpeas, seafood, chicken, oats, brown rice, pumpkin seeds
Involved in the action of both NK and T cells, also in the production of antibodies
Friends – iodine
Foes – low intake of copper and iron
Liver, halibut, cod, tuna, salmon, prawns, mushrooms (not barley as it contains phytates), sole, mackerel , brown rice, onions, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, kidney beans
Stimulates NK ( Natural Killer ) cells
Friends – selenium
Foes – soya, raw cruciferous vegetables, red rice, millet and cassava
Seaweeds, kelp, seafood and garlic
Stimulates macrophage and lymphocyte action.
Friends – probiotics
Foes – none
Garlic, onions, chives, shallots and leeks
Stimulate immune response in the gastrointestinal tract, and also help produce vitamin K, which is required for blood clotting
Foes – refined sugar, alcohol, excess yeast in foods
Plain yoghurt, miso soup, fermented foods such as sauerkraut
A perfect immune-boosting day’s Supereating
Breakfast Plain yogurt with pumpkin seeds and blueberries
Mid-morning Oatcake with cashew butter, salmon pâté
Lunch Salad made with cooled steamed asparagus, mixed salad leaves, soft-boiled eggs, sliced yellow and red peppers, sprinkled with sesame seeds; dressing of plain yoghurt mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and
Snack Soft fruits mixed with flaked almonds
Dinner Grilled chicken or king prawns, steamed cauliflower, broccoli with brown rice