A traveler’s nutrition checklist

When planning your winter getaway this year, no doubt priorities on your checklist include hotel reservations, attractions information and travel documentation. But what about your health?

  • Dec. 10, 2008 2:00 p.m.

(NC)—When planning your winter getaway this year, no doubt priorities on your checklist include hotel reservations, attractions information and travel documentation. But what about your health? We often underestimate that travel can take its toll on the body due to the change in routine, exposure to different foods, poor air circulation in planes and jet lag. A must on the checklist should be an effort to boost your immune system.

The best way to keep your immune system strong is to eat plenty of fresh fruits, colorful vegetables and leafy greens, which are all known for their immune boosting and antioxidant benefits. However, five servings daily is not enough (that amount is appropriate only for children between two and six years old), so aim for seven to 10 servings daily. Include blueberries, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and carrots. It is also recommended to buy organic or pesticide-free foods and season them with immune boosting herbs and spices including tumeric, garlic and ginger.

To complement your daily intake of immune-enhancing foods and get a boost before a trip, add extra antioxidant protection in the form of vitamins and minerals. The concept of optimizing the body’s natural substances to prevent and treat disease is referred to as an orthomolecular approach to health. Orthomolecular practitioners use nutritional plans customized to the needs of individuals to ensure a diet has the appropriate amount of vitamins and nutrients.

Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, C and E as well as the minerals manganese, selenium and zinc each play a role in fighting and protecting against infection, dampening down the tissue damaging effects of free radicals generated by infection, and minimizing symptoms. For more information about the role of vitamins and minerals in maintaining optimum health and boosting immune function, visit www.orthomolecularhealth.com.

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