Superfoods? Superfoods?

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Thread: Superfoods?

  1. #1
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    Default Superfoods?

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    Hi

    As we enter the season of viral infections, I often wonder if there are foods that have a very positive dietary impact on health? I realise that this has to come on top of eating a wide variety of foods to support macro and micro nutrients but are there foods people swear by for the benefits they bring?

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
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    Yes but many effects are chronic, so not sure you'll dodge a "viral season" that is around the corner.

  3. #3
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    I know I need to be more consistent year round rather than hoping to introduce something in October. I guess I'm not just talking about avoiding or recovering well from viral illness, more that are there any specific foods that you feel are not eaten as much as they should be because they can have very positive health impacts.

    I know this can get in to the territory of near hysteria and can recall the hype surrounding turmeric, celery, blueberries and avocado over the years (all of which I include in my diet btw). Just interested to see a dieticians POV.

    Once again thanks for all the help you give us on this board.

  4. #4
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    There are no foods that have the effect you're looking for. Malnutrition will obviously harm your ability to fight off infection in several ways, but you wouldn't be here if you were malnourished. If you're eating a variety of nutritious foods already, you should be getting everything required to support normal immune function. (Caveats about the difficulty of actually getting all the micronutrients you need from the average grocery store apply.)

    The idea of "boosting" your immune system is silly and misguided. (What does that even mean? The term is never defined, because it's marketing bullshit.) There's nothing you can eat to "boost" your immune system, and if there were you wouldn't want to. Ideally your immune system is operating normally, and well tuned to the threats you face. An overactive immune system leads to various autoimmune diseases.

    One thing you can do is forewarn your immune system about the specific threats it may face in the near future. You do this by providing it with samples of viral proteins so that it can begin manufacturing antibodies specific to the viruses that create those proteins. Another word for this is getting your flu shot.

    If you smoke, either quit or try to smoke less during flu season. If you drink, cut back. If you're dealing with chronic stress, kill the... no, sorry, I've been told I need to stop joking about killing people. Chronic stress can depress immune function in several ways; I've never tried any of those hippie-dippie stress management things where you take deep breaths and think about flowers, but apparently they work. And as always, drink plenty of fluids and make sure you're getting enough sleep.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    Yes but many effects are chronic, so not sure you'll dodge a "viral season" that is around the corner.
    Is there any dietary reason why my girlfriend barely gets sick but I get every damn cold that comes around, and it seems to last much longer than hers? We have drastically different diets, but I always assumed itís deeper than diet.

  6. #6
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    Genetics are a big determinant here. Diet helps of course but some people can beat the hell out of themselves and live plenty long. No rhyme or reason to it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdcuth View Post
    I know I need to be more consistent year round rather than hoping to introduce something in October. I guess I'm not just talking about avoiding or recovering well from viral illness, more that are there any specific foods that you feel are not eaten as much as they should be because they can have very positive health impacts.

    I know this can get in to the territory of near hysteria and can recall the hype surrounding turmeric, celery, blueberries and avocado over the years (all of which I include in my diet btw). Just interested to see a dieticians POV.

    Once again thanks for all the help you give us on this board.
    I think all those things are great. Just a long term deal.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jdcuth View Post
    are there any specific foods that you feel are not eaten as much as they should be because they can have very positive health impacts.
    Yeah, vegetables, especially the green leafy ones. I know this isn't the answer you're looking for but sadly there's no magic bullet here. (But really, most people don't eat nearly enough vegetables.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnsonville View Post
    Is there any dietary reason why my girlfriend barely gets sick but I get every damn cold that comes around, and it seems to last much longer than hers?
    No.

    (Unless you're malnourished.)

    Unfortunately the truth is the same old boring stuff you've heard before: get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and if you use recreational drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) cut back or stop while you're recovering.

    Oh, chicken soup really does help btw. Something about prions. You won't get better faster but you'll feel a little better.

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