We are fighting coronavirus now. My hope in all this uncertainty is that it will focus our attention to how important our immune system is. Now and always, when our immune system falters it is an open door to infection. That is why washing our hands and social distancing is not enough, we have to keep our immune system healthy.
We are trying to protect ourselves and those that our vulnerable. The danger to older people is evidence of the decline that happens in our immune system as we age.
It is interesting to read the science on this. It is clear that our immune system declines. The question is why? Is this a consequence of aging - a natural progression? Or is there another factor at play here? Under-nutrition is an important factor.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that increasing the daily servings of fruits and vegetables from 3 to at least 5 servings a day created an 82% greater production of protective antibodies in adults over 65. Antibodies are the very, very specific immune agents the body creates for each individual pathogen. This change happened in a matter of weeks. Decrease in immune system function is heavily influenced by nutrition.
So, in light of COVID-19, you can start turning the tide now with more fruits and vegetables and helping those at high risk, the elderly or those with underlying health challenges, get more fruits and vegetables.
How can you easily up your intake?
I put every meal on a bed of greens or veggies - that will get you 1-2 more servings a day. The jolieLife pizza I posted on Instagram today is made of veggies with more vegetables on top.
Use fruit and vegetables as dessert or snack food. A bowl of berries is a wonderful end to a meal. Baby cucumbers give the crunch mouth feel we often seek in snacks.
Have berries or some other fruit every morning with your breakfast. At jolie, we usually choose berries because they have the biggest immune boosting punch, second to that we choose citrus or tropical fruits because they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Each effort counts and makes a difference!
Words to Live By
I am not a heroine, but I have chosen the person I want to be.