posted on Oct, 9 2009 @ 06:03 AM
The Good Guys
Whole grains: Brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat (kasha), oats, barley, and other whole grains are a valuable source of the vitamins, minerals and
fiber that are an essential part of keeping the immune system healthy. Fiber helps cleanse the colon of toxins and helps prevent intestinal
infections. Intact whole grains, not the flour products made from them are what really strengthen the digestive system. Cooked grains make a great
breakfast or a substitute for pasta, white rice or white potatoes.
Vegetables: Eat as many vegetables as you can. These are really the immune-boosting heavyweights. They are the best source of the vitamins, minerals,
and phytochemicals that are known to protect the body against many diseases, including cancer. Especially try to have dark leafy greens, such as kale
and collard greens. And include as many of the yellow and orange vegetables as possible for beta carotene, an important anti-oxidant. Carrots, winter
squash, and sweet potatoes are also great for satisfying the sweet tooth in a healthy way. If you are prone to diarrhea, which is common among those
with HIV, avoid raw vegetables (and fruit). Lightly steam or saute them instead.
Fresh fruit: Providing the same benefits as vegetables, fruits can be eaten as snacks, separate from protein for better digestion. Berries are
particularly noted for their cancer preventative abilities. Fruit though is very high in sugar, so large quantities should be avoided, especially
tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes, etc. If you are prone to yeast infections (thrush, candida), avoid fruit juices, since the high
concentration of sugar promotes the growth of yeast in the digestive system.
Protein: Generous amounts of high quality protein are important for maintaining rapid production of cells to support the immune system, preventing
loss of lean muscle mass and boosting energy. As much as possible, look for organic meat and poultry, have plenty of fish, especially those high in
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for building the body's immune response. These include salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout and tuna; flax
seeds are another good source of this important nutrient. Dairy products may not be the best protein source since they create digestive problems for
many people, such as excess gas, loose stools, mucous and congestion. Yeast infections and thrush also thrive on dairy. Vegetarian sources of protein
include soy products such as tofu and tempeh, and beans and legumes, having the added benefit of fiber, which animal foods do not provide.
Other helpful foods include onions, garlic (unless you are having liver problems), ginger, and turmeric (a spice that is a good anti-inflammatory).
Mushrooms such as #ake, oyster, and other Asian varieties, are noted for their immune-enhancing abilities. Sea vegetables are rich in minerals such as
immune-boosting zinc, as well as calcium. Small quantities of fresh almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are also good sources for zinc and healthy
Water: This is the essential "ground zero" for regulating all of the body's systems. It eases the job of the kidneys and liver to process and
eliminate toxins from the blood. It helps keep mucous membranes moist enough to combat the viruses they encounter. And it is a little known tool for
reducing sugar cravings. Sugar cravings are often a sign of dehydration. Try a big glass of water the next time you are craving sugar, then wait a few
minutes and see if the need for the sugar is really still there. Water, as well as other beverages, really should not be ice cold. Your body will have
to use a lot of energy to warm it up to that 98.6 degrees it tries so hard to maintain. Try to have 6 to 8 glasses of pure water every day.
Supplements: Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and herbs are an important part of making sure your nutritional needs are met. But taking a lot of
supplements while maintaining a poor diet will not have the desired effects. If you want to plant a garden, you could just dig a few holes, plant the
seeds, and wait for something to happen. Maybe a few things would grow, but the crop would probably not be very bountiful. But add compost and
nutrients to the soil, water it properly, and you would reap the rewards. Think of a good diet as your way to amend your soil, then if you add a few
supplements, there's a good environment for growth.