Fight Off Illness With Nutrients You Consume

Specific nutrients in foods have been shown to enhance the body’s ability to keep us well.  Some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other nutrition experts from Barbara Quinn’s article explain important nutrients to keep the illness off.

· Protein: It’s what immune cells are made of. Sources of immune-building protein include lean beef, pork and poultry, fish, eggs, beans and soy-based foods.

· Vitamin A: vitamin A — a nutrient that helps maintain the cells that line our intestines and lungs. These mucosal cells are the sentries that guard our body from foreign invaders. Carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes and red bell peppers are good sources of vitamin A.

· Vitamin C:  this essential vitamin plays an important role in healing wounds and strengthening our resistance to disease. Vitamin C also helps form antibodies that fight off infection. Sources include oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

· Zinc: Our immune system relies on zinc to consistently renew disease-fighting cells. Since zinc in food is bound to protein, it makes sense that good sources include oysters, beef, pork and liver as well as whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

· Vitamin E: Given its antioxidant ability to neutralize free radicals, vitamin E keeps the machinery of the immune system functioning at capacity. Good sources include nuts, seeds and whole grains. Wheat germ is an especially good source of vitamin E.

fight illness

For more information: http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_22427155/choose-foods-that-fight-illness?IADID=Search-www.montereyherald.com-www.montereyherald.com

*Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

 

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, Lacto-Vegetarian, Vegan Meal Plans

Are you a lacto-ovo vegetarian, a lacto-vegetarian or a vegan who is looking for some food options or meal plans? Some meat replacements that are useful are tofu, seitan, beans, quinoa, nuts, any soy products, eggplant, portobello mushrooms, legumes, tempeh, hummus etc.. These are all high protein foods packed with valuable nutrients. Here are some more options for you to choose from…

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Meal Plan (2,400 calorie diet)

Breakfast:

1/2 cup orange juice (calcium fortified)

1/2 cup cereal

1 egg

1 slice of bread

1 tsp. margarine

1 cup ( 8 oz.) milk

Lunch:

2-3 oz. meat alternative

1/2 cup potato

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2 cup-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup (4 oz.) milk

Dinner:

2-3 oz. meat alternative

1/2 cup rice

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup (4 oz.) milk

Snack:

1/2 cup soy nuts

1/2 cup fortified tomato juice

Lacto-Vegetarian Meal Plan

Breakfast:

1/2 cup calcium fortified orange juice

1/2 cup cereal

1 egg

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1 cup (8 oz.) milk

1 cup coffee/tea

Lunch:

2-3 oz. meat alternative

1/2 cup pasta

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2 cup-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup (4 oz.) milk

Coffee/tea

Dinner:

2-3 oz. meat substitute

1/2 cup brown rice

1/2 cup vegetable

1/2 cup-3/4 cup salad

2 tbsp. salad dressing

1 serving bread

1 tsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit

1/2 cup milk

Snack:

1/2 cup soy nuts

1/2 cup fortified tomato juice

Vegan Meal Plan

Breakfast:

1/2 cup fortified orange juice

1/2 cup oatmeal

2 slices whole wheat bread

2 tbsp. peanut butter

1 cup fortified soy milk

2 tbsp. raisins

Lunch:

6 oz. lentil soup w/ 1/2 cup brown rice

4 sesame seed crackers

1 cup raw spinach

1/4 cup shredded carrots

2 tbsp. chopped mushrooms

2 oz. tofu

2 tbsp. low calorie dressing

1 fresh apple

1 cup fortified soy milk

Dinner:

2 burritos: 2-6 inches soft corn tortillas

1 cup pinto beans

3/4 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup diced tomato

2 tbsp. diced onion

1/4 cup salsa

1/2 cup broccoli

1 tbsp. margarine

1/2 cup fruit cocktail

1 cup fortified soy milk

Some Information:

A lacto-ovo vegetarian restricts all dietary sources of animal protein except dairy products and eggs. This is the most common type of vegetarian diet and is the easiest to prepare.

A lacto-vegetarian diet restricts all dietary sources of animal protein except dairy products.

A vegan diet restricts all dietary sources of animal protein.

The following foods provide approximately the same amount of protein as does 1 oz. meat (7 grams protein)

  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup regular or soy milk
  • 1 oz. cheese
  • 1/3 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup legumes
  • 1/4 cup soy beans
  • 1 oz. processed soy protein
  • 1/4 cup tofu
  • 3/4 cup yogurt

All vegetarians should ensure adequate calcium for development and maintenance of strong bones. In place of dairy products, choose abundant amounts of dark leafy greens (kale, mustard and turnip greens, collards) bok choy, broccoli, legumes, tofu processed with calcium, dried figs, sunflower seeds, and calcium fortified cereals and juice. The following foods provide approximately the same amount of calcium as does 1 cup of milk (300 mg)

  • 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk
  • 1 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup collards
  • 3 cups cooked dried beans
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 3 pieces enriched cornbread

Iron is also important to keep in mind. When consumed along with foods rich in Vitamin C, plant sources of iron are absorbed better. Some examples of high iron foods include legumes, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, prune juice, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, soy nuts, and iron-fortified breads and cereals.

Vitamin B12 which is only found in animal foods, is not much of a concern for vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy. Vegans should include vitamin B-12 fortified foods such as fortified soymilk and commercial breakfast cereals and/or a B12 supplement in their diets. Vitamin B12 is also found in Brewer’s yeast.

The primary source of Vitamin D is found in dairy products where most are fortified with it. The other main source is sunlight exposure. Foods containing vitamin D are fortified cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk or nut milk. Supplementation is needed for those who don’t consume milk products and/or spend little time in the sun.

Zinc can also be a concern because most zinc is found in animal foods. Wheat germ, nuts, and dried beans can all be included in your diet to help boost your zinc!

Zinc

Without zinc, the body can’t grow, develop, or function properly. It’s estimated that more than one hundred different enzymes in the body require zinc in order to function.

Zinc absorption increases during times of growth, sexual development and pregnancy. High non-heme iron intakes can inhibit zinc absorption. Also, the phytates and fiber found in whole grains and beans inhibit absorption. However, dietary protein enhances zinc absorption, especially animal based proteins.

The RDA for zinc for adult men and women aged 19 years and older are 11 mg/day and 8 mg/day. Good food sources are red meats, some seafood, whole grains, and enriched grains and cereals. Zinc deficiency is a concern for people eating a vegetarian or vegan diet because zinc is more absorbable in animal based foods.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.