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Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter

Boost Your Immune System!

Cold and flu season is already upon us.  Rather than avoiding contact with others you have another defense.  Your immune system can fight off infections if you treat it well.  Here are a few tips for improving your immune function.  Now go out and enjoy holiday gatherings with your family and friends. Party on!

  • Nutrient-Dense Diet—Eat a diet rich in antioxidant nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamins C, and minerals, selenium, and zinc which help to bolster the immune system.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially colorful ones are rich in antioxidants.  Start slowly and work up to 5 servings a day.   It’s easier than you think.

  • Hydration—Drink plenty of water, staying hydrated will keep your mucous membranes moist and prevent bacteria and viruses from entering your system.  Water also helps to flush your system of toxins.

  • Bad Carbs—Try to stay away from refined sugar, concentrated sugars, and refined carbohydrates in both food and drinks.   High blood sugar levels can reduce the ability of white blood cells to fight infections.

  • Beverage Choices— Reduce alcoholic beverages, excess alcohol can dehydrate your body and depress the activity of white blood cells.  Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation or not at all.

  • Wash Hands— Wash hands often with warm soapy water.  So simple, but yet we can spread so many germs around this way.

  • Exercise— Lose excess weight, research suggests an increased number of infections occurring in obese people.  Those with high blood cholesterol and lipid levels have fewer white blood cells and a slower response to fighting infection.   Being underweight can also increase susceptibility to infections.

  • Probiotics—Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide many health benefits.  They are known as beneficial bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal (GI) system.  Probiotics can bolster your immune system and shorten the duration of colds.  Food sources of probiotics are yogurt, kefir and the fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kim chee.  Looks for foods that contain "live cultures."  Probiotic supplements are also an option but can be confusing to pick one appropriate for your needs.  Consult a nutritionist for the best option.

  • Weight— Get regular exercise, it increases circulation of your immune fighting cells.   Research supports an enhanced immune system for those who exercise regularly.

  • Food Intolerances—Maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract; food allergies and intolerances can leave you more susceptible to infection.  A nutritionist can help you identify food intolerances and plan a diet around such foods.  A healthy gastrointestinal tract allows for proper digestion and absorption of vital nutrients to maintain a healthy immune system.
The holidays are challenging time for eating well, staying well and exercising.  Please consider Sheri for nutrition counseling and/or fitness appointments to help you stay on track.


Red Meat and Processed Meats Links to Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on October 26, 2015 based on its review of scientific literature classifying red meats as "probably carcinogenic to humans" and processed meats as "carcinogenic to humans".  "Carcinogenic" means a substance that can cause cancer.  This association is mainly observed for colorectal cancer and possibly for pancreatic and prostate cancer.  Red meat refers to beef, veal, pork, lamb and goat.  Examples of processed meat are hot dogs, ham, sausages, corned beef and bacon.  In other words; meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.  In the nutrition community, these observations have been discussed for over 10 years, this has been the strongest statement confirming the cancer association.

The evidence is strong, try to limit these foods in your diet.  Meatless Mondays in addition to other days of the week are starting to sound more appetizing.  Contact Sheri if you'd like to revamp your menu to have less processed meats and red meats.

Sheri is a Certified Nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition, with over 14 years of clinical counseling experience, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer with an advanced certification in medical exercise and pending Health Coach certification.  All nutrition consultations include exercise guidance, dietary analysis and meal plans to meet your individual calorie and nutritional needs.

Free introductory 15-minute appointments are also available.

To schedule an appointment with Sheri Mar, email:  or call:  206.789.6440

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