Chronic heart­burn

First For Women - - Contents -

As odd as it may sound, re­search points to fiber for flu preven­tion: An an­i­mal study in the jour­nal Im­mu­nity re­vealed that in­ulin, a type of sol­u­ble fiber, cuts the risk of in­fluenza in­fec­tion by 59%. The study is rel­e­vant to hu­mans too, so I’m rec­om­mend­ing in­creased fiber in­take to all my pa­tients this sea­son.

Here’s how it works: In­ulin-rich foods—like as­para­gus, leeks, gar­lic, onions, jí­cama and sun­chokes— nour­ish the good bac­te­ria in the gut, in­creas­ing the pro­duc­tion of short-chain fatty acids. These ben­e­fi­cial com­pounds re­duce im­mu­nity-sap­ping in­flam­ma­tion and ac­ti­vate virus-fight­ing T cells, boost­ing the im­mune sys­tem enough to help the body fend off ill­ness. To get the ben­e­fits, I sug­gest eat­ing two 1-cup serv­ings of in­ulin­rich foods a day—but spread the serv­ings out to avoid bloat or gas.

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