I’ve always believed in exercise; not for the sake of exercise per se, but for what I get from it. My head is clearer, it makes getting through my daily activities easier, with more energy, and I’m able to better enjoy my recreational time. But, in the aftermath of Sandy, I have another thought. Being fit also enables me to have the mojo to handle emergencies with clearer thinking and better strength and endurance. Who knows if/when I’ll need to tap into that reservoir, but I’ll be ready. How about you?

Since it is cold and flu season, boosting your immune system is of vital importance. An article in AARP magazine (Oct/Nov 2012), listed several foods high in immune-boosting nutrients.

1). Lean beef is full of iron and zinc  that help fight infection from viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Beef is also an excellent source of selenium, which defends and repairs immune cells. 2). Legumes are good sources of iron and zinc, and also contain high levels of B6, which helps create infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes. You can boost iron absorption by combining them with vitamin C sources, like orange juice or broccoli. 3). Mushrooms-including shiitake and oyster mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which can spur production of virus-attacking white blood cells. White button mushrooms are rich sources of selenium and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) which help ward off bacterial infections. $). Pumpkin is full of beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, which creates white blood cells that fight infection. Pumpkin seeds also offer this benefit. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E. Pumpkin seeds, for whatever reason, actually increase in nutritional value as they age. Other top sources of zinc are oysters and wheat germ; of iron-poultry, spinach, and tofu; of B6-chicken, potatoes, bananas, and chickpeas.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.