Eat Right Be Fit Live Well Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn  Connect with us
"Let Food Be Thy Medicine"
November 2018
In This Issue
Quick Links

Jean Varney
Jeannie Varney
 Nutrition Consultant


Another flu season is upon us and the medical community is hopeful that it will be less severe than years past. Influenza is more than inconvenient. For some, it's life threatening. The 2017-2018 outbreak killed tens of thousands of adults and nearly 200 children. Unfortunately, short of becoming a hermit and avoiding people altogether, there is no foolproof way to prevent it. There are, however, steps you can take to reduce your risk.  Standard prevention tips include getting the flu shot, washing your hands frequently, and avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth. In addition to this great advice, maintaining a healthy immune system is essential to improving your ability to fend off the virus. No surprise here, but the best way to enhance your body's defenses is through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Below I share with you the foods you should eat and a couple of habits you can establish to protect yourself against all illnesses, including the flu.

Stay well,
Fend Off the Flu with Food
We've long known that foods rich in iron*, zinc*, selenium* and especially  antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E support the immune system. However, according to a recent Duke Medicine newsletter, emerging research suggests plant-based foods high in the flavonoid quercetin, offer even further protection from the flu by inhibiting the influenza A virus altogether.  So ... to keep you healthy this winter, in addition to eating a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, include the following quercetin-rich foods in your diet DAILY, with one exception ... wine. 2-3 servings (1/2 cup = serving) a week is fine but daily consumption, not so much.  Sorry!

Tea - black, green and oolong: unsweetened, including artificial sweeteners
Berries - fresh cranberries, blueberries and strawberries in particular
Apples with skins
Grapes - red, black and purple varieties
Onions and leeks
Cabbage - purple
Legumes - beans, soy and lentils
Lettuces - red leaf and to a lesser extent Romaine
Citrus fruit
 Red wine - wahoo! More is not better. Limit to 1.5 cups a week to avoid increasing your risk of cancer. This is especially true for women under 65.
Chocolate - More good news but, choose dark chocolate only (70% cocoa or higher) and avoid Dutch processed varieties altogether.

To protect yourself further against getting sick, remember to exercise and get your Zzzzzs. These healthy lifestyle habits strengthen your immune system and help your body fend off unhealthy bugs and bacteria. Shoot for at least 30 minutes a day of vigorous walking or more intense cardio and 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. When you sleep, your body, immune system and brain restore and repair themselves, a process that is imperative to good health. Please do no underestimate the need for Zzzzzs! 

Finally, if you get sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks without   medication. Doing so, will help keep the rest of us well. Thank you!

*While antioxidant-rich foods are plant based (fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes) and should make up the majority of your diet, many of the foods high in iron, zinc and selenium come from animals. If you choose to eat these products, I encourage you to choose the highest quality available and don't overindulge. Consider animal products a condiment not the centerpiece of a meal.  Eat wild fish and seafood freely and organic varieties of eggs, dairy and poultry moderately. Limit red meat (pork, beef and lamb) and avoid all processed meats including bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, bologna, cured meats and cold cuts, turkey included.

This article is for informational purposes only, is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and is not a substitute for medical advice.
Recipes of the Month

Apple, Walnut, and Savoy Cabbage Salad 


Black Bean Tofu Hash


Dark Chocolate Oats


Egg Roll in a Bowl


Sesame Kale Glow Bowl


Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew 

About Jean Varney 
Jean Varney is the founder and president of Eat Right, Be Fit, Live Well LLC, a health and nutrition consulting firm committed to empowering men and women to improve their health through sustainable changes to their diet and lifestyle.  Based in the Washington DC metropolitan area, Jean coaches clients nationwide by phone and in person.  She focuses on helping individuals make smart choices about the foods they eat in order to maintain high energy levels, avoid unwanted weight gain and decrease their risk of heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes and other chronic illnesses.  Jean received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.  To learn more about her practice, please visit her website at: