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Omega 3 fatty acids aren’t just good for your heart. They also may boost your immune system and make your less vulnerable to respiratory infections.
Children who took a half teaspoon of flax oil (rich in Omega 3’s) a day had fewer and less severe respiratory infections and missed fewer days of school, according to a study. No wonder mothers long ago dispensed a daily dose of cod liver oil to their youngsters.
Omega 3’s (essential fatty acids) can be found in other more palatable sources, including fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and mackerel), seeds, nuts and avocadoes. They act as immune boosters by increasing phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. Fish, nuts and seeds offer a double benefit in that they also provide valuable nutrients, including zinc, which play an important role in the immune system.
Essential fatty acids protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. Get more bang from your essential fatty acid supplements by taking additional Vitamin E, which acts together with essential fatty acids to boost the immune system.
Get started enjoying some omega 3’s during February, American Heart Month. One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothie.
Here’s a delicious no-cook recipe that contains avocadoes, one of my favorite omega-3 sources. The recipe contains cocoa powder which can be replaced with carob powder for those with sensitivity or allergy to chocolate.
No-Cook Chocolate Pudding
Makes four servings
•6 tablespoons cocoa powder
•1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
•1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•Puree avocados, cocoa powder, sweetener of choice and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Sprinkle pudding with salt before serving.
Avocadoes also are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, other immunity boosters. Antioxidants, a type of chemical found in plants, help neutralize free radicals and protect cells, and strengthen the immune system.
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