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Excerpt From "The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods"

Eating for Strong Immunity – Yogurt

by Victoria Shanta Retelny, R.D., L.D.N. and Jovanka JoAnn Milivojevic

A cup or two of low-fat yogurt can help your immune system – not to mention your bones!-strong. Yogurt is beneficial for immune health for a couple of reasons. Some yogurt brands contain vitamin D. (Check the nutrition facts on the container.) Research has shown vitamin D from sunlight can play an antimicrobial role and boost your natural innate immune system. This, it may fend off the common cold, flu, and autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Yogurt is made from fermented milk, which contains powerful players in immune health called probiotics. These are “friendly bacteria” that naturally reside in your gut and provide health benefits. Out intestinal. Tracts naturally have large amount – 100 trillion colonies of microscopic bacteria – that live in ever-changing interaction. Experts believe that 80 to 90 percent of bacteria in the colon have never been cultured. These are enemies of good bugs rally to combat the ill-effects of bad ones in your gastrointestinal tract, working to maintain proper digestion and boost immunity. The key is to keep the dieses-causing bacteria outnumbered by the do-gooder bacteria!

Probiotics like the species Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as the starter culture for yogurt and other fermented milk products such as kefir and some cheeses, Saccharomyces Thermophilis, are the most widely used varieties or strains. Dietary supplements also contain strains of probiotics such as Enterococcus, Bacillus, and Escherichia for digestive health and immune support.

Most yogurt containers claim to contain live active culture sot denote the presence of live beneficial bacteria. However, be aware that his claim doesn’t always let you know what type or how much additional bacteria is the product. Plus, the amount that is still “alive” is debatable as the starter culture- called lactic acid bacteria- which ferments raw foods like yogurt, may not always survive processing, transport, and shelf time before you actually eat it. Call the manufacturer or check out their website for the finer probiotic details. You want to ensure that the cultures are live when consumed, have a documented health benefit, and contain enough to actually confer that benefit.

Probiotics thrive in the presence of probiotics, which as nondigestible carbohydrates (sugars) that feed friendly bacteria already in the gut, encouraging it to grow, multiply, and become more active. The main probiotics in the United States are called fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), which are found in foods like onions, bananas, honey, wheat, artichokes, garlic, and leeks. Prebiotics are also sold in powder and supplement form.

Author Bios:

Victoria Shanta Retelny, R.D., L.D.N. (Chicago, Ill.) is an author, media spokesperson, culinary instructor, nutrition therapist, and owner of a full-service nutrition communications consulting practice. Retelny has written nutrition-based articles for a variety of publications, such as Women’s Health, EatingWell, SELF, Chicago Tribune, IDEA Fitness Journal and The Journal of the American Dietetic Association. She is the author of The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods and believes that this book will give readers the ability to restore their body to a new level of health. Victoria is a graduate of Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, as well as Loyola University’s Dietetics Program, She combines both of her passions – communications and nutrition, into her daily work. She has also worked as a healthy chef instructor for the Calphalon Culinary Center where she mastered the art of creating healthy meals by combining delicious flavors, colors and textures on the plate. Victoria is an active member of the American Dietetic Association and served as Chair of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs, a Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. She lives to eat well with her husband, two lively pre-schoolers and their precocious pug in Chicago. Visit her website at www.livingwellcommunications.com.

Jovanka JoAnn Milivojevic (Chicago, Ill.) seeks to help people feel better in their bodies. She does so as a Chicago-based health writer, motivational wellness speaker and fitness instructor. She holds a B.A. in communications from Indiana University and did graduate work in writing at Columbia College, Chicago. She began her career as a writer/producer for public radio and public television. Today she writes about health, nutrition and fitness. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Baylor Innovations (Baylor Medical Center, Dallas), The Chicago Tribune, Massage Therapy Journal, Conscious Choice, and American Way, She is the author of several books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Back Pain. As a Pilates/fitness instructor she trains private and corporate clients and delivers motivational wellness talks to various groups around Chicago. Visit her at www.JoAnnMilPilates.com.

Purchase Info:

Penguin: http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781101540336,00.html?The_Essential_Guide_to_Healthy_Healing_Foods_Victoria_Shanta_Retelny

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Guide-Healthy-Healing-Foods/dp/1615641084

Permissions: The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods, Alpha Books, ISBN:9781615641086, July 2011, $19.95

Authors: Victoria Shanta Retelny, R.D., L.D.N. (Chicago, Ill.) with Jovanka JoAnn Milivojevic (Chicago, Ill.)

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