MANILA, Philippines – “You are what you eat.” This proverbial saying speaks of the notion that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food.
The kind of food that we eat greatly affects our immune system, says Dr. Marc Dexter Macalintal, a lifestyle medicine specialist of the Philippine College of Lifestyle Medicine.
“Maraming sakit ang mape-prevent natin (A lot of diseases will be prevented) if we have a healthy immune system,” he said.
Eating processed food and the so-called “fast food” does not provide balanced nutrition, he added.
“Tamang pagkain sana. Mas maraming plants, mas maraming fruits and vegetables kaysa sa mga meats na saturated fats ang binibigay sa atin, (Proper food. More plants, more fruits and vegetables instead of meat which mostly gives us saturated fat),” he advised.
Dr. Macalintal recommends the five pillars of nutrition which may help strengthen one’s immune system.
First is the intake of what he calls ‘rainbow foods’ or a variety of vegetables and fruits.
“No virus can penetrate a healthy cell. No virus can penetrate an optimized cell,” Dr. Macalintal noted.
“Kung ang mga virus ay nandyan, hindi sila makakapasok sa atin kung optimized yung katawan natin which is made up of cell. We suggest that the color of the rainbows, ilagay natin sa plato gamit yung mga prutas at gulay na yan (Virus will not be able to penetrate us if our body is optimized which is made up of cell. We suggest that the color of the rainbows, put on a plate a variety of fruits and vegetables),” he added.
Second is to do an exercise routine of 150 minutes in a week or a regular 30-minute brisk walking daily.
Third is having enough sleep of seven to eight hours.
Fourth is avoiding vices and doing away from stressful works.
Fifth is taking proper food supplements, of course, under doctor’s supervision.
“Ang supplements natin, mayroon siyang tinatawag na overdose pa rin (Food supplements may also lead to overdosage),” Dr. Macalintal cautioned.
“Maaaring mag-overdose ka pa rin (You can be overdosed) which can lead to more harm than good,” he stressed.
Dr. Macalintal maintained that proper amounts of fruits and vegetables including legumes, nuts, and grains should be included to ensure proper nutrition and a healthy diet. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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