Tag Archives: Elisa Bremner

Germ Buster Nutrition – Eating for a Strong Immune System

Posted on: October 13, 2015

Germ Buster Nutrition – Eating for a Strong Immune System

Prevent the flu with good nutrition. 

By Elisa Bremner

In anticipation of flu season, it’s time to talk about prevention. First and foremost, please remember: the best defense against the flu is a year-round offense. This means eating right, staying active (60 minutes every day), getting enough rest (7-9 hours!) and minimizing stress (we can’t avoid stressful events in our life, but we can make the decision to handle them better). That being said, several nutrients play a role in enhancing your immunity. Mild deficiency of even one nutrient may weaken your body’s ability to fight infection.

“ACE” Germ Prevention 101!

Vitamins A, C and E, known as anti-oxidants, work together to protect you from infections and stressors on the body. Vitamin A keeps the skin and mucous membranes healthy, fortifying your first line of defense. It’s easy to find Vitamin A’s precursor, beta carotene, in orange-colored fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, apricots and mango. Eat these, and your body can make the vitamin A you need. Vitamin C stimulates the formation of antibodies, boosting immunity. Citrus fruits provide good amounts of Vitamin C, as do kiwis, strawberries, red peppers and tomatoes. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals, stressors on the body which can cause cellular damage or disease. Foods highest in Vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and safflower oil.

Although we tend to associate protein strictly with muscle, it plays an integral role in the body’s defense mechanism, important to growth and repair. As with all things food, moderation is still necessary, more is not necessarily better. Choose a variety of protein sources, including fish and other seafood, poultry, eggs, lean meat, legumes, soy products, nuts and seeds.

One mineral that helps the immune system work properly is zinc. Food sources of zinc include lean beef, wheat germ, shellfish, wheat bran, sunflower seeds, black-eyed peas, almonds, milk and tofu.

Other nutrients, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron and copper, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, may also influence immune response. A plant-based diet rich in whole foods (unprocessed) that includes variety, especially a variety of fruits and vegetables is the best way to prevent disease. Whether you’re talking about a sniffle, the flu or cancer, the advice is the same. Make sure you are eating 5-9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day, and please don’t restrict it to those mentioned above.

Germ-Buster Salad

10 oz. baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 tsp. safflower oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Eat and enjoy fortifying your defenses.

For more information about boosting your immune system and keeping healthy through nutrition, consult a Registered Dietitian.

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Making Monday Meatless: Tasty Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

Posted on: August 11, 2015

Tasty Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

By Elisa Bremner

No question about it – a plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat.  Eliminating or reducing our consumption of meat helps reduce our risks for many chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.  It’s good for the Earth; anything that cuts out the middleman (i.e. animals that need to eat plants to grow) is less taxing on the environment.  And don’t forget – it’s easy on the pocketbook.  So why not take at least one day off from meat each week?  With these creative and delicious ideas, Meatless Monday could make that dreaded day of the week something to look forward to:

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Healthy Snacks On-The-Go

Posted on: April 6, 2015

Nutritionist Approved:
Healthy snack products to look for on your next grocery trip

By Elisa Bremner, RD
This is the first edition of a series of nutritionist-approved food products on the market.

Snacks are an important and useful way to stave off hunger, bolster nutrient intake, keep energy up and satisfy the occasional craving (for emotional health!). But the best food is always the whole food. For snacks, I recommend fruit, vegetables and “mini meals” like a bowl of soup or ½ sandwich.

Processed, packaged food can fit into your balanced diet, but should never become the basis of your diet. Unfortunately, it’s just not possible for most of us to prepare fresh, whole-food snacks every time we get hungry. Practically speaking, when we’re running around all day, a packaged snack food may be the only option. We have choices. Here are five of my faves:

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Health Benefits of Yogurt

Posted on: October 24, 2014

Deciphering the Yogurt Aisle: Get cultured!

By Elisa Bremner & Amy Rosenfeld

Yogurt ParfaitIt’s official!  Governor Andrew Cuomo named yogurt New York’s official state snack on October 15.  The Governor expects to raise public awareness of the health benefits of yogurt and economic benefits of supporting local yogurt industry. New York has become the nation’s top yogurt producer (making 741 million pounds of the dairy product last year), and health-conscious New Yorkers are literally eating it up.  Here are some of the great health benefits of consuming (the right kind of) yogurt.

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Westchester Registered Dietitian on Helping Kids Make Healthy Food Choices

Posted on: June 25, 2014

Empower Your Child to Eat Healthy…For Life


By Elisa Bremner

Family All Together At Christmas DinnerYour child loves ice cream (who doesn’t?). You love your child. So how do you limit junk food or sweets to help them maintain a healthy weight? In this age of sedentary video game play and easy availability of high-calorie snacks, the challenge for busy parents is finding practical ways to help kids make good food choices.

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