Jonny Bowden, PhD, is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health, and best-selling author of seven books including “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”, “Living Low Carb: Controlled Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss” and “The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth”. A member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Men’s Health magazine and the health columnist for several magazines, Dr. Bowden has written or contributed to articles for dozens of publications (print and online) including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, America Online, Forbes, Time, Oxygen, Marie Claire, Diabetes Focus, GQ, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Self, Fitness, Family Circle, Allure, Men’s Heath, Prevention, Natural Health, and many others. Dr. Bowden has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS as an expert on nutrition, weight loss, fitness and health. He’s a member of the American College of Nutrition and the American Society for Nutrition, is adjunct faculty at Clayton College for Natural Health, and is a much in-demand speaker at conferences and events across the country. His most recent book is “The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer”.
Question: What foods can boost our immune systems?
Jonny Bowden: Improving immunity is something that’s on a lot of people’s minds, and for good reason. And we all have this experience of working in an office and three people get sick and they’re out for two weeks, and then one person gets the bug and he’s back the next day, and one person doesn’t get anything. We’re all exposed to the same germs. But how well we defend against it depends very much on our individual makeup. And since the immune system, like every other system of the body runs on nutrients, getting the right diet and eating the right nutrients goes a long way towards making your immune system run like an efficient engine.
Now, we concentrate a lot on Vitamin C, that’s kind of the “go to” nutrient, and it’s very important, but zinc is probably equally, if not more important. Vitamin A is an enormous immune system booster, the things that are found in all the red foods; cantaloupe and carrots. Vitamin A, very strong immune system booster.
I’m a big fan of Olive Leaf Complex. Now you know, olive oil gets a lot of press because it’s such a healthy fat, but actually the emerging evidence is showing that it may not be the fat that’s in the olive oil, but that it’s a delivery system for these fantastic polyphenols that are found in the olive plant. So, I take, for example, Olive Leaf Complex every day. I think it’s very anti-microbial. It’s been found in studies to be very effective against a lot of microbes, so that’s a good immune system booster. And again, a diet that is really rich in these nutrients will support a well-working, well-oiled immune system.