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Home > Diet Therapy > Diet Therapy Index > General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

Diet Therapy - General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet


The type and the quantity of food you consume is very important for your health. Food provides the energy to your body. For a healthy immune system, the food should provide all the nutrients that are essential for good health.

Food contains several complex chemicals, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. For example, a small clove of garlic contains more than two hundred different chemicals. We cannot survive without food. Absence of good quality food impairs our health by shortchanging our biochemistry. The right diet can keep you healthy, prevent infection, and minimize the need for medications.


Here are some recommendations for healthy eating for a healthy immune system.

Eat a Low-Fat, High-Fiber Diet

Reduce your fat intake. A high-fat diet can lead to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes It is not enough to reduce just the fat intake. You must combine it with a high- fiber intake.

A low-fat, high-fiber diet reduces your risk of degenerative diseases and improves your overall health. Soluble fiber helps move food through your digestive system quickly.

Fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains are good sources of soluble fiber. Another great source for soluble fiber is psyllium husk. Consume at least 25 grams of dietary fiber per day.

Fruits and Vegetables
Eat at least five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They are important source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals provide disease-protective effects to the body.

Adequate protein intake is important for proper immune functioning. Protein deficiency can adversely affect all facets of immune function. If you are suffering from diseases such as cancer and AIDS, you need to supplement your diet with a high-quality protein (e.g., whey protein, soy protein isolate, and egg protein) at a dosage of 0.8 gram per 2.2 pounds body weight. The protein will help prevent the wasting away (cachexia) associated with these conditions.


Drink Plenty of Water
Water is the body's single most important nutrient. Almost all of the body's functions rely on water. It carries nutrients to the cells; carries waste and toxins away from the cells and out of the body; maintains the body's temperature; and provides protection and cushioning for the joints and organs of the body.

We lose water constantly through physiological processes such as sweating, elimination and breathing. This water needs to be replenished. The body does not keep a reserve of water as it does with other nutrients. So, our need for water is continuous.

Experts recommend that a healthy adult should drink one and a half to two quarts of water per day. Sometimes we need more water because of accelerated loss of water due to heat, excessive sweating, diarrhea, etc. When you feel thirsty, drink water.

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