Nutrition and the Holocaust

Last week was   “Holocaust Education Week” This week there are still some programs, that one can attend. I attended one on the KinderTransport”

So let me tell you the story I tell to so many of my audiences, My Mom is a Holocaust survivor, and let me share with you how NUTRITION helped save her life.

There was not much to eat, the rations were poor and small. Most of the time old stale bread was handed out as well as old moldy cheese. None of the girls liked the old moldy cheese, my mom traded her bread for cheese.. Besides keeping feeling satiated for much longer it helped heal her. When my mom was liberated she could not gain entry to “Palestine” since she tested Positive for Tuberculosis. But she was never ill and never had any symptoms. Upon further investigations and x-ray it was apparent here lungs had healed themselves during this trying period, How? In such poor conditions? Well old moldy cheese has lot of calcium and Vitamin D a great healer transports into your body in a fat. So what you eat can save your life.

This winter we all need to be vigilant what we eat for optimum health. Here are some ideas to keep your immune system at it optimum and ward off flu.One of the tricky things about dealing with cold and flu viruses is that they do not respond to antibiotics which destroy bacteria. The best way to prevent cold and flu infections is through natural remedies that boost the immune system and help your body cleanse toxins.

Red Grapes and Blueberries:

These blueberries are a great way to boost immunity, there active ingredient-reservatrol  in red grapes and pterostilbene  in blueberries work to support the immune system.another berry, the little acai berry’s dark color signals that it is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. While the acai is not scientifically linked to specific disease- or illness-fighting ability, antioxidants may help your body fight aging and disease. Acai berries can be found in a powder form at your health food store, mix it in your juice or smoothie. Or find it dried  and mixed with granola or cereal.

Rice bran:

A great immune booster, eat brown rice that contains the bran, ( try to soak the rice before cooking) buy just the bran and add it to your smoothies and cereal or top  you yogurt.

Button Mushrooms:

Don’t dismiss the lowly mushroom as nutrient poor: It has the mineral selenium and antioxidants. Low levels of selenium have been linked to increased risk of developing more severe flu. And the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, found in these mushrooms, play a role in a healthy immune system. Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects.


Easy to find at the grocery store and incorporate into meals, broccoli is an immune-boosting basic. One study reported a chemical in broccoli helped stimulate the immune systems of mice. Plus, it’s full of nutrients that protect your body from damage. It has vitamins A, vitamin C, and glutathione. Add some low-fat cheese to round out a side dish with immune-enhancing B vitamins and vitamin D. The common cold has been “bugging” us since ancient times. The average child catches between six and 12 colds a year and the average adult comes down with a cold two to three times a year. The flu is very contagious and is easily spread when people spend more time together during cold weather. Since flu viruses are contagious a day before any symptoms show up and a week after someone is sick, it’s hard to know when you’re exposed.
Sweet Potatoes:

Beta-carotene improves your body’s defenses. It’s instrumental in the growth and development of immune system cells and helps neutralize harmful toxins. Sweet potatoes and other orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin, egg yolks and cantaloupe are top sources.

Wild-caught salmon:

In a recent study, participants with the lowest levels of vitamin D were about 40 percent more likely to report a recent respiratory infection than those with higher levels of vitamin D. Increase your intake with salmon. A 3.5-ounce serving provides 360 IU, and some experts recommend as much as 800 to 1000 IU each day.


The digestive tract is one of your biggest immune organs, so keep disease-causing germs out with probiotics and prebiotics, found in naturally fermented foods like yogurt. One serving a day labeled with “live and active cultures” will enhance immune function according to a study from the University of Vienna in Austria.


Heart-healthy almonds provide the immune-boosting antioxidant vitamin E, which can reduce your chance of catching colds and developing respiratory infections according to researchers at Tufts University. You’ll need more than a serving of almonds for your daily dose though, so try fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, turnip greens and wheat germ, too.


Even though vitamin C-rich foods (hello, oranges!) are probably the first thing you think of when you feel a cold taking hold, Grotto says the illness-preventing power of that antioxidant is debatable. That said, some studies show it can reduce the intensity and duration of cold and flu, so it’s worth a try. One cup of strawberries provides 160 percent of your daily needs.

Dark chocolate:

Nutrition experts agree that dark chocolate deserves a place in healthy diets, and a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition says it can boost your immunity, too. High doses of cocoa support T-helper cells, which increase the immune system’s ability to defend against infection.

Spicy Foods:

We all know the strong flavor of foods like garlic, ginger, horseradish, onions and cayenne pepper when they’re eaten raw. The chemicals that give these hot and spicy foods their kick are also responsible for their immune boosting power. These foods act as antiviral remedies, enhancing your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight viral infections. These antiviral foods work best when consumed throughout the year to keep your immune system in top form.


Garlic  is well known throughout history as a food that fights infections from bacteria and viruses. The BBC reported in 2007 that garlic can help prevent and fight the common cold. Allicin is one of the immune stimulating nutrients in garlic that is released when you cut, chop or crush the cloves. Garlic stimulates the activity of immune system cells that destroy cold and flu viruses. An added bonus from eating fresh garlic is that your strong breath can discourage sick people from wanting to get too close!


Purple and white onionss contain quercetin, a nutrient that breaks up mucus in your head and chest while boosting your immune system. When the smell of raw onions makes your nose run and your eyes tear up, this stimulates your immune system to fight infection. Onions also contain allicin which slows down and kills a variety of viruses and bacteria. The pungency of onions increases your blood circulation and makes you sweat. This effect is helpful during cold weather to prevent infections and to sweat out a cold or flu. Consuming fresh raw white onion within a few hours of the first symptoms of a cold or flu is when you’ll get the strongest immune effect.


Ginger reduces fevers, soothes sore throats, and encourages coughing to remove mucus from the chest. The chemicals shagaols and gingerols in ginger give it that spicy kick that stimulates blood circulation and opens your sinuses. Improved circulation means that more oxygen is getting to your tissues to help remove toxins and viruses. Research from the Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan indicated ginger has the ability to help prevent and treat flu infections.


Horseradish strengthens your immune system and increases blood flow to parts of your body irritated by cold and flu infections to remove wastes. This pungent food encourages you to flush out infected fluids through sweat and increased urination. Horseradish is known to stimulate your lungs to cough out mucus from colds and flus while heating up your body. This powerful plant is also antibacterial which prevents other problems like sinus infections from taking hold while you’re sick.

Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne pepper contains the chemical capsicum, a rich source of vitamin C that aids your immune system in fighting colds and flus. The powerful effect of vitamin C comes from bioflavinoids that help your body produce white blood cells, especially the white blood cells of your lymphatic system that cleanse your cells and tissues of toxins. Cayenne pepper, also full of beta carotene and antioxidants that support your immune system, helps build healthy mucus membrane tissue that defends against viruses and bacteria. Spicy cayenne peppers raise your body’s temperature to make you sweat, increasing the activity of your immune system.

So eat right, exercise, and keep healthy.