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More Over Five a Day



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Let try a: Salad!



Finding Whole Grains



A Vitamin-Rich diet protects your vision



Five a day in San Diego



The Food pyramid for kids




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Why Eat Fruit and vegetables



Fruit and vegetables Riddle Challenge
















Boost Your Health &

Beat the Flu and Other


Food can do much more than taste good! Good and nutritious food can help you fight many serious diseases! The food you eat does more than provide energy. It can have a dramatic effect on your body’s ability to fight off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and weak bones.

The California Latino 5 a Day Campaign recommends eating 2 to 6 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables every day.

A daily dose of brightly colored fruits and vegetables offers especially good sources of protective substances with their natural compounds of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and vitamins. All of these natural substances are supercharged boosters that will enhance your immune system giving it the necessary strength to fight off viruses like the flu and prevent illnesses.

Scientists have recently estimated that approximately 30 to 40 percent of all cancers could be averted if people ate more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based. Investigators have an inkling of the amount of phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables and how to protect the body by stunting the growth of malignant cells.

Plant-based foods provide complex carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. And they contain very little fat. Because they’re rich in indigestible fiber, they take up space in the intestines, which can help you to protect your heart or ward off cancer. It will also benefit your intestinal tract, and bones, and controls your appetite and your weight.

We all know about the benefits of vitamin C in fighting the flu, but this vitamin is much more than an anti-flu weapon given it interferes in many of the body's functions, such as strengthening blood vessels and capillaries or helping decrease the effects of stress. To ensure increasing the proportion of vitamin C-rich foods in your diet, you may try a variety of citrus which include: oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, pineapple, tomatoes and vegetables, such as raw green peppers, carrots, strawberries and citrus fruit. But keep in mind that by the process of oxidation, vitamin C is easily destroyed, so do not leave peeled, washed, or chopped fruit or vegetables to stand for a long time before eating them. Overcooking also leads to a loss of vitamin C, especially if fruit or vegetables are boiled. Vegetables and fruit are best eaten raw, and if vegetables must be cooked, steam them, which preserves essential nutrients.

Planning to hit the road to the market and need ideas to include in your shopping list?

Remember that brightly colored fruits and vegetables are particularly richer sources of protective substances. Foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and other dark greens contain beta-carotene, which can increase the number of infection-fighting cells, white blood cells (sometimes called “natural killer cells”), and helper T-cells. Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which also helps your immune system by enhancing white blood cell function.

• Tomato products are especially rich in lycopene, a carotenoid that enhances the production of white blood cells to help destroy many types of viruses. Also, whether raw or cooked, it enhances the taste in all your recipes!

• Garlic: Its pungent taste makes it a widely used as a condiment and in natural healing. It is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. It is also helpful in fighting parasitic infections. You can eat it raw or cooked, without losing effectiveness or properties. Garlic can help stimulate your immune system, which is why it is recommended to include one to three garlic cloves in your daily diet. Ideas? You can include it in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, garlic bread, salad dressing, salads and stews. However, don't use it if you are taking a blood thinning medication.

• Onions: The onion sulfur-containing substances in these flavorful foods play an important role in stimulating the immune system by boosting the killing ability of natural killer cells.

For your veggies list: Parsley, celery, watercress, lemon, carrots, spinach and for the juices: apple, coconut, pineapple and grape juice nourish, help cleanse and promote healing.


Supplements are a good idea since they offer an extra help to your regular diet, but they are no replacement for real food. “When you take a supplement, you’re getting specific vitamins and minerals, but not the thousands of phytochemicals that might be present in fruits and vegetables,” says registered dietitian Amy Jamieson of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. “If you eat a sweet potato with its skin, which is a great source of both beta carotene and fiber, you’ll consume at least 5,000 phytochemicals that aren’t present in a beta carotene supplement. That’s a really important difference.”

The California Latino 5 a Day Campaign also recommends that adults be active for 30 minutes and children for 60 minutes every day.

How does exercise help the immune system?

Physical activity is important to your health since regular and moderate exercise will stimulate the fighting T cells into doing their job – attacking foreign invaders like germs and viruses while at the time improving the blood circulation and the amount of oxygen coming into your blood; and in consequence, the blood circulation will improve your heart and lung function and you will get more benefits that will make you improve in many other ways. Actually, your heart and lungs will love it since they will get plenty of oxygen and it will be easier improve their work.

But how can you be active when the cold weather it doesn’t help?

When your body starts to move, you will feel how you start to get heated up by producing the natural energy that makes you sweat off all the toxics from your body. You do not need to look for an expensive gym membership to be physically active; you can start in your own home, walking while you are in a telephone conversation, doing some dancing while you are cleaning and doing house chores, by taking a walk around the neighborhood or a local park with your family, when you go to work by parking far from the entrance, by taking the stairs whenever you have a chance.

You will see that if you are creative, you will enjoy doing much more than 30 minutes a day!

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Stamp Program, an equal opportunity provider and employer through the California Nutrition Network. For more information about the California Food Stamp Program, please call 1-800-952-5253.


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