WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The last thing any of us wants this winter is to get sick especially with flu season and the pandemic occurring simultaneously. It’s not just vaccines, masks, and good hand hygiene that give you an edge to stay healthy.

Things like proper rest and exercise are considered important but so are the food choices you make each and every day.

It’s no coincidence Linda Lord is making the grocery store produce section her first stop. She’s shopping healthy by filling her cart with “fresh vegetables and fruits because it is healthier and you don’t know what’s in some other things, too,” said Lord.

The benefits of vegetables and low-sugar fruits are many.

“You just want to keep that in mind. Increase those as much as you possibly can,” stated Mark Mincolla, Ph.D.

Nutritional Therapist Dr. Mark Mincolla knows plenty about products that can help lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and even prevent some kinds of cancer.

“Prevention is an important part of health and wellness and the idea is to not wait until there is a problem but to actually prevent it,” explained Dr. Mincolla.

So what does Dr. Mincolla recommend you put on your grocery list?

“A lot of berries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, a lot of spinach, a lot of green beans, a lot of asparagus, broccoli. So, green vegetables, low sugar fruits,” said Dr. Mincolla.

While filling up on those, he says limit foods containing the protein component arginine. It’s found in corn, egg yolks, red meats, nuts, and even protein powders.

“So those are high arginine foods and arginine once again will strengthen a virus, it will help it to replicate, to reproduce and if we want to get an edge on viruses, you want to make sure we stay away from a lot of arginine in our diet,” explained Mincolla.

Limit high starch foods too like white bread, white rice, cereals, cookies and similar sweets. They’re linked to inflammation.

When asked what is the danger of sugar especially as we live in this COVID and flu atmosphere this winter, Dr. Mincolla said, “Well, we’ve estimated that approximately 70 percent of all diseases and sicknesses, 70 percent, are driven by inflammation at some level of the body.”

Food for thought for shoppers like Lord.

“I am trying to stay healthy with all those things,” Lord said.

Be carbohydrate conscious, too. Too many carbs can raise your blood sugar levels.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mincolla has written a book called The Way of Miracles: Accessing Your Superconsciousness. It details his approach to life, including dietary changes he’s made, to help him overcome Lyme disease.

For a brief synopsis and to learn more about Dr. Mincolla’s book you can head over to this website.