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Fiji Time: 11:50 PM on Saturday 20 September

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The killer within us

Dawn Gibson
Monday, March 31, 2014

IMMUNE systems are all about keeping that balance — it's not solely about having a great diet or about obsessively exercising — it's a daily choice you make to combine a number of good habits and stick to them.

So try not to overdo the crazy diets or the intense gym routines, try instead to allow your day to consist of a proportionate amount of each good thing.

Dr Wahid Khan, chairman of Diabetes Fiji, says another important part of strong immune systems is getting out during the day, stop confining yourselves to your TVs and go hike or something.

"That's the reason you find that people with AIDS have a high incidence of TB. That means the immune system is down," Dr Khan explained in an interview.

"A person who eats healthy, exercises and exposes himself or herself to the sun has healthier immune systems, it's the right kind of food in particular though."

He said the nature of TB was that it could exist in a person's system for years just waiting for the immune system to suffer some kind of blow and then it would hit you.

"And once your immune system goes down, boom. And generally immune systems go down in sickness, especially in diabetics and those with AIDS.

"It's caused by stress on the body. So if you're not exercising, if you're not de-stressing, if you're not taking care of yourself, at a young age you can become deficient. You ultimately should choose between the three groups at every meal.

"Strive for five serves of vegetables every day. It's not difficult. You can have lettuce and tomatoes at breakfast with half an apple or maybe orange," he suggested as a dietary approach.

"At tea time have half an apple, it's not the full thing, just serves of it. You don't have to have a big feast. The worst thing in Fiji is that we miss breakfast and at dinner we eat and go to sleep. Eat good breakfast, good lunches and good small dinners."

He suggested taking heed of the saying "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper".


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