Nothing is truer than the saying, “You are what you eat.” It means what you put in your mouth affects your overall health, appearance, and energy level. If you’re plagued by every new type of viral or bacterial infection, you need to start looking at your diet and other daily habits. Including immune-boosting nutrition in your life can make all the difference between being healthy or spending the weekend treating the flu.
Sometimes, it’s not what you don’t eat, but what you do eat.
Food high in added sugar can destroy your immune system and make it go whacky. It can cause chronic inflammation that leads to numerous diseases, including heart disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes. Even if you eat healthy food it won’t do as much good if it’s sandwiched between cookies and cakes. Consider whole foods for snacks instead of candy. Don’t be misled by some “healthy” protein or granola bars. Read their ingredient list. If sugar or some form of sugar, including corn syrup, is on the label, don’t eat it.
You need good nutrition to build a healthy body.
Don’t pop a multivitamin in the morning and think you’re good for the day. You need whole foods for a healthy immune system. Whole foods contain nutrients that are often more bioavailable, so your body can use them more easily. They also contain phytonutrients such as anthocyanin. It’s a phytochemical that makes blue and deep red foods that color called anthocyanin. It works with other immune-boosting nutrients to improve immunity. Green tea also contains phytonutrients to boost health. It has a catechin called EGCG that provides antioxidant protection.
Focus on whole foods.
Whole foods are foods with limited processing, like cleaning or cooking. They contain all the nutrients that keep your body functioning at peak performance. Foods with vitamins C, D, E, and A boost your immune system. So do foods high in zinc and vitamin D. Red bell peppers and broccoli contain vitamin C. Almonds and peanuts have vitamin E. Yellow and orange foods like sweet potatoes have vitamin A. Fish and eggs have vitamin D. Get zinc from legumes, shellfish, and red meat.
- Some types of food are excellent for preventing a specific disease. A study found that elderberries worked as well as Tamiflu to prevent the H1N1 and flu virus from making you sick.
- Feed your belly bugs. Your second line of defense is your gut microbiome. To encourage the beneficial microbes, eat both probiotic and prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods include soluble fiber that feeds the beneficial microbes. Avoid sugar. It feeds the harmful microbes.
- Eat leafy greens, avocados, lentils, and beans for folate. Folate boosts your immune system. You’ll also find it in eggs, asparagus, wheat germ, and beef liver.
- Selenium is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress. That helps improve immune functioning. Lower amounts are also associated with heart disease, mental decline, and asthma. It’s in Brazil nuts, oysters, halibut, and yellow tuna.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness