Fortifying your Immune System with Food
As we begin to transition into Fall, fortifying our body with good nutrition is the foundation for building a strong immune system. Eating a variety of food with lots of color is a simple way to make sure you are getting a broad range of nutrients. Here are a few foods to start adding into your daily diet:
Raw Fermented Vegetables
Over 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. This makes it very important that your digestive system is working properly. Making sure you are getting probiotics daily by taking a supplement or eating a couple tablespoons of fermented vegetables, such as kimchi or saurkraut helps to keep your system in check. A strong immune system relies on a well balanced gut.
Mushrooms are rich in selenium, which is needed for immune function. Shiitake mushrooms have been used for centuries by the Chinese and Japanese to treat colds and flu. They appear to stimulate the immune system, help fight infection, and increase anti-tumor activity.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are full of phtyonutients. Phytonutrients are protective elements that fight to protect our body from harmful toxins, bacterias and viruses. Dark leafy greens are also a great source of chlorophyll, calcium and iron.
Cruciferious vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale help to support your livers ability to flush out toxins. This will help to create a healthy environment for immune cells to thrive.
Garlic is very versatile and healing to the common cold. It is anti-fungal, anti-viral and a natural antibiotic. The compounds allicin and allium in garlic help to ward off germs.
Ginger is very warming to the body. This can be very beneficial if you are experiencing a cold and flu because it can promote a healthy sweat which supports detoxification. It has also been shown to reduce nausea.
Cayenne and other hot peppers not only help clear out a stuffy nose but are also high in vitamin C.
In general, avoid all inflammatory and mucous producing foods if you find your self starting to get sick; this includes processed carbohydrates, diary, red meat, soy, gluten and all forms of sugar. Overeating sugar weakens your immune system by decreasing your white blood cells. Try to aim for a diet that is rich in non-starchy vegetables, fruit, whole grains, ,seeds, and moderate amounts of animal protein to keep you feeling healthy throughout the year.
For more information on healthy eating, proper digestion, seasonal cleansing, and holistic weight-loss contact Holistic Nutritionist at BrittanyS@rootwholebody.com