4 Easy Health Hacks to Bullet Proof Your Immune System
We have been exposed to different viruses and bacteria for years but whether these little critters harm us depends on how resilient (or bullet proof) our immune system is.
There are many ways to bullet proof our immune system but diet is one of the most important!!
Check out these 4 dietary hacks you can do to support your immune system.
1. Ditch the sugar and processed sugary foods. These are the first foods people go for when they are stressed or depressed. We tend to go for the sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, candy, cookies, pastries and desserts. Sugar spikes your blood sugar and is also inflammatory and can weaken your immune system.
2. Eliminate or reduce inflammatory foods. You may already be avoiding inflammatory foods (see my blog post on the anti-inflammatory diet) because of pain or autoimmune condition. However, in over 20 years of practice, I have noticed that everyone that avoids these food has a sturdy immune system and something everyone should do to bullet proof their immune system. The most common foods that are inflammatory are:
High carbohydrate, starchy grains like gluten (wheat, rye, barley) that make you feel bloated, tired and even get brain fog. If you experience fatigue after consuming these foods it’s a good sign you’ve had an insulin surge. When this happens you create a inflammatory response and it depletes your body of anti-oxidants not to mention, harmful to your brain.
Foods fried in conventional oils and partially hydrogenated oils. These include pre-packaged foods, processed foods and fast food. These foods will deplete your antioxidants. They help defend your cells from damage from harmful molecules known as free radicals.
3. Load up on foods rich in flavonoids and antioxidants. The antioxidants prevent cell damage and the flavonoids are phytonutrients or plant chemicals that are rich in antioxidants. Add the rainbow of colors of vegetables and fruit to your diet to support your immune function. Choose more colorful vegetables (beets, red cabbage, kale, spinach, artichoke, carrots) and choose lower glycemic fruit (berries). A good rule of thumb is 7-9 cups of veggies and 1-2 cups of fruit.
4. Diversify your gut community (AKA microbiome). There are trillions of bacterial organisms that live inside our bodies and it’s important to have diversity. A diversified microbiome enhances your immune system. You can support your microbiome by eating a variety of vegetables and fruit. It’s important to vary and rotate your vegetable and fruit intake to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
We are living in uncertain times (health pandemic) and the best line of defense is to maximize immune function so you can protect yourself and those around you.
Check out the eating plan we recommend our patients, here.