13 Foods That Boost the Immune System And
10 Foods That are Immune System Suppressors
Before the coronavirus pandemic gained the world attention, we were and still are facing a serious healthcare challenge: an epidemic of chronic diseases.
Worldwide more than seventy percent of deaths are due to chronic health conditions. Also, chronic health problems are affectingnearly half (approximately 45%) of all Americans, and this number is still growing (1).
So, do you agree that both, the coronavirus pandemic and the epidemic of chronic diseases are serious conditions that threaten our health?
Sadly, the epidemic of chronic health conditions never gained the same VIP attention from the media, despite globally destroying people’s quality of life, shortening lifespans, being the leading cause of disability and premature deaths.
Additionally, having a chronic condition is increasing the risk for severe COVID-19.
According to the CDC (Center for Control Disease) “the groups that are at higher risk for severe disease COVID-19 are older adults and people of any age who have underlying preexisting chronic conditions, particularly if not well controlled, and those include, for example people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, heart conditions, smoking, immune deficiencies, prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications, cancer, severe obesity, diabetes, etc.”
So, more than ever, it is time to take extra care of ourselves, work harder to revert any chronic health conditions and strengthen our immune system.
How to improve from a chronic health condition?
A chronic condition is a physical or mental health condition that lasts more than one year and causes functional restrictions or requires ongoing monitoring or treatment.
As it is scientifically known, the primary cause of chronic diseases is not genetic, but behavioral. Basically, most of the modern diseases are driven by bad choices we make. As an example, nutrient-poor diets, high levels of stress for prolonged time, lack of sleep and inadequate (excesses or lack) physical activities (2)
Normally, these bad choices are repeated over and over again, for years in a roll. In particular, many individuals spend their entire lives eating a diet lacking in vital nutrients, being overwhelmed and stressed, not sleeping well, and not prioritizing exercise as a daily routine, or simple over exercising. And this is actually a recipe for a disaster.
So, when we face a chronic health condition, it means a strong message from our body that we need to change our habits. Essentially, we need to change our diet and adjust our lifestyles in order to be effective and see long-lasting improvements in our health (3).
The good news is that when we give our bodies the right information through a nutrient-dense rich diet and remove the inflammatory “food-like” products from our daily diets, we give our body a chance to recover.
Definitely, the most powerful immune system boosters you will find at the grocery store in the form of food. Real food. And not in the form of drugs or supplements.
So, if you want to prevent and revert a chronic health condition or strengthen your immune system, take the viral epidemic as an opportunity to be changing your diet and lifestyle. And my best advice for you is to try a Paleo diet. A diet rich in nutrient-dense foods that respects our genes (4, 5, 6).
However, if you don’t want to change completely your diet right now,
at least, start including the list of foods below when shopping at the grocery store. Those are powerful immune system booster foods that will help you to prevent and revert chronic health conditions and strengthen your immune system.
Foods to include in your diet:
Garlic (a natural and potent antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic, etc.)
Citrus fruits – filled with C vitamin (7)
Colorful veggies – everything you can find. Diverse as much as possible the produces you shop (8)
Fermented foods (probiotic-rich foods) (9)
Roots and tubers (prebiotic-rich foods) (10)
Liver and organ meats all rich in vitamins A, E, and D, needed to a perfect immune system function, in the form of food (11)
Raw Honey (a potent natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, filled with enzymes) (!2)
Freshly squeezed lemon (with a little bit of raw honey)
Herbs and Spices (all potent antibiotic, antivirus, antifungal, etc.) (13)
Sardines, mackerel, herring, wild salmon (filled with vitamin A, E and D needed for proper immune function) (14)
Pasture raise eggs, chicken and red meat (15)
Bone broth (natural multivitamin/mineral, ready to be digested and absorbed by the body, even when the digestive system is not properly digesting and absorbing) (16)
So, increase your daily consumption of nutrient-dense foods such as liver and organ meat, pasture-raised chicken, eggs, meat, seafood, bone/chicken/fish broths, fatty fish, fresh, local and organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and leafy greens (17).
On the other side, avoid the consumption of inflammatory “foods” and auto-immune suppressors products. Below, you can find a list of the products that I recommend to completely be removed from your diet:
Foods to be removed from your diet:
Processed industrial vegetable and seed oils such as corn, canola, sunflower, soy, cottonseed, peanut, etc. (18)
Margarines and mayonnaise (19)
Artificial concentrated sweeteners - Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet, high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, etc. (20)
Excess alcohol intake (21)
Sugary foods - Sugary and processed products including diet sodas and soft drinks, juices, sweet teas, energy drinks, processed honey, candies, cookies, etc. (22)
Commercial fruit juices – all loaded with sugar
Processed foods such as Crackers, chips, biscuits, cakes, breakfast cereals (one of the worst “foods” on the planet), pancakes, snack bars, packaged pastries, processed flour (even if it is whole and organic because still processed), pasta, bread, etc. (23)
Ready packed frozen meals such as prepared pizzas, nuggets, etc.
Canned foods, unless they are free from preservatives, additives, and all the processed ingredients
Excess caffeine (24)
Hard to digest grains (25)
*If you are dealing with a shortage of food because of the actual virus crisis, just wait for a better time to implement changes in your diet. In this case, maybe start working on your exercise routine, sleep or stress management, and leave your diet to the end of the line.
As you can see, it is crucial to remove from our diet the “food-like” products that are linked with an alarming number of health consequences. The consumption of these foods is associated with the development of inflammatory responses and metabolic imbalances, and are risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and almost all modern chronic disease, and none support good health.
Consider that our ancestors underwent a diet that was dense in nutrients and had active lifestyles. And currently, our diet has abundance of empty calories and inflammatory foods. Also, we are basically living sedentary lifestyles.
It is time for all of us to invest our time, energy and money in anutrient-dense diet, as well as work harder in order to improve our lifestyle. Without any question, these are major weapons we can use in our own benefit to strengthen our immune system and improve our overall health.
I hope and wish that in the coming days everyone realize that we’ll have forever the corona virus around us (unfortunately, we cannot eliminate it from the world). Then, everyone might focus their attention and energy strengthening themselves by taking a good care of their health and well-being.
As you can see, both the pandemic of the corona virus and the epidemic of chronic health problems are conditions that put our health at risk and should receive our attention and care. In particular, this is a perfect time for us to take our health in our own hands and have the courage and discipline to make the necessary changes in our daily diet and routines in order to thrive.
Be strong, healthy, and in peace. Please leave your comment below.