Unhealthy eating has become a major issue in the United States. The processed foods that make up the bulk of our food supply are made from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, flour, refined oils, and preservatives. To make matters worse, they are engineered to be addictive. Obesity rates have skyrocketed causing a rise in heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
The foods that we put into our bodies have a major effect on our immune systems. This final lifestyle change in our series is all about taking away the foods that are harmful, and replacing them with foods that are good and nourishing.
The antibodies that help fight pathogens are made of proteins. There are several foods high in protein that contain additional immune boosting nutrients. Beef, pork, seafood (especially crab and oysters), and beans also contain zinc. Zinc helps produce infection fighting white blood cells. Even a mild zinc deficiency can make us more susceptible to infections. Almonds and cashews are also good choices.
Fresh or frozen produce is always good. Try to buy organic if it’s on the Dirty Dozen list. This year’s dirty dozen list has strawberries in the lead, followed by spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, nectarines, apples, grapes, cherries, peaches, pears, peppers (bell & hot), celery, and tomatoes.
We are meant to eat real foods. If you have to purchase anything packaged, choose the one with the shortest, cleanest ingredient list. You control what goes in your basket (or on your grocery order). My motto has always been: If it’s not healthy (or if it might trigger a feeding frenzy), I don’t bring it home.
Making good food choices everyday will result in huge benefits for your overall health and immune system. Of course there will always be special occasions when there aren’t any perfect choices, but life is meant to be celebrated! So, when you’re good most of the time, no harm done!
If you’re craving a tasty treat that fits into this healthy lifestyle, try a Good & Tasty Bakes cheesecake! Now available in minis!