Eating for Immunity

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Eating for Immunity


(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Nikki, a whole foods chef and educator. Today, we are going to learn about our immune system. What it is, how it works, and how we can support our immune health through food and other healthy habits. (upbeat music continues) What does our immune system do? The immune system is a complex, innate biological network.

That defends our body from infection. It includes various organs, cells, proteins that work to protect us from things that threaten our health, like pathogens, injury, and other forms of inflammation. The strength of our immune system is based upon exposure and support. When we encounter a variety of experiences, day in and day out,.

We expose our immune system to lots of potential threats, germs from animals and other people, microbes in the air and our food, compounds in the air and water. When our immune system is regularly and mindfully exposed to elements in our air, water, and food it builds defenses against the things that can harm us. Without proper exposure, our immune system is weak.

And unable to withstand new experiences, places, and foods. Exposure is not the only way to prepare ourselves for potential threats. We can also take steps to purposefully support our immune system through our habits. There are many things we can do to give our immune system the best chance of fighting off environmental, viral, or bacterial threats.

(upbeat music continues) So how do we build a strong immune system through exposure and support? First, we need to expose our immune systems to a variety of environments. Walks in new areas, like hiking trails, beaches, even taking a scenic drive with the windows down, this will help inoculate our gut with beneficial flora straight from our environment.

No probiotics needed. Every new area you visit has a new variety of organisms. Supporting our immune system can be as simple as staying well-hydrated with water, to the more difficult task of removing things that impede immune function, like sugar, alcohol, and processed food. Other forms of support can include regular rest and adequate nighttime sleep,.

As well as the introduction of targeted nutritional supplements. (upbeat music continues) How does food affect our immune system? Gut health is a huge topic, but it's also the foundation of our immune system. Supporting your gut health can be achieved through a lot of these recommendations, including being out in nature,.

Consuming some form of probiotic, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and also, by staying hydrated. (upbeat music continues) How do vitamins and minerals support our immune health? Many of the recommendations that support our whole health are also the same that support our immune system. That being said, eating a variety of produce with all the colors.

Is the key to supporting our immunity. The nutrients, water, and fiber in our fruits and vegetables keeps our immune system functioning well. Eating a variety of fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables, will feed the beneficial gut bacteria. Even better, go to a farm stand, farmer's market, or order a CSA box delivery. Make sure that you wash your fruits and vegetables.

But even when washed, they may have the remnants of its growing environment on its leaves, skin, and roots, which can introduce more beneficial organisms to your body. This brings up the importance of buying organic produce when necessary. Check out the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list for a rundown on which fruits and vegetables should be purchased organic.

To avoid high pesticide residues. We want the benefits from the environment of our produce without the harmful chemicals present in some growing conditions. What are some other things we can do to support our immune health? When it comes to drinking caffeine, switch to tea, like ginger, peppermint, green tea, or turmeric. Try to avoid alcohol.

Because it's antagonistic to our immune system. And when it comes to sugar, enjoy it on occasions when you are feeling well, but there's never really a time where sugar will be helping your immune system. If you are feeling ill, traveling, or under a lot of stress, that's the time to double down on healthy habits like limiting sugar intake. Instead of sugary sweets for snacks have some fruit,.

Which are good for hydration, digestion, added nutrients, and have a delicious sweet taste. (upbeat music continues) How do we eat for immunity when we're on a budget? Simply put, eating foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and healthy fats will not only boost your health but also boost immunity. So how do we do this when we're trying to save money? Try to stick to whole, real foods.

Instead of processed or packaged foods, which tend to contain more sugar, industrial oils, and refined flours, all of which do not support immunity and can end up costing us more in the long run. Oftentimes, a quick snack of fruit is not only better for our bodies, but it's also easier on our budget. Packaged convenience foods can be pricey,.

While simple whole foods like beans, grains, and vegetables are fairly inexpensive. While it may take some time to prepare a meal from these foods, in the end, you will have a plate full of nutrients for less money. If fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to find in your area, seek out frozen or canned versions.

Just make sure to check the labels for any added sugars or preservatives.

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