Foods that Boost the Immune System – continued
Last week you saw how “real” foods are immune boosting foods and how processed foods weaken your immunity. This week I’ll share with you exactly which foods boost immune system strength and can help support your body against Staph and MRSA infections. You’ll also see which foods and ingredients are best to avoid.
What foods should you eat?
When it comes to a Staph or MRSA food diet, I’m a big fan of keeping things simple. It’s also good to start slowly and avoid big changes overnight. While there’s a time and a place for meal plans, restrictive diets and calorie counting, you can easily strengthen your immune system by sticking with the key principles below:
- Eat more raw foods. Raw foods look just like they did when they were plucked from the tree, plant or ground. Raw fruits, vegetables and greens are packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals for your immune system. For example, eat raw berries instead of jelly or fruit juice, raw nuts instead of roasted and raw vegetables instead of cooked or canned.
- Read the list of ingredients. “Real” foods should have ingredients you can actually pronounce and identify. Generally speaking, the shorter the ingredients list, the better the food.
- Choose nutrient-dense foods. These foods have not been bleached or otherwise processed, which can remove the beneficial nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and other phytochemicals. Choose raw potatoes over dehydrated, or better yet, sweet potatoes or yams. Choose brown rice over white rice, or whole wheat pasta over white pasta.
- Eat more beneficial fats and oils. Fats and oils are actually very important for your health and immune system. Olive oil is one of the best oils for raw food applications and low heat cooking. Coconut oil is ideal for high heat cooking. Daily supplementation with cod liver oil and flax seed oil give your body the crucial omega-3 oil fatty acids lacking in most foods.
- Fermented foods. Foods with live beneficial cultures help maintain and replenish the healthy, infection fighting bacteria inside your gut. Foods like kefir, Kombucha tea and miso are a good source of live cultures.
- Include more immune-stimulating ingredients. When cooking, include ingredients like turmeric, fresh garlic or ginger, shitake mushrooms and essential oils that boost your immune system and help ward off bacteria.
What foods should you avoid?
What you DON’T eat is just as important as what you do eat. Some of the biggest foods and ingredients to avoid include:
- Processed sugar. If you had to pick just one change to make to your diet, minimizing processed sugar is probably the most important. Not only is excess sugar stressful on your immune system, it also sets you up for many diseases and it feeds Staph and MRSA infections.
- Hydrogenated oils. These so-called ‘plastic fats’ wreak havoc with your body’s systems. Over time they can weaken you immune system and are implicated in diabetes, heart disease and a host of other illnesses.
- Artificial ingredients. The word ‘artificial’ anyplace in the ingredients list means it’s a processed food and best eaten sparingly.
- Refined and processed foods. As mentioned above, if the list of ingredients is long with really big words you can’t pronounce, it’s probably best to avoid.
- Be careful with dairy products. Many people have allergies or low-grade sensitivities to processed milk, egg and cheese products that can tax the immune system over time.
Food is medicine
Many leading wellness and medical authorities believe that foods play a powerful and largely unnoticed role in a wide range of illnesses. When you understand how real food works, its role in wellness become clear. The human body has evolved and is genetically keyed to use natural foods for energy, growth and to build and supply the immune system.
Foods and diet alone may not be a cure-all for infections, but they play a bigger part than most people realize. In fact, an immune stimulating diet may just tip the scales toward recovery if you have MRSA or recurring Staph infections.
To your continued health,
Microbiologist and Natural Health Expert