Let Food Be Thy Medicine, Unless…
Whole foods are usually considered the best way to get your nutrients. Whole foods are a combination of nutrients and micro-nutrients which work together to provide the best combination for total nutrition.
For instance, salmon is known as an excellent source of the essential fatty acid Omega-3. It is also a rare food that is a good source of vitamin D and zinc. Naturally, it is also a protein source full of essential amino acids. This same concept can be applied to all other whole foods, and it’s fascinating!
However, some research indicates our food may not have as many nutrients in it today as it did decades ago. This may be especially true for foods we grow such as fruit and vegetables, and also applies to fish, beef, and poultry which are fed corn or other unnatural diets. Scientific American Magazine published the article Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious? which explores this subject.
Our food may not have as many nutrients in it today as it did decades ago. One solution is to choose foods grown on organic farms.
This is possibly ideal, but not necessarily in reach for all people, especially those who live in the food deserts of our inner cities.
Immune Support Supplements
Another option is to consider appropriate supplements, especially food-based supplementswhen possible. There are dozens of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. The following are especially critical to your immune system and may be worth supplementing in addition to eating whole foods:
There are dozens of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy
Vitamin D3 is the bioavailable form of vitamin D. Many people who live in cold climates or who use sunscreen on a daily basis are deficient in this essential nutrient. Dr. Mark Hyman says the recommendation of only 600 IU/day to not be deficient is significantly short of what is actually needed to be healthy. He recommends at least 2000 IU/day for adults and 1000 IU/day for children once the body is at a good level of vitamin D. It can take up to 6 months of significantly higher doses to reach normal levels.
Vitamin C is well known as an immune support vitamin. Once again, deficiency is becoming surprisingly common as more and more people eat fewer and fewer whole foods. Vitamin C runs through the body in about 4 hours, so a time release vitamin C taken throughout the day can keep it in your system.
Zinc has received a lot of attention in recent years, particularly as an immune support. Zinc is best taken with food as it can cause an upset stomach.
Probiotics help keep your intestines stocked with what they need to process food, extract nutrients, and eliminate toxins. If you take or have taken anti-biotics your system may be extremely short of these vital healthy bacteria. Taking a daily probiotic supplement is an immune support habit.
Fish Oil helps to flush out your liver, and contributes to the building of every cell in your body. If you don’t like fish or eat fish less than 3 times per week, taking an Omega-3 supplement may help support your liver’s ability to function at its best, and clean up your blood, supporting your immune system. Omega 3 also affects brain development. Omega 3 also affects brain development
Natural Anti-viral/Anti-bacterial herbs:
- Echinacea and Goldenseal are herbs many take at the first sign of an illness
- Green tea extract has been recognized for its health benefits for thousands of years
- L-lysine is an essential amino acid often included in over the counter herpes virus formulas
- Garlic is a natural anti-bacterial
Adding a fiber supplement or gentle colon cleanse for detoxification may also help you get back in the game.
Illness is no fun. Prevention is better than recovery. Follow the 7 Habits of Immune Support, including supplements when needed, and stay ahead of the game rather than having to Get Back In the Game.