Eliminate these three harmful foods from your diet to strengthen your immune system and try these immune-boosting tips, including an immune-boosting tea recipe.
It’s been a brutal cold and flu season this year, and you might feel a bit helpless to protect yourself and your family from illness. Whatever the problem is, ultimately you can protect yourself. That is, “Strengthen your own immune system!” Eliminating these harmful foods from your diet is a great start.
Sugar is one of he biggest immune weakening foods. Studies – like this one – have shown that after ingesting sugar, the white blood cells (major immune cells) are temporarily paralyzed.
Related: Learning to Life Without Sugar
Generally, viruses and bacteria are more attracted to sugary liquid in the lab tests. In other words, the higher the blood sugar level, the more susceptible you become to infections. In fact, diabetics are more prone to infectious diseases.
Refined (white) sugar requires huge amount of vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals (calcium) for its metabolism, which also leads to nutritional deficiency and overall immune weakening. Not to mention, virus, bacteria and even cancer cells thrive and grow on sugar.
Sugar not only makes you vulnerable to infections, but also delays the healing process. Just cutting down on sugar (or no sugar at all is even better) can be a big protection from pathogens.
A hot toddy is a traditional cold and flu remedy, but alcohol actually weakens your immune system making your body less able to fight bacteria and viruses. Even a day after you’ve had too much to drink, your immune system is compromised.
3. Meat, Dairy, and Eggs
These foods also require tremendous energy for digestion, so your body is using potential immune-boosting enzymes for digesting those heavy foods instead of fighting off viruses. Another condition for delayed healing.
Strengthen Your Immune System
First and foremost, stay away from the foods mentioned above, as much as you can. Eat simple, alkaline forming foods. A healthy, balanced diet centered around vegetables and whole grains supports immune health. Especially beta-carotene rich vegetables, like pumpkins and carrots, are shown to have anti-infection effect.
Also, chewing is one of the easiest way to protect from infections. Saliva contains very strong antiseptic agents, and also stimulate thymus gland to produce T cells, a main immune cells.
Umeboshi plum has also a very strong antiseptic effect (and stimulate saliva release!). This pickle from Japan is called King of Alkaline, which neutralizes the acid-forming effect of other foods. Miso soup is another great alkaline forming food, and full of probiotics to create healthy intestinal flora.
If you get sick…
Be more strict on sugar, eggs, meat and dairy. Even ZERO, if possible, until your condition improves. Fruits, despite the common belief, are not effective in this case and could even worsen your healing process due to their high sugar content. Eat less food in general and keep yourself slightly hungry to stimulate your pituitary gland and focus your energy on healing instead of digestion
Have umesho bancha tea every morning (recipe below!), which is a great remedy for prevention and healing for infectious diseases, and include miso soup in your daily meal.
Since I started to eat healthily, I never had a bad cold or flu, without flu shot. Ultimately, your health is your own responsibility. So please strengthen your immune system to protect yourself, and enjoy the rest of the season.
Umesho-Bancha Tea Recipe
- 1/2 umeboshi plum
- few drops of shoyu
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (to taste)
- 1 cup kukicha tea, hot
- Remove the pit from umeboshi plum, and mush it into a tea cup. Add the shoyu and ginger.
- Pour the hot kukicha tea over your umeboshi plum mixture, stir to combine, and drink while hot.
Food and drink images via Shutterstock.