Today our immune boosting strategy will focus on something that can have a HUGE impact on all aspects of our lives, not just our immune system. One of the most important foundations for overall health is our diet. As you all already know from my previous posts I have a strong dislike for additives and preservatives and lots of added sugar. I haven’t always felt this way, trust me I have a serious sugar addiction. However, after my health scare this summer I knew we had to turn things around. I began to do my research and was horrified by what is in our foods and how much sugar we are taking in on a daily basis and not even realizing it. Now I am on a mission to not only change the foods my family consumes but also to share with anyone who will listen the health benefits to eating “real” food.
If children are being bombarded with food sugar, and preservatives their little immune systems can take a huge hit. When little ones take in too much sugar or preservatives their body has a difficult time fighting off the bad bacteria and viruses that it comes in contact with. There has actually been clinical trials done that have shown that sugar can suppress a child’s immune system.
There are also benefits for children who have food allergies. When a child has an allergy their body has to work harder to fight off the inflammation caused by the allergy. This makes fighting off viruses and bacteria in their body more difficult.
So how do you eat a “real” food diet? Start by making your focus be lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, and meat. Fruits and veggies contain so many natural immune boosting properties, it is amazing what a little fruit can do for your system. Try to integrate lots of colorful fruits and veggies, these are high in vitamin C, A, and Phytonutrients. All of these support the immune system. When choosy veggies choose leafy green cruciferous vegetables. These include veggies such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. Peppers, sweet potatoes and squashes are also packed with nutrition.
I know that sometimes it is difficult to get our little ones to eat their fruits and veggies. I have a little nephew who won’t eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and popcorn. It can be a battle at any kitchen table. Even my little ones who are great eaters will have their days. My daughter loves sweet potatoes but there are days when she won’t touch them. So what do you do if you have a picky eater who just won’t eat fruits and veggies? I recommend a product called Juice Plus. Juice is a fruit and vegetable supplement that helps pack the daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables into your little one. My kids love these little fruit chews and call them treats. Even my little nephew will eat them. If you want more information on Juice Plus please click here to read my blog post on Juice Plus and it’s benefits.
It’s not all about fruits and vegetables, you have to get your protein as well. You want to be sure to get plenty of proteins with each of your meal. Proteins are so important because they are the building blocks of the body. This includes your immune system and your detoxification system. We try to eat organic lean animal proteins in our diets. Also, integrate plant based proteins, these include legumes, nuts, and seeds. These animal based proteins are important to get integrate into each meal or snack.
It is also beneficial to add some spice to your diet. Add in some garlic, onion, ginger and lots of other spices to your diet. Adding these spices and others such as oregano and turmeric in your meals can up the nutritional value. Garlic and onions offer a wide spectrum of antimicrobial properties.
With all of this being said it is a wise idea to limit your whole family’s overall intake of preservatives, additives and sugars. Replace those yucky foods with vitamin packed fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats and healthy dairy such as Greek yogurt. For more information on “real” food recipes and blogs check out my recipe section and book shelf.