Hello Health Champions. Today I want to talk about the immune system and the top 10 foods that can help it work better. We're talking about your body's capacity to defend itself so it's not like you have an immune system you are an immune system everything about you participates in your ability to defend yourself.
You have 40 trillion cells and every one of them is doing their part. They provide physical barriers to keep foreign invaders out of the skin. The inside the lining of the lungs and so forth we have cell membranes that determine what goes in and out. The virus bacteria they have to get through and pass these membranes. We have mucus which is secreted off a mucous membrane to act as a barrier and trap foreign agents. We have chemical defenses. We have free radicals.
We have phagocytes that secrete toxic substances. That poison these foreign invaders to death. We have detoxification. We have the liver and the spleen and the kidneys that are filtering out these foreign agents and the broken-down substances and then of course we have the cell-based immune system. The white blood cells and this is oftentimes. What people talk about primarily when they talk about the immune system but it is so much more?
Well, it starts with whole food and whole food has vitamins. It has whole complex vitamins. It has minerals in their natural organic absorbable form. It has essential amino acids and it has essential fatty acids. These are the resources that your cells need to do what they do so by eating whole food by eating nutritionally dense food. You're continuously providing resources for your body and your cell to do what it's supposed to do.
Now processed food and fast food it has less vitamins, less minerals, less amino acids and less essential fatty acids because the processing destroys them on purpose okay these have nutrients. So they don't have shelf-life. These have the nutrients removed so that we can get shelf-life.
People often ask what do I take to improve my immunity but we want to think about it as a balance there are some things that help and there's something that hurt immunity and we need to understand both sides of it. So what helps immunity are things like vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A.
These are immune boosters. They are white blood cell activators. They participate in this cell-based immune system. Vitamin A is critical for mucous membranes that act as barriers. Then we have zinc which is the key trace mineral to activate white blood cells. Another important mineral is calcium but what we're talking about is ionizable calcium something that is quickly and readily converted in the body into calcium bicarbonate. And unfortunately, almost all supplements sold are calcium carbonate also known as limestone or chalk.
The body doesn't know what to do with it is very very difficult for the body to convert into calcium bicarbonate. So a really good form would be calcium lactate it's only one step away from becoming calcium bicarbonate. And then of course essential amino acids and essential fatty acids essential fatty acids can help modulate inflammation. They are essential for making up healthy membranes and healthy barriers in the body.
And amino acids or proteins are what makes up all these immune cells. So of course the white blood cells have to be made from something and I'm sure you've heard of immunoglobulins those globulins are proteins. and they require essential amino acids to be put together. But we want to stop thinking about these things as drugs stop thinking about them as pills because we have this drug mentality that if a little bit does something then more is better or more does a lot these are nutrients the body just needs enough and enough is enough when you have enough. Then more isn't necessarily better more isn't gonna do more it's just going to be wasted at times. It could unbalance something else but it's a nutrient all right we don't need mega doses we just need enough.
And then there are things that hurt immunity and this is really important and people forget about this but there is no nutrient there is no pill that can make up for a continuous supply of toxins. So when we eat things like sugar excess sugar excess alcohol. When we smoke we're constantly putting poison in our body there is no nutrient that can compensate for that stress is detrimental and processed foods will deplete your body. And break it down and wear it down gradually it has low nutrient content thigh sugar content high chemical content.
Top 10 list of foods which boosting your immunity
And just one more thing before we get to the top 10 list.So here's what we want to think about that short term I believe that probably 50% of the impact of what you're trying to accomplish and strengthening your immune system. It's not about what you take it's about what you avoid and then I would say probably 40% is due to stress in terms of interfering with your immune system and then the last 10% would be nutrition. and the things that you can take now. These are not exact numbers I'm just trying to give you an idea that probably 90% of the impact on your immune system are things that people don't even focus on they eat sugar, and they stress to death and then they wonder what kind of pill what kind of food can I take? So just keep that in mind as we move into the list
The number one immune-boosting food is garlic. It has a tradition spanning thousands of years of helping people improve immunity. It has an active ingredient a component called allicin which is a sulfur compound. and we know that garlic has anti-bacterial properties, antiviral properties,anti-yeast properties, and anti-fungal properties as well as anti-mold.
So it will actually kill off a lot of these microbes. It'll help us work. So in that sense, it's not so much a nutrient but it has medicinal property in addition to that it has 50% of our daily allowance of vitamin C per 100gram. Now don't go all out on garlic for that reason because it's kind of hard to eat 100grams or three and a half ounces especially. Since it's most potent if you eat it raw it would also give you 10 % of your daily zinc and 18% of your calcium.
Immune boosting food number two is ginger. It's another medicinal food. We don't eat it so much for the nutrient even though. It has some we know it has antimicrobial properties and it has been studied specifically for fungus like Candida like yeast overgrowth.
It can help with digestion. So you can absorb more nutrients but also help have a better gut flora and your biome your gut flora participates in your immune system. So a healthy gut and healthy digestion is certainly of benefit and ginger can also be beneficial as an inflammation modulator.
Food number three is turmeric root. The active component is called curcumin it is also antimicrobial. It is an inflammation modulator but it also has the capacity to reverse the effects of stress. So they found in a study that if you stressed mice. Then they would have certain effects with their adrenal cortex would enlarge and thicken.
They would make more cortisol and their hypothalamus would reduce the amount of BDNF which is a very beneficial hormone eth at we need to make new brain tissue and new synapses in the brain and they found. That turmeric reversed all of those changes. So it has a profound impact on stress turmeric can have a beneficial effect on gut healing. So if you have a leaky gut. It can help heal the lining and it can also help improve the biome.
Cod Liver Oil
Food number four is cod liver oil and I love this picture. It's from a Norwegian grocery store and the section on cod liver oil looks like the section on soda or cereal in an American store one tbsp of cod liver oil has 375% of your daily needed vitamin D.
It has 450% of the vitamin A in a tablespoon but it also gives you these essential fatty acids the EPA eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA docosahexaenoic acid over at the house. and milligrams and over 2500 milligrams. So one tablespoon is plenty to give you all of those things per day and in addition to building healthy cell membranes. These essential fatty acids are also modulating inflammation.
Food number 5 is eggs. And if you have three large eggs a day then you get 33% of your daily vitamin D 30% of vitamin A 22% of your zinc 9% of your calcium. You also get 21 grams of complete protein. It is insulin healthy and what does that have to do with anything well there's been a lot of talks recently about how people are more susceptible to the coronavirus if they're insulin resistant. If they have diabetes.
If they have cardiovascular disease well it's the insulin that's at the key of this. So when we eat immune-boosting foods it's not just what they have it's what they don't have. So we want to focus on these foods that don't trigger insulin and eggs are very very insulin healthy.
Food number six is king crab. How fortunate can we be when a delicacy is also something that's healthy. So six ounces or 170 grams will give us over a 100% of our daily zinc and give us 20% of the vitamin C.
And this was a surprise to me because there virtually no animal foods other than a few organ pieces that have some vitamin C. But here's one of the very few exceptions. It had eight percent of your daily calcium and we'll give you 31grams of complete protein and again it is insulin healthy.
Food number seven is meat. So a six-ounce steak a hundred and 70grams will give you a hundred and 45percent of your daily zinc.
It will give you 40 grams of complete protein and that looks pretty tasty to me and it is still insulin healthy.
Food number eight is the bell pepper. So a hundred grams which are three and a half ounces will give us twice the vitamin C.
We need all the vitamin A a little bit of zinc and calcium. But every bit counts and also they have lots of minerals and trace minerals and still, it is very insulin healthy.
Food number nine broccoli. A 100 grams three and a half ounces will give us 148 percent of our daily vitamin C 21 % of the vitamin A a little bit of zinc a little bit of calcium and again no problem for the insulin.
Food number ten pumpkin seeds. Three ounces of 85 grams will give you almost all of the zinc. You need in a day 5% calcium and 40% of healthy fats they're not as healthy as the fish fats because the fish fats are already in the EPA / DHA form that we need but some of these fats can be converted into those end products. And we get all that without messing with insulin.
So it's about getting a wide variety of whole foods I've given a few examples of some really good foods but keep in mind it's even more about not putting in things or not doing things that stress you and destroy your immune system I believe the vast majority of health problems come from the damage you do from sugar and chemicals and stress.