IMMUNITY: HOW CAN YOU BOOST IT

IMMUNITY: HOW CAN YOU BOOST IT

 Happy New Year everyone, as the year 2020 starts health goals commitments should be in our New Year´s Resolution, in WholeFort we care for your overall health and we want you to reach your goals, that's why we are providing you with our top five nutritional tactics to boost your immune system so you can begin in the right path to wellness and make 2020 your healthiest year yet.

  1. PROTEIN

Nutritional status plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system and dietary proteins are at the top of the list, in the previous post we discuss about complete proteins, a complete protein consisting of 9 essential amino acids that are found mainly in all animal food sources but Quinoa been the only vegetable source complete protein. Protein is building blocks, they are precursors of every cell in our body, and as such, they aid in white blood cell proliferation, white blood cells are our main line of defense, so a diet low in protein leads to a diminished state of immunity and overall health.

STRATEGY: Incorporate a complete source of protein in every main meal, being breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

FOODS: All of the next are excellent sources of complete proteins; Quinoa, Eggs, Milk, Breast Chicken, And Red Meat.

  1. PREBIOTICS 

As humans we are colonized by a vast and dynamic living microorganisms, these microorganisms reside mostly in our gut, so, therefore, gut microbiota profile is key in immune status, the microbiota help us breakdown molecules that are body by itself can not, as vast and dynamic as they are not all of them are beneficial so we need to start to nourish our body with the correct sources of prebiotics (sources of food that help proliferate gut microbiota) and in the previous post, we discuss about fructooligosaccharides (FOS), FOS is the best source of prebiotics as they help nourish all strains of beneficial bacteria while others sources like Inulin failed to do so. Yacon happens to be a unique Peruvian food with the highest concentration of FOS, helping not only with microbiota nourishment but with ailments like constipation.

STRATEGY: Aim to incorporate a cup of Quinoa Cereal + Yacon every morning or at night, one serving per day should suffice as a correct dosage to heal and nourish your gut over time.

FOODS: Yacon.

 

  1. ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants foods are those who contain substances called polyphenols (PP) that aid our body in situations of stress and illness, in other words, they help to reduce inflammation and therefore they can indirectly modulate immune response when our system is compromised.

PP encompass an extensive array of molecules, studies on antioxidants and immunity are not consistent because of these, so specific molecules that elicit the most antioxidant activity in humans belongs to the family of anthocyanins, the latter gives food a blueish/purplish color, among the anthocyanins family there´s a specific molecule called C3G that has been taunted as the most bioactive molecule once ingested, the highest sources of food with these molecules include blueberries and purple corn.

In previous posts about Purple Corn, we discuss a novel study where researchers at the Horticultural Sciences Department of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, determined that C3G content in purple corn was in average 16.4 mg per gram, which was 4 times higher than blueberries with an average 3.8 mg per gram. 

STRATEGY: Aim to incorporate a Quinoa Cereal + Purple Corn every morning or at night, one serving per day should suffice to aid and support our immune system.

FOODS: Purple Corn and other bioactive food with lower polyphenols content like blueberries and cocoa powder / dark chocolate high in cocoa.  

  1. MICRONUTRIENTS

There is evidence that deficiencies of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin A, B6, B12, B9, C, D, and E are associated with impairments in immune function. Therefore nutritional treatment should focus on a deficiency if it exists, nevertheless depending on age and lifestyle supplementation of micronutrients can be added to a balanced diet to preserve wellness. As a general recommendation addition of fresh fruits, seeds and complete sources of protein should suffice to cover micronutrients related to immunity.

Quinoa Cereal + Maca is charged with a good dosage of iron, vitamin C and other micronutrients like Calcium that aid not only in immunity but overall health. In a previous post, we discuss Maca´s unique nutrient profile composition,  as this root contains Macamides only found in these plants aiding in cell signaling especially in reproductive cells.

STRATEGY: Aim to incorporate a Quinoa Cereal + Maca to your diet at least 1 time per week, if your an adult try to increase frequency up to 2-3 times, also citric food like oranges to aid with Vitamin C.

FOODS: The following foods are high in micronutrients related to immunity; carrots, red meat, eggs, oranges, tomatoes, kiwis and guava.

  1. OMEGA 3

In previous and recent post we talk about polyunsaturated fats, sometimes called essential fats or as most people like to call them “healthy fats”, it may seem a little complicated to digest because of all of the classifications, do not try to over-think on them because in a balanced diet you cover most of your needs, only try to focus on omega 3 fatty acids, as these type of fatty acid elicit the best response when it comes to immune properties, trying to understand the mechanism behind these can be also daunting just picture them as molecules that help your cell “breath” better, therefore cell communication becomes more efficient and also your immune response.

STRATEGY: Omega 3 rich foods are generally left out in western diet (leaving out marine oils and vegetable oils like fish and seeds) also, there is no daily recommendation when it comes to polyunsaturated fats, but as general rule of thumb addition of seafood twice a week to your diet can be a great strategy.

FOODS: Marine oils, mainly fish like salmon and tuna as they have the best balance of EPA and DHA (components of OMEGA 3), other sources of food include walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, they have a-linolenic acid (ALA) that is another source of OMEGA 3.

Written by Antonio Reyes RDN

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