We're focusing on all things immunity this month at That Clean Life because incase you missed the memo, it's flu season and let's be real - a'int no one got time for that.
What you eat can determine whether or not you get sick. That's why later this month, we'll be releasing an Immunity Booster meal plan to help give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off any pesky illnesses that come its way. Whole foods like fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts contains all those nourishing vitamins and minerals that will help strengthen your immune system so that when you come into contact with the cold or flu, you can fight it off.
If you are one of those people who find yourselves picking up every little bug going around, it's time to take a good hard look at the food you are putting in your body. Processed food tends to be high in saturated fats, salt and refined sugar, all of which make our guts unhealthy and cause inflammation in the body. In turn, our immune systems don't function like they should.
Here is how junk food may be sabotaging your immune system, and how to avoid the trap!
#1. Junk Food = Poor Gut Health = Poor Immunity
We have trillions of tiny bacterial cells living in our intestines, which help break down food, absorb nutrients and keep toxins out. These cells in our guts thrive on what we feed them. So when we feed them too much salt, sugar and saturated fat, it really messes with the entire ecosystem! Junk food causes the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow. Our immune function becomes compromised and then we aren't able to fight off bugs like the cold and flu the way we should.
The good news is that you can heal your gut so your immune system will function at its best. Here's how:
- Eliminate food toxins from your diet like high amounts of salt, sugar and unhealthy fats.
- Replace these things with fermentable fibres like sweet potato, artichoke, leeks, onion, garlic and bananas.
- Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi.
#2. Junk Food = High Inflammation = Poor Immunity
Another thing that happens when we eat too much salt, sugar and unhealthy fats is that our immune system activates the inflammation response in an effort to protect our cells and tissues. As we continue to bombard our bodies with more and more salt, sugar and fat, our immune cells start to overreact and inflammation starts to run rampant throughout the body. This chronic inflammation impairs our immune system's ability to respond when we come into contact with the flu.
But guess what! We can absolutely reduce inflammation in our bodies by eating anti-inflammatory foods like:
- Olive Oil
- Green Leafy Vegetables (like spinach, kale, collard greens)
- Nuts (like almonds and walnuts)
- Fish (like salmon and tuna)
- Fruits (like strawberries, blueberries, cherries and oranges)
(Our Immunity Booster meal plan will contain all of these wonderful ingredients!)
So if you want to stay healthy this winter, give your immune system a fighting chance. Get rid of the junk food and focus on keeping your gut healthy and inflammation at bay.
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