Did you know that your digestive system makes up over 80% of your immune system? In fact, your stomach acid is one of your body’s greatest defenses. This acid helps not only breakdown food for reabsorption, it is also our body’s number one way of killing off unwanted bacteria or infections. Most of us are unaware of just how much our bodies do in an effort to help and protect us. They are constantly working with us in mind. With that in mind the foods we choose to provide our bodies with can make or break its ability to protect itself. For example, some foods can damage our digestive lining and lead to cases of leaky gut.
The Importance Of Digestion
In cases like leaky gut syndrome the wall lining of your digestive system (can be either the stomach, intestines, or both) had become damaged. This means that foods, bacteria, and even viruses that would have been processed through your digestive system’s defense are able to enter the bloodstream. As a result it can often lead to a number of additional health issues. One of the most common issues that appears alongside leaky gut is an excess of inflammation. While inflammation is a natural part of our body’s immune response too much or even a little over a prolonged period of time can have devastating effects on the body. Typically excess inflammation prevents nutrients and white blood cells from getting where the body needs them most. This is one of the reasons why people who suffer from leaky gut tend to experience additional health benefits when they repair their gut health.
Top 10 Foods To Boost Immunity
Due to the importance of the role our gut health plays on our immune system today we are going to talk about some of the helpful foods we can eat more of in an effort to support and boost our immune systems. While there are a number of foods, herbs, spices, teas, oils, and supplements you can use to increase your immunity today we are going to highlight the top 10 best food options. The following is a list of the top 10 foods for your immune system (please note that some foods did not make it on this list due to the fact that they are already under another list for immunity options):
- Citrus Fruits
- Sunflower Seeds
While there are several different foods to choose that can help improve your immunity and overall health one of my absolute favorites is broccoli. Why, you ask, because it is a great way to balance out your hormones. It also helps improve your immune system due to the high levels of vitamin C it contains. The Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium aid in the regulation of blood pressure while also promoting good bone health. Due to the high concentration of antioxidants it contains, broccoli is a great way to slow down aging and reduce our risk of cancer. It is also high in fiber and protein both of which help keep us full longer and aids in digestive regularity. Broccoli is also high in B vitamins and folic acid which can help strengthen your immune system and increase your energy levels.
Have you ever noticed that when we get sick there tend to be a handful of foods that we crave? More often than not it is things like chicken soup or orange juice. Turns out there is a reason! The vitamin C found in high concentrations in citrus fruit aids in the absorption of Calcium and Iron. It is also great for increasing collagen production which slows down the signs of aging and speeds up healing. They are high in fiber which helps you feel full longer while lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Citrus fruits can also increase our energy levels due to the fact that they contain folate and carbohydrates (good carbohydrates). Lastly, they are perfect for promoting optimal health due to their high levels of phytonutrients and potassium. Potassium is critical for our heart health and the prevention of muscle cramping.
Another heavy hitter for more than just our immune system is spinach. Spinach is packed with powerful nutrients such as folate, vitamin A, iron, and vitamin K. Just like other dark leafy greens they also contain fiber, magnesium, and calcium. Similar to broccoli it is another great source of plant-based protein. It can help alkalize the body, lower blood pressure, aid in digestion, and even slow down aging. Spinach helps strengthen your eyes and even help boost your energy levels while increasing your metabolism.
If you are looking for a sweet way to support your immune system you are going to want to stock up on these little guys! While each type of berry brings its own unique additional benefits the majority have a few things in common. They are all rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium, and dietary fiber. All of which helps to provide our bodies with the resources they need to function at their best. Regular consumption of these helpful guys can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve your metabolism. Berries also contain poly nutrients that act as anti-inflammatories which can improve your overall health while also slowing the damaging effects of aging.
Get ready to learn even more reasons why you should love pineapple. Most of us tend to gravitate towards these sweet treats for their taste alone. Turns out your body may be leading you toward it for another reason. Packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants pineapple is a great addition that can help flush the system while also helping to reduce the risk of early aging. While also containing potassium and nearly 75% of the daily-recommended dose of manganese which is critical for bone health and strength. Pineapple also contains Bromelain which is an anti-inflammatory and can aid in the relief of sprains, strains, and other minor muscle injuries. Due to the high fiber content in pineapple and water they can help aid in digestion and promote regularity.
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Serves 4
- 3 Large Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Cut into ½ inch Medallions
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth (low sodium)
- ½ Cup Almond Flour
- 3 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- ½ Lemon Thinly Sliced
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley Minced
- ¼ Cup Lemon Juice Fresh
- 2 Tbsp Capers
- 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- ½ Tbsp Sea Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Heat oil in a skillet, pan-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). It is a good idea to work in small batches. Once chicken has been prepped, move to a warmed dish in the oven. Drain most of the oil leaving only a thin coat on the pan. Stir in garlic and sweat for about 20 seconds. Add broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve any left over bits. Mix in lemon and bring to a boil. Let reduce stirring occasionally to about ⅔ cup (5-8 minutes). Add in lemon juice and capers (you can always swap with pickled mustard seeds) simmer and allow to thicken (5 minutes). Next add in “butter”, let melt and remove from heat. Add parsley and spoon sauce over chicken to serve.
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!