Everyone is on high alert and taking vigilant measures to stay healthy, but you’ve got to do more than just wash your hands and wear a mask. An important way to boost your immune system is to reduce inflammation. If you’re eating animals, animal products (dairy), and/or processed foods, you are increasing the inflammation in your body, which weakens your immune system, leaving you vulnerable. Rick’s latest column in Vegan Magazine on reducing inflammation via a whole-foods, plant-based diet explains the facts with the aid of Dr. Vivian Chen.
The best defense against viruses and flus is to build your defense – ie strengthen your immune system. Again and again we urge to “eat the rainbow.” By eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables (at least five servings daily), you are fortifying your defense with vitamins C, E and A. While some people are buying up all the zinc lozenges available, it’s best to get zinc from the foods you eat. Zinc-rich, plant-based foods include chickpeas, lentils, hemp seeds and cashews.
Limit the intake of processed foods because you will get an immunity boost from the gut bacteria that thrive on a whole-foods, high-fiber diet as opposed to the bacteria that comes from highly-processed sugars. Consuming fermented foods and drinks that are rich with probiotics (such as found in kefir, yogurt, kimchi and kombucha) add bacteria that can help keep your immune system strong. One of the best precautions to take to protect yourself from the coronavirus is by making smart food choices.
Probiotics help strengthen the immune system and one way to take them in is by drinking kombucha. It is made from black or green tea that ferments for a week or more. The probiotics provide healthy bacteria to your gut that aid in overall health, enhances digestion and reduces inflammation.
Kombucha made from green tea has the added health benefits of enhancing weight loss and helps control blood sugar. Kombucha is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to kill harmful bacteria. The carbonated “mushroom” tea that contains less than 0.5% alcohol has heart healthy benefits such as improving bad (LDL) cholesterol and good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Drinking kombucha may help protect from cancer. Some people attempt to make kombucha at home, but be careful because if it’s not prepared properly, it may present adverse health effects. Many commercial kombuchas are loaded with sugar so be sure to read the label.
From our friends at Switch4Good: