Editor’s Note: With many of us making New Year’s resolutions and with flu season in full swing, we’re sharing this blog post from Kristen Johnson Brogan, chief mindful living officer at On Target Living. The original post can be seen here.
At On Target Living, we believe the best way to protect yourself from inflammation and autoimmune-related diseases is by building a strong immune system. It’s your No. 1 defense against colds, flus, inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Eating the right foods will help you to build a strong immune system that can help your body fight off sickness naturally and can also prevent you from ever becoming sick. Important nutrients to support a healthy immune system include A, B, C and E vitamins along with essential minerals like potassium, zinc and magnesium, which can all improve gut health. Chlorophyll-rich foods are also beneficial for building the immune system and naturally cleansing and detoxifying the body.
The superfoods found in the center target of the Food Target above naturally contain a balance of these nutrients. They are super powerful foods, which is why they are called superfoods. The most powerful forms of chlorophyll will be spirulina/chlorella and wheatgrass.
Immune Boosting Tips for Kids and Adults
- Eat live foods (anything that rots)
- Example: Apple. When you bite into an apple it turns brown because it is full of live (living) enzymes. When live enzymes are exposed to air, it causes browning, which is called enzymatic browning. These enzymes are also known as digestive enzymes. The reason we have so many digestive problems and food sensitivities is because we lack digestive enzymes from eating too many foods that come in a box or a package, which contain zero digestive enzymes. The No. 1 way to improve digestion is to eat (and chew) live foods full of natural digestive enzymes. Ask yourself if the food you are eating will rot if you let it. If so, you know it is probably a good choice.
- Water (Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Best sources include spring, artesian, ionized and mineral water). If you have acid reflux, try adding fresh squeezed lemon juice to an eight-ounce glass of water every morning.
- Ancient grains (Teff, Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, Wild Rice, Amaranth, Freekah, Oats)
- The reason these are called “ancient” is because they have not been altered since their origin. Therefore, they contain lots of essential vitamins, particularly B vitamins, minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron, along with fiber and antioxidants.
- Fresh fruit (disease fighting antioxidants)
- Fiber (flaxseeds, oats, fruits, vegetables)
- Fermented foods
- Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchee, Napa cabbage, probiotics
- Exercise (daily movement for healthy digestion)
- Sleep (seven to nine hours/night)
- Peppermint or licorice tea
- Turmeric (can use in ground spice form in cooking)
- Lemon and ginger (Use in warm water to make a soothing tea.)
- Virgin coconut oil