Editable Immunity Boosters; What they are — and how you can get them!
If you’re like me, you’re sitting around right now — sort of in a general, ‘semi-quarantined’ state — thinking; ‘How can we help the world in the face of the Corona Virus? What can we do to benefit and protect our families, our communities and ourselves against this invisible invader? And, while we may feel helpless as numbing numbers mount, there is something we can do to ‘shore up’ — and take this enemy head on!
Enter Editable Immunity Boosters — yup, you got it. You can design a diet to give you, your loved ones — and maybe even that elderly neighbor next door, the absolute top shot at boosting the body’s natural immune system. Find out which foods are essential — and also how one home food delivery Start — Up, “Honest Plate”, is rewriting menus and recipes to best boost their customer’s immune systems.
Eating for Immunity —
OK — so the quest to fortify our bodies using food requires a dual approach including both health-supporting foods, and immunity-boosting supplements. What we are actually trying to do here is feed the billions of beneficial bacteria that live in our ‘gut’ — where roughly 70 percent of our immune system lives. Check out these 10 steps toward ‘Eating for Immunity’:
1) No Room for Sweets
Sorry. Sugar and sweets do exactly the opposite of what we are trying to achieve by eating immune boosting foods. Sweets can actually make it much easier to get sick because they starve our beneficial gut bacteria, and overfeed the bad! Highly processed foods are similar. Both lower immunity with gut-health weakening chemicals, allergens and almost no nutrients. Now is a terrible time for filling up your gut with garbage so sayonara sweets!
2) Go Garlic or Go Home
Wow. I guess garlic really does keep bad things at bay — and not just vampires! It is highly advisable to double down on garlic, onions, and their flavorful cousins, at times like these - while you are trying to ‘up’ your immune system. These allium-rich veggies are famous for their anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal attributes. They actually feed your ‘gut’ the fiber and probiotics it thrives on — and we all know how good they smell and taste. Garlic, onions, scallions, chives, leeks, shallots. Raw or cooked. Get chopping!!
3) You Can’t be too Green
Greens. Greens. Greens. The phytonutrients and fiber found in greens have been proven to pump up good belly bacteria, keeping defense systems strong. From here forward find a creative way to get greens into every meal of the day. How about a small salad with every meal? Morning eggs comfortably nestled in a bed of spinach? A handful of kale in soups, salads, stews…smoothies?! Go with greens whenever and wherever you can — just go green!
4) No Cons to Pro-biotics
Probiotics strengthen your microbiome, which is great for your immune system and exactly why they are an absolute MUST when strengthening your body against unwanted intrusion. Our more fibrous vegetables bring us the most probiotics so, in addition to garlic and onions, bulk up on radishes, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes and tomatoes. Interestingly, the chewiest parts of plants, the parts closest to the earth — stalks of broccoli, bottoms of asparagus — are the highest in nutrients for bacterial gut health. No tossing out the ‘bad bits’ — find fun ways to re-use them in salads or soup stock!
5) Fermented Food Anyone?
Incorporating fermented foods into your diet is a must for probiotics, and balanced bacterial gut health. It’s fairly easy to ferment virtually any veggie you like, or buy things like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso or kefir for your ferment fix. Not a fan of ferment? Organic apple cider vinegar in salads, or a tablespoon in a cup of hot or cold water with a bit of lemon juice will also do the trick.
6) You knew it was coming — Ditch the cocktails and brew up some good health!
Alcohol is seldom a good idea (we all know that!) but fear not for your thirst — turning immune-boosting herbs into tasty teas is a great way to help your body build immunities - and treat your tastebuds! Andrographis, elderberry and astragalus are just a few to try. Also bone broths can be a warm and healing addition. Broths made from healthy, grass-fed animals deliver amino acids like arginine, glutamine and glycine to the body, all of which are excellent immunity reinforcements.
7) Spice, Girls
Spice it up and sweat it out! Ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, thyme and cayenne pepper — bring it on and make it hot. Spices are a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti- fungal and anti-viral antidote. Turn up the flavor, turn up the temp, and turn up your immunity all at the same time!
8) Just a Spoonful of… Coconut Oil?
Just a teaspoon a day of coconut oil will add extra flavor — and healthy fats to your system. This oil has powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties that support a powerful immunity defense.
9) Supportive Supplements — Food Needs Help too!
Add anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs like andrographis, astragalus, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, oil of oregano, elderberry extract and lomatium extract to your diet. While your cooped up at home, google how to add these digestives gems to your menus and recipes for optimal kick!
10) Make Room for Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are a great addition to any immunity initiative. Shop for a mixed selection of cordyceps, chaga and maitake if you can. In addition to their many healing properties, mushrooms contain beta glucans, which have positive affects on your immune system.
Countering Corona from Your Kitchen
So, how can Corona be countered from the kitchen? Let’s go to Hamptons’ Chefs extraordinaire, Nicolas Reisini and Jon Albrecht, the brains ‘behind the line’ at home meal delivery start-up, Honest Plate, for an answer. Albrecht explains, “Nico and I are about to begin making Kimchie, Pickled Veggies, Mushrooms, etc. a much larger part of our menu, partially in answer to the Corona virus.
Both pickled and fermented foods can actually be quite delicious and ultra healthy for you. Our pickling brine is made with cinnamon, red wine vinegar and star anise. No added salt or sugars — no unnatural flavors overpowering the produce. Cauliflower, mushrooms, shallots — are all delicious pickled. It’s the same as a classic Vlasik, only better! And these types of foods have been proven excellent for your Gut Microbiome”. (Don’t want to mess with that!)
The Magic of Mushrooms
And don’t even get these Gastro Guys going about Mushrooms. “You know”, they explain, “Most people aren’t even aware that raw mushrooms are actually bad for your gut health. Specialists in the field are very clear, nutrients in mushrooms are released through the cooking process”. (So there we are — muching away on raw mushrooms in our salads feeling great about ourselves — all the while putting our health at risk — or at least not doing anything to promote it!) “We still have lots to teach our community about mushrooms.” promises Reisini.
Honest Plate’s health food aficionados also added an ‘Immune Shot’ to the menu. “Everything is raw — nothing cooked. Garlic, Ginger, Tamarac, Cayenne, and Apple Cider Vinegar.” Albrecht explains.
“And not justanyApple Cider Vinegar — we always make sure we are buying a product sold ‘With the Mother’. By that we mean that the fermenting matter is still present in the bottle, assuring that fermentation continues even on the store shelf. You want to make sure thatyourApple Cider Vinegar has bits floating on the bottom. A bottle that needs to be shaken — that’s what you’re looking for! Lastly, we add some fresh lemon and orange to the ‘Immune Shot’, and you have the most perfect ‘Let me face the world’ potion possible”.
Caring for Customers through Crisis
“Mostly, we are carrying on as we always have here at ‘Honest Plate”. We have always been commited to the clean-eating movement, and the Whole30 nutrition plan. Our menu options have always been delicious, healthy, and locally prepared made from scratch, with clean ingredients and never frozen.
We have always been committed to our customers but now we feel like we’re working for a cause. The Cause? To keep delivering amazingly healthy meals during these crazy times for our clients. To give them something they can do for themselves and their loved ones, to make them strong by fortifying their immunities — and also to give them something to look forward to! We’re always thinking of ways to make things better for our customers. Honest Plate is not going anywhere”, confirms the Chefs, “We’re going to continue to surmount any obstacle to bring our people the food they want — and need. Here — at ‘Honest Plate’, — we’re in it for the long run.”