With our world in the grips of a pandemic, we’ve been receiving an unprecedented amount of questions from our patients about how they can support their immune system and stay healthy in the wake of COVID-19. In light of these concerns, we have developed the Hache Protocol Immune Boosting Plan, which is our strategy for keeping your immune system top-notch when it matters most. Each week we will delve further into the concepts of this plan, and this week we’re addressing nutrition.
Hippocrates famously said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” and that adage rings true to this day. As one of the guiding principles of The Hache Protocol for Pain Resolution™, nutrition is a fundamental aspect of any healthy body and a healthy immune system.
Many of us understand the idea that our nutrition influences our overall health, but it can be tricky to know precisely what immune boosting foods or supplements to take. Here are some pointers to help you eat right to keep your body safe and strong!
How Nutrition Affects Immunity
As we stated in our blog Microcurrent for Immunity , your immune system is comprised of various biological activities and structures working together to protect you against disease and illness. Making sure your body gets the necessary vitamins and nutrients will ensure your immune system can spring into action when it encounters dangerous pathogens.
A 1997 study found that malnutrition was the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide. Protein malnutrition especially can significantly impair cell-mediated immunity.
Malnutrition is defined as not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or being unable to process the food that one does consume properly. Malnutrition can be expressed as undernutrition, being overweight, micronutrient deficient, or having micronutrient excess.
The Western Diet: Sabotage to The Immune System
Malnutrition isn’t limted to starving children in third world countries. It affects people in every country of the world, including wealthy western countries. This is because many people aren’t consuming the proper balance of essential vitamins and nutrients needed. This lack of nutrition is a hallmark of the western diet, which typically features high-sugar, high-calorie, high-fat, and low-fiber foods.
A 2018 German study showed that the immune system responds to the western diet in the same way it responds to infection from dangerous bacteria. It was found that over time, consuming a diet comprised of high-calorie, high-fat, low-fiber, and fast food can lead the immune system to become hyper-responsive to inflammation triggers. You can see how this lack of nutrition can cause your immune system to take a nosedive, leaving you unprotected.
Hydration Makes A Difference
When you think of nutrition, proper hydration might slip your mind. But a 2012 study found that dehydration resulted in immunosuppression, or deficiency of the immune system.
According to Mayo Clinic, your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are, and where you live. A safe daily estimate for a healthy adult living in a temperate climate is about 15.5 cups of fluid for a man and 11.5 cups for a woman. It is important to remember that roughly 20% of your daily fluid intake comes from food, so making sure to stock up on hydrating foods like cucumbers, lettuce and watermelons is always a good idea.
Drinking enough water will provide you with the following benefits:
- Promotes lymph production – As we discussed in our blog Microcurrent for Immunity, your immune system uses lymph to circulate white blood cells and nutrients through your entire body. Water is essential to produce lymph; without it, your white blood cells and other immune cells would be unable to travel throughout the body to fight off disease and illness.
- Oxygenates your blood – Water carries oxygen to all the cells in your body, ensuring all your systems are functioning adequately.
- Flushes out toxins- Water ensures that toxins don’t build up in your body by allowing your kidneys to remove toxins, your cells to take in nutrients, and your body to expel waste.
- Helps with digestion- If you are dehydrated, you may become constipated, or develop even more severe digestive issues.
- Keeps your eyes, mouth, and nose clean- Drinking water will ensure your mouth, eyes, and nose remain moist and able to repel dust dirt and parasites.Staying hydrated will also prevent cracks in your nasal canal and throat where pathogens can enter the body.
Key Vitamins and Nutrients for Immunity And Where to Find Them
Knowing what vitamins and nutrients to focus on when considering the immune system can empower you to feel confident that you are doing what’s best for your body. Let’s look at some of the essential vitamins and nutrients you need for immune system health and where you can find them in the foods you eat every day.
Vitamin A- Vitamin A helps bolster the immune system by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines, and respiratory system healthy.
- Vitamin A Rich Foods- Sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, apricots, eggs, and fortified foods such as milk and some cereals are all high in vitamin A.
Vitamin C- Vitamin C helps the immune system by promoting the formation of antibodies. We recommend the Spray For Life® Vitamin C + Zinc NanoSyzed™ formulation because it provides quick and more complete absorption, and includes zinc, a robust immune-supporting mineral that we will discuss later. 240 mg will be an effective dosage when using Spray For Life® Vitamin C + Zinc NanoSyzed™ formulation due to its ability to be more easily absorbed by your body. When using other forms of vitamin C supplements, we suggest taking upwards of 4000 mg, as much of the supplement will be expelled in urine.
- Vitamin C Rich Foods- Oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, red bell peppers, strawberries, papaya, and tomato juice are rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin D- Vitamin D helps reduce the severity and length of many illnesses. For immune system protection, take 10,000 IU of vitamin D three days in a row. If you are sick, that amount can be increased up to 150,000 IU per day. Spray for Life NanoSyzed Vitamin D is one of the best-absorbing and easy-to-take Vitamin D-3 supplements we have discovered on the market.
- Vitamin D Rich Foods- fish with high oil content like salmon and tuna, cod liver oil, mushrooms, whole milk, egg yolks, Vitamin D fortified orange juice, and fortified cereals are good food sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin E- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that aids in immune function.
- Vitamin E Rich Foods- Almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, spinach, squash, kiwis, olive oil, and broccoli are foods rich in vitamin E.
Zinc- Zinc is an essential mineral essentialfor the normal development and function of cells facilitating innate immunity. To double down on protection, you can find zinc in Spray For Life® Vitamin C + Zinc NanoSyzed™ formulation.
- Zinc Rich Foods- Beef, oysters, chicken legs, tofu, hemp seeds, oatmeal, mushrooms, and low-fat yogurt are foods high in zinc.
Selenium- Selenium is a mineral that protects the liver, keeping it healthy and ready to work in tandem with the rest of your immune system.
- Selenium Rich Foods- Brazil nuts, Yellowfin tuna, lean pork chops, shellfish, beef, tofu, shrimp, and whole wheat pasta are sources of selenium.
Increased protein intake- You can build a proper immune response by eating more protein than sugar. Sugar is like gasoline on a fire for inflammation and should be avoided.
- Protein Rich Foods- You can find protein in meat, eggs, cheese, legumes, tofu, soy products, and hemp products.
Probiotics for Immunity- Gut Health Matters
There is growing scientific evidence to show that probiotics may not only treat but prevent some illnesses. Probiotics work by balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut, ensuring proper immune function. Balanced digestion means you may absorb vitamins and nutrients from the foods you eat, making the most of every bite.
- Probiotic by Sana- This probiotic supplement is bursting with beneficial bacteria. The capsule is specially formulated to pass through the stomach without dissolving and continue its way towards the intestine, where it will start the dissolution process and begin to work.
Try This Immune-Boosting Herbal Remedy
Echinacea is a North American coneflower, used in traditional Native American medicine.Research has shown that echinacea increases the count of white blood cells in your body, which work to fight off infection. Taken as soon as you notice symptoms, many experts feel that it can help to avoid or lessen the effects of colds and flu.
- Echinacea Rich Tea- Try Sana Therapeutics Tea: Immuni-Tea, this delicious, minty tea will help you resist symptoms of viral and bacterial illness by boosting the immune system.
Immunity Green Goodness Smoothie Bowl
Enjoy this tasty and easy immune-boosting smoothie bowl to kick start your day, or as a nighttime snack in place of ice cream. You’ll be blown away by the vibrant colors, textures and flavors this smoothie bowl has to offer, and your friends on social media will be in awe of how beautiful it looks!
- 1 Handful of spinach or baby kale (Vitamin A)
- 1 Avocado (Vitamin E)
- 1 Cup of Milk (Vitamin A, Vitamin D) Or a milk substitute such as hemp milk, soymilk, or oat milk if vegan.
- ½ Cup of low-fat yogurt (Protein, Probiotics, Zinc) Or non-dairy yogurt if vegan.
- 1 Kiwi without the skin (Vitamin E)
- 1/4th Cup of Oats (Zinc)
- A splash of orange or papaya juice (Vitamin C)
- 1 frozen Banana (Yum)
Decorate the top of your smoothie bowl with Vitamin C rich strawberries, orange segments, or goji berries, then sprinkle a hearty serving of Vitamin E rich almonds and unsalted sunflower seeds in pretty patterns.
1. Place all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until texture is smooth and silky.
2. Transfer Green Goodness mixture into a bowl and garnish. This recipe makes 2 servings.
3. Take a picture and share with your friends on social media. Make sure to tag it with #painfreeforlife so we can see your creation!
4. Enjoy in good health!
- Freeze leftovers in a plastic bag or share with someone you love.
- This is a versatile and easy-to-make smoothie bowl. Feel free to include or substitute any immune-boosting ingredients you have on hand!
Eat Your Way to Healthy
It’s not difficult to eat your way to a healthy body and mind when you know what foods and supplements will support proper immune function. We discussed immune boosting foods, nutrition and the immune system, supplements for the immune system, and how you can incorporate these essential vitamins and nutrients into your regular diet. Some of us are finding ourselves with more free time these days. Why not take advantage of that time to improve your diet? It’s one proactive thing you can do that will pay dividends in the future.
Our goal at Pain Free For Life has always been to assist you in your healing journey, no matter where you are on that road. We are here to meet you where you are and walk alongside you in support through our Pain Free for Life Support Group on Facebook, and our complimentary consultations. Reach out today if you have any questions or comments, and be sure to check back next week for the next installment of our blog series, Immunity The Hache Way.