Food to Strengthen Immunity against (not only) Coronavirus

If you cook for your family, it's a great way how to affect the health of your dear ones. To resist or fight coronavirus you need to optimize your immune system. There are many things that can help your immunity. To mention a few crucial points, it’s:

  • Sleep
  • Rest and relaxation
  • Orgasm
  • Laughter
  • Meditation
  • Movement, walking and of course… 
  • Food.

What foods strengthen your defence system?

  • Plenty of vegetables and fruits – full of antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes, and microelements. Needles to explain the role of these. Veggies are also a great source of fiber - starchy roots (like beetroots, carrots, sweet potatoes etc)  provide mainly soluble fibers and polysacharides, feeding our microbiom (prebiotics), and green leafy veggies add insoluble fibers. Tibetan medicine  recommends these veggies as particularly good for lungs and throat: pumpkin, bamboo shoots, celery stalks, avocado, olives, raddish, cress, leek, chinese cabbage, nettles and plantago leaves. From the fruits prefer more sour tasting ones, berries, elderberry, sea buckthorn, raisins and pommegranates.

Be ware that when you eat a lot of green vegetables, healthy but hard to digest, your digestive power (in Tib. called Medro) may weaken. To prevent it, prefer cooked cooked vegetables and warming spices,  and avoid raw food, especially in winter and springtime.

  • Sea foods and fish – especially sardins, wild salmon, makrel, anchois, and herrings, are important for their content of omega 3 faty acids and vitamin D (also in egg yolks and mushrooms), but also zinc (also in red meat, legumes and seeds), selenium and other trace minerals. They are crucial for immune functions. 
  • Mushrooms - especially shitake and oyster mushroom - are a great source of beta glucans (also contained in oats fibers and other grains). Glucans are polysacharides that boost immune cells growth and also lower cholesterol.
  • Fermented vegetables like saurkraut, kimchi, pickles, and other – as probiotics. Try also fermented drinks like kombucha, water kefir,  organic yogurt. The gut flora plays essencial role in our immune systém – remember 80% of the immune cells are located in the belly! 
  • Bone broth – great source of collagen, glicosaminoglycans and aminoacids crucial for immune functions, like cystein, arginine or glutamine. It heals the digestive tract and highly nourishing for the whole body.
  • Onion and garlic – add them to food, but if you don’t digest them well, just cut it and place in a room, or carry with you in a breathable bag if you have to go in a crowded public places in times of epidemy. The smell repells all the microbs and those who carry them;)
  • Quality oils - coconut oil and butter contain monolaurin, the substance that dezintegrates viral lipid coating, thus inactivating it. It was shown to be effective in flue, EB virus and even in SARS- type viruses. Use also ghee - purified butter, olive oil, cold pressed chia and flax seeds oils.  
  • Sprouts: all kinds of sprouts are nature's multivitamins, providing nutrition for the future plant, especially brocolli, mungo bean, alfa alfa, etc. 
  • Drinks - drink plenty of hot water to improve digestion and wash out the virus from the throat. On top take herbal teas, such as tulsi, ginger, roibos, organic green and white teas, and turmeric tea. If you drink coffee, check it out here
  • Spices - spices contain powerful compounds that are sufficient already in tiny amounts- essential oils, phenols, terpens, ethers and other.  Cumin, cinammom and fenugreek are used in Tibetan medicine for aiding respiratory problems. Ginger, pepper, fenicle, anis and chilli improve digestion and metabolism. Turmeric, galangal and citrus flavonoids were shown to have inhibitory potential for viral infection and replication. Anti-inflamatory, antimicrobial and antiparasitic spices are rosemary, oregano, thyme, salvia, clove, and saffron.     

What to avoid?

For sure avoid refined sweets - sugar inhibits immune system for several hours! Raw honey is an exception, it’s a great support for the immunity, and, unlike all other kinds of sweets, is warming. You can also enjoy dark chocolate without remorses, it is a good antioxidant too:)

Limit the intake of other proinflammatory foods such as trans oils, omega 6 oils (like canola oil), gluten, dairy, and preservatives, pesticied and toxins full food - you don‘t want an extra burden for your body these days. 

Here is the recording of my webinar on that topic, where you can find more details:

 https://www.purelandfarms.org/programs/2020/3/28/food-as-medicine

Make your kitchen a natural pharmacy and have fun cooking!


Some recipes for inspiration 

Almond blueberry porridge 

  • almonds or almond meal
  • flax seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • blueberries (or other fruits)
  • 1 egg
  • 1tblsp coconut oil
  • a pinch of Himalayan salt
  •  cinammom
  • water

Mix all the ingrediences in the blender and cook for a few minutes. Very nutritious breakfast, inspired by Cukrfree kucharka. 

Shiitake stir fry

  • garlic, ginger, leek and lemon grass
  • shiitake mushrooms 
  • mangold/brocolli/cauliflower (I used all, but you can choose what you prefer)
  • organic soy sause (I use Tamari)

Cut and strir fry all the ingredients on coconut oil.

I like to serve it with sweet potato noodles but you can use also rice noodles. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves and sesame seeds, can add mungo sprouts on top (optional).

It is a super anti-inflammatory and imune boosting dish, and it tastes good! 

Parsley smoothie

  • a bunch of parsley
  • an apple and/or a pear
  • 2-3 tblspoons of fresh lemon juice
  • a tblsp of soaked chia seeds
  • water

Mix well and enjoy your antioxidants shot!

Chicory avocado salad

  • chicory
  • avocado
  • grapefruit ( or pomegranate seeds)
  • sesame seeds

Mix all with some olive oil, a pinch of Himalayan salt and lemon juice. This combination of slightly bitter, sour and sweet taste acts inti-inflammatory. 

I like to smuggle vegetables into deserts, to give nice moisture and increase their nutriotional value. Kids love our carrot cakes, chocolate beetroot cakes, and here is another paleo, gluten free and dairy free... 

Zukini poppy seeds cake

500g grated zukini

300g grounded poppy seeds 

100g potato starch or tappioka flour

100g brown sugar

1tsp vanilla

2tsp baking soda

2tblsp lemon juice

2 eggs (optional for vegans)

Mix all and bake in 180 °C for about 40min. 

Bibliography

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19885842

https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2018/06/19/Untapped-potential-Mushroom-beta-glucans-backed-for-bright-functional-future

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-foods-high-in-vitamin-d#1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-foods-high-in-zinc

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/prevention/does-sugar-really-suppress-the-immune-system?utm_source=sciam&utm_campaign=sciam

https://mindovermunch.com/blog/bone-broth-benefits/

https://chriskresser.com/the-bountiful-benefits-of-bone-broth-a-comprehensive-guide/

https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com

https://www.ppt-health.com/shingles-see-also-herpes-monolaurin/study-abstract-report/