Healthy Habits To Support Your Immune System

Immune health

Your immune system is connected with all of your bodies organs, cells, and proteins that protect and support your body against harmful viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

You need a healthy immune system to fend off these harmful invaders that circulate easily during the cooler months of the year.


Read more here about building a healthy immune system with Food as Medicine – How to Add Healing Power to Everyday Meals


Here are some tips that can help support your bodies immune system.

Natural Hand Soup and Lotion

It starts with your skin. Hand-washing is essential to avoid getting sick.

But using lots of water and soap every day during the Autumn and Winter months can dry out your skin.

With less moisture in the skin not only the can cause it to dry, but also causes chapped skin.

Washing hands with soap, and/or applying a hand sanitizer, can and does strip the skin of its natural protecting oils.

According to Dermato-Endocrinology (D-E), dry, cracked, or cut skin can give bacteria and viruses an entry point, which can result in illness.

D-E explains that there are glands under the skin called sebaceous glands that produce sedum, which contains substances that prevent bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms from causing infection.

It is recommended to use a hand soap and hand lotion that is all natural and plant based.

As does a natural hand lotion, a all natural hand soap can help keep you hands moisturize.

Most natural soaps contain moisturizing ingredients like, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado oil, Coconut oil, and essential plant oils.

These can include, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Basil, Honeysuckle, and Geranium.


Did you know that essential oils derived from plants can help to – Alleviate HeadachesRead more Here


Get Plenty Of Vitamin C

It is very important to maintain a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Your choice of produce should contain lots of vitamin-C.

Good Reasons To Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables Every Day

This is essential, as a 2017 medical study reports that “vitamin C is necessary for the immune system to mount and sustain an adequate response against pathogens.”

Common signs of vitamin-C deficiency include:

• Rough, dry skin

• Impaired wound healing

• Painful joints

• Brittle bones

• Dry, splitting hair

• Weakened immune system

Vitamin-C rich fruits and vegetables include: papaya, sweet peppers, spinach, kale, oranges (including the peelings), broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kiwi among many others.


Try making this dish very high in vitaminC as it contains both broccoli and cauliflowerChopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad


Vitamin D and Your Immunity

The benefits of vitamin D are well documented.

The vitamin helps our bodies absorb calcium, vitamin D is good for your mood, and your immune system among many other health benefits.

According to Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, the cells of the immune system have receptors for Vitamin D.

These cells can kill bacteria and viruses with the help of metabolites from Vitamin D that regulate production of proteins that can directly kill microbes and help reduce infections.

Vitamin D can be found in eggs, beef, butter, fish and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereal, but it is difficult to get adequate amounts from these sources.

Thomas Jefferson University says your best bet for getting enough vitamin D is lots of sun exposure.

And that can be difficult to do in winter months. The University recommends taking a vitamin D supplement.

Before taking a supplement it is best to talk to your doctor about getting your blood level tested.

Most experts agree that optimal Vitamin D levels range between 30 to 60 ng/mL.

Knowing your blood level will help insure proper dosing and help prevent potential side effects of taking too much Vitamin D, such as high blood calcium levels and kidney stones.

Probiotics and Immune Health

According to the journal Current Opinion In Gastroenterology, the beneficial effects of probiotics have been demonstrated in many diseases.

One of the major mechanisms of probiotic action is through the regulation of host immune response.

Research has reported that probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema, viral infection, and potentiating vaccination responses.

Eat probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and yogurt.


You Could Make Your Own Yogurt – Very Easy To Do and NO Yogurt Making Machine Needed.

Homemade Yogurt

Exercise

According to Journal of Sport and Health Science the immune system is very responsive to exercise.

Bob Jones University says that depending on the exercise intensity and duration, the number of circulating immune cells can increase by 50% to 400%.

However, this exercise-induced increase in immune cells is transient, as the immune system returns to pre-exercise levels within three hours.

Consequently, sustained and regular moderate exercise is key to improving the immune system’s response to pathogens and reducing the risk of infection long-term.

Go for a brisk walk (your heart should beat faster than normal) a swim, or a bike ride.

You can also work out in the comfort of your living room by trying out some online streaming workouts.

Eat More Fiber

According to the National Library of Medicine, dietary fiber, fermented by the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects, thereby strengthening the immune response.

It’s recommended by the Institute of Medicine that men eat 38 grams of fiber per day and women eat 25 grams of fiber per day, yet most Americans only get 16 grams of fiber per day.

High fiber foods include, Chia seeds, popcorn, oats, lentils, Brussels sprouts, apples, walnuts, almonds, leafy greens among others.

Try these recipes to get more fiber in your diet.

Organic Coconut Popcorn

Prosciutto Cotto and Lentils

Spicy Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Why We Cook

To think about cooking as purely functional would be to look at just one aspect of it. When in fact there are several reasons why we cook.

Cooking makes food more edible and in doing so cuts down on the time it takes to digest it.

Some foods we can eat raw, but there are others that need to be cooked, like meat or eggs for example.

How To Make The Perfect Egg In One Minute

Humankind has been on the earth for thousands of years and throughout the centuries we have learned the art of cooking.

Yes cooking is an art. If you are a professional-cook or not – when you put together different flavors you are creating a dish to satisfy your taste and hunger.

Frequently Asked Questions about Healthy Cooking

The More You Know

We spend just five percent (5%) of our day eating. So make the food you eat count towards a healthier you. Read more here: First Step To Being Healthy


The bottom line is, we have learned through trial and error that some foods need to be cooked.

So again, ever thought while you are preparing something to eat, why you cook it?

Why We Cook

It makes eating food safe, as cooking destroys bacteria, and the toxins they produce.

The food flavors multiple with using heat to cook. The heat browns meat, vegetables, breads, and cakes.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Cooking caramelizes sugar and helps herbs and spices to release their locked in flavors in a process known as the Maillard reaction.

Read More Here About Cooking With Herbs – Spices – and Caramelizing Sugar

How To Spice Thngs Up When Cooking
Spanish Flan – recipe and video on How To Carmelize Sugar

Food that has been cooked helps with your digestion as it softens starches and releases foods nutrients.

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan

Cooked food tastes delicious and brings new textures to food.

Cooking To Gather Family and Friends

You may have heard the expression, make friends by “breaking bread together.”

Research has shown that the ritual of cooking and sharing your cooked food with others is entrenched in our psyche, and it brings family and friends together.

Regularly eating cooked food with others also improves our well-being.

Cooking Supports A Healthy Life Style

Here’s a great response to why we cook.

Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, lead author of a study on home cooking and weight lossat the John Hopkins Center, says if you are trying to lose weight or not, people who cook most of their meals at home, consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all (Study Suggests Home Cooking is a Main Ingredient in Healthier Diet).

According to Civil Eats – The power of a communal meal, or eating together – either it be a Thanksgiving feast, a community potluck, or a dinner-table gathering can build cultural ties and tear down political walls.

So now you know. Let’s get cooking.

Good Reasons To Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables Every Day

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as how many servings you eat every day.

No single fruit or vegetable will provide all of the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body.

A diet filled with plenty of different fruits and vegetables can help to reduce your risk for major disease.

Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips

Such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, just to mention a few.

All fruits and vegetables contribute to a healthy heart, though green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens, have shown to be strongly associated with decreased risk of heart disease.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and kale – and citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit (including their juices) also contribute to a health vascular system (BMJ).

Citrus Herb Roasted Vegetables

Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables may even promote a healthy body weight (PLOS Medicine).

Were as starchy vegetables like corn, peas and potatoes tend to be linked to weight gain, rather than weight loss (The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition).

Apples and pears are a great example of eating different types of fruit to receive your daily intake of vitamins and minerals if you want to maintain a healthy body.

Apples have more vitamins than pears, namely vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B1. The vitamins are more abundant in apples than pears.

Apple Mango and Radish Salad

Were as pears contain more minerals than apples. Like iron, calcium, magnesium, and especially copper and zinc.

Red Pear and French Bean Salad

Both of these fruits though, contain potassium, phosphorus, and sodium.

There are at least nine different family types of fruits and vegetables that exist, and each with potentially hundreds of different plant compounds that are beneficial to your health.

Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad

That is why it is important to eat a variety of different types and colors of produce in order to give your body the nutrients it needs.

This will not only ensure a greater diversity of beneficial plant compounds, but also creates eye-appealing meals.

Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Health Benefits of Eating Root Vegetables

Most root vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates, which break down into sugar in your body to give you the energy you need to function properly.

Carrot Cranberry Salad

Root vegetables are high in fiber and phytonutrients, and low in fat as well as in calories.

They also contain vitamin C, beta-carotene, and essential minerals like potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Pros and Cons of Eating Root Vegetables

Accordingly Harvard Medical School, most root vegetables have starch, a kind of carbohydrate that the body breaks down into glucose for energy.

Some are higher in starch like sweet potato’s and others are lower, like carrots and onions.

But don’t let the starch discourage you from eating them.

These type of vegetables are still fresh whole foods that contain many vitamins and minerals. Eating a variety of them is good for your health.

Harvard recommends eating just one serving of root vegetables per day. And not with another starch food, like rice.

They also recommend not eating the same root vegetables all the time. Instead, eat a variety of them to get a wider selection of nutrients.

Splendid Recipes and More Was Awarded

award

I love food… I love cooking… I find baking therapeutic. That’s what Mrs. Choux at Box of Recipes has to say about cooking and baking. Don’t we all, those of us who enjoy being in the kitchen find cooking a stress reliever or therapeutic as Mrs. Choux puts it?

She goes on to say, “For me, food is more than substance vital for survival. It can be uplifting, sensual, comforting, celebratory and quite often pivotal in bringing people together. It doesn’t matter where in the world you come from, because everyone understands the language of food.”

Wow, well said, cooking and sharing our prepared food creations with others is such a joy. Who doesn’t want to feel good, and make others happy in the process?

I even like her logo, Mrs. Choux has great recipes in that little box.

Mrs. Choux recipe box

She describes that box as a collection of recipes she spent more than half her life collecting, and says watch as it jumps out (the recipe) of my recipe box and into this blog (her blog) for everyone to use. Read the rest of her story here:  About The Recipe Box

Now I wish to thank Mrs. Choux of the Box of Recipes for book marking and following our blog and leaving her comments as she visits. Thank you Mrs. Choux!!

Dragon's Loyalty AwardI am told I have to add this logo to our blog. So you should find it off to the left side column.

Now I must nominate 10 bloggers that I appreciate, and they are as follows (they are not all food blogs)

Jovina Coughlin at Jovina Cooks Italian

Jueseppi Baker at The Obamacrat

Honey at Slice of Heaven in Sweden

Jackie Saulmon Ramirez at Parent Rap – Soup to Nuts

Krystyna  at Mirror of Your Health

RoSy at Sharing Me Myself and I

Chef Ceaser at Chef Ceaser

Arlene at Arl’s World

Renata at Perma Cooking

Adrian Lupsa at Adrian Lupsa

Now for 7 things about me:

  1. I speak fluent Spanish, as I lived 5 years in Mexico and married a Mexican native.
  2. Favorite Food is Mexican food. I wonder why?
  3. Enjoy gardening
  4. Certified in Human Health and Nutrition
  5. Have two boys, now 22 and 18
  6. I have a bucket list which includes places I would love to visit: Amsterdam, Greece, and Tahiti.
  7. Love Italian desserts  B. 4 thumbs up for Coffee and C. Love Spring Time for all of the Flowers and D. They said I am out of here because I couldn’t make #7 into three parts.

Thanks again to Mrs. Choux. Please don’t forget to visit her Recipe Box.

 

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