Twenty years ago, I went to a doctor for a wound that wasn’t healing. I explained that I was healthy and ate a lot of vegetables. He said to continue eating well and to also take Blackmore’s Bio Zinc (an Australian product. *Note: not to be taken if pregnant) as there wasn’t enough zinc in the soil. Within a few days I was healed. I was shocked. This really opened my eyes to the state of the food cultivation industry.
In this post I’ll highlight special health boosters, food, vitamins, supplements and amazing celery that can strengthen immunity and health. More health boosting factors can be found in the post “Boost Your Health and Immunity (Part 1)“.
In general, good, food-sourced supplementation can be helpful as a boost or if you have a deficiency and especially if there isn’t enough fresh fruit and vegetables around, but be careful if you’re pregnant, breast feeding, or on medication and check with your doctor first. Also, supplementation shouldn’t replace real food and should be done intermittently. Our intelligent and adaptable bodies could become less efficient at extracting the regular vitamins and minerals from food.
Avoid popping vitamins like candy. Some vitamins such as vitamin C will be excreted by the body if there’s an excess the body can’t use but other vitamins or minerals can be dangerous in excess, such as vitamin A.
Try to get food-derived vitamins if possible, but don’t worry if you can’t – studies have shown that lab-created vitamins will still help if there’s a deficiency.
Even now, all fruit and vegetables still have great benefits and such a complex mix of hundreds of compounds that work together in your body to nourish it, keep it working properly (elimination!) and keep it vibrant. Get organic, if you can. If you can’t, wash well.
Powerful everyday foods that boost health:
Fruit: oranges (can be acidic in body tissues – boost alkalinity with lemon juice taken at the same time), lemons, pears, pineapple, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries (wild if possible), kiwis, acai berries
Vegetables: kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bell peppers (more vitamin C than an orange!), seaweed (all types, provides iodine which many people lack, and helps remove heavy metals from body allowing the whole system to function better), alfalfa sprouts (considered an almost complete food due to its nutrient profile and density – grow your own in a jar!)
Wholegrains: quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, oats, spelt (an ancient form of wheat), brown rice (wholegrains contain nutrients in the “germ” that are great for both physical and mental health. Studies have shown that a lack of these in the diet is linked to depression. Pizza-addicted teenagers definitely need them!)
Nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts
Seeds: sesame seeds (especially black seeds), tahini (sesame paste), pepitas (pumpkin seeds – high in zinc), chia, flax (when I take flax oil daily, I really see the difference in my skin!), sunflower seeds
Oils: olive oil (best not cooked), coconut oil and sesame oil (withstand high cooking temperatures and can also be taken raw), fish oil
Fats: grass-fed butter in moderation (especially if you’re not getting enough sunlight – it contains vitamin D), avocados (packed with vitamins too!)
Spices: black pepper, thyme, curry powder, curcumin
Herbs are wonderful too! (And powerful, so check with your doctor for any medicine interactions.): garlic, cilantro, thyme, ginger, astragalus, lemon balm, echinacea (start now as it takes a while to become effective)
Super Supplementation: Look for standardized extracts that are food-sourced, if possible
- Ester-C (is better absorbed and less acidic, otherwise use ascorbic acid – vitamin C). Getting enough C is important not only to reduce the length and severity of flu symptoms, but also “Vitamin C inhibits the excessive activation of the immune system to prevent tissue damage“. Why is this so important? As viruses such as Covid-19 do their damage, doctors are seeing patients having over-active immune responses where the body’s own immune system actually starts damaging tissues in the body thereby weakening the body further. Good effects are seen with dosages of 2-3 mg per day. (*Note: always check with your doctor first.) Also, slow-release forms or smaller dosages of 200 – 250 mg spread out through the day have been shown to have greater bioavailability (your body makes better use of it).
- Quercetin (found especially in yellow onions)
- Bio-Zinc (or zinc sulphate)
- B12 (food-sourced or try the fabulous Vegemite! – but not for those on low-sodium diets)
- American ginseng (In Asian medicine, ginseng can be “cooling” or “heating” to the body, so the type is chosen according to the individual’s current health condition. Since health is rooted in balance, you wouldn’t want a cooling ginseng if your body is “cool” (has too much yin – cold hands and body plus watery eyes are indications.) American ginseng is considered neutral, so it’s good for everyone. Best if used prior to feeling unwell, to strengthen body.
- Astragalus Membranaceus (not other forms) general tonic, immune system booster
- Elderberry (used for centuries to reduce flu symptoms – and less concentrated syrup form is available for kids)
- Hawaiian spirulina (similar to seaweed in that it helps remove heavy metals from body, allowing the whole system to function better)
My sister had a debilitating skin condition that appeared suddenly on her hands, face and body after taking multiple types of antibiotics for dental issues. After taking all kind of doctors’ prescriptions, she took celery juice, and it’s the only thing that helped to clear her skin: 16 oz of celery juice (not the fiber), on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, every morning. Wait 20 minutes before consuming anything else.
I was taken by surprise when I suddenly developed a similar condition. This came after my bout of prescription medications after giving birth to twins and hemorrhaging and subsequent hospitalizations. I went straight to celery juice, and I was so relieved. See the difference in the before and after below. (Bonus: my 18-month-old girls love it!)
Special notes on food
Citrus: is best absorbed eaten alone. But adding lemon or lime to water or other drinks is still effective.
Fruits and vegetables: if you want to drink them, blend rather than juicing. Juicing takes out the fiber, some nutrients, and increases the sugar (fructose) content of each glass you drink. Too much sugar from any source can throw your body out of balance.
Refined (processed) foods: aren’t great for the body in general, however, if you’re sick wholegrains can be harder to digest and put strain on your system. This is why it’s recommended to eat things like plain crackers and noodles such as in a non-oily, chicken noodle soup.
Sugar isn’t evil: While it’s important not to consume too much in your daily diet, having a little something sweet after a meal – for example a couple of small chocolates – can actually help digestion and also boost your mood and sense of well-being. This in turn boosts your immune system!
Super Soups: The body and nutrition must be seen as a whole system and simply isolating ingredients or vitamins is short-sighted. Meals such as soups and stews are fabulous health boosters as their effects in the body are greater than the sum of their parts (individual ingredients). Vegetables, herbs and spices work together enhancing the absorption of vitamins and minerals, the foods are easier to digest, and the liquid is nutritious and hydrating. Pressure cooking is best for preserving nutrients.
Note on drinking water: an easy check to ensure you’re drinking enough water – if your urine is dark yellow or tea-colored then you’re not drinking enough water. If it’s clear or a pale yellow (straw) color then you’re drinking enough water.
Bonus Health booster: Alkalize your body! Stress, lack of sleep, too much acid foods such as wheat, grains, animal products (meat, eggs etc.) are acidic. Most pathogens and chronic illnesses thrive in an overly acidic body. Fresh fruit and vegetables (not canned or bottled) make us more alkaline. As an emergency boost, try taking half a teaspoon of (aluminum-free) baking soda in a glass of water a couple of times a day. It helps quickly alkalize the body. Athletes have used this to help speed muscle recovery after a strenuous workout or event. Just don’t depend on this – you need the nutrients in fruit and vegetables.
I sincerely hope that any, some, or all of this information will help you to get healthier and stay healthier. Being healthy not only helps fight viruses, diseases but also keeps you aging slowly and keeps you vibrant and happy! Mood and food go hand in hand.
Warm wishes to you and your loved ones.
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