By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: October 18, 2017
Contributed by Pam Rand RD, LDN, CDOE, RYT- Red Hot Mamas Expert
Keeping your gut happy and healthy to boost your immune system is what I’m talking about! Right now in the Northeast, everyone around me is sneezing and coughing . Is it an allergy or a cold? Hard to tell because during the fall, everything is blowing around, both pollen and bacteria. Should you get a flu shot? No advice from me, it’s your choice, but what I am sure about is that REAL wholesome plant foods have to be the majority of your meals and snacks. High fiber prebiotics and probiotics in your daily lineup of food is a MUST to avoid illness.
Whole foods boost our immune systems and decrease our risk for allergy symptoms, colds and flu, auto immune diseases, cancer and heart disease! What pill, powder or potion does all that without side effects?
Whole plant foods have indigestible fiber with naturally occurring prebiotics that promote probiotics (good bacteria) in the gut. If you’ve ever taken antibiotics and your MD or pharmacist told you to ‘make sure you eat yogurt’; it’s because the antibiotic not only kills the bad bacteria but good bacteria as well.
REAL food is a compliment to your flu shot! Our systems need to be ready at any moment for invaders. If we eat a high fiber diet; at least 25-38 grams fiber along with frequent hand washing, getting plenty of exercise, 7-9 hours of sleep per day, …it all boils down to paying attention to your lifestyle and eating REAL food containing pre and probiotics.
The average American eats well under the fiber recommendation of 25-38 grams/day. Read the proof here https://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/what-to-eat/can-healthy-microbiome-prevent-depression-cancer/
Here’s a short list of some vegetables that contain prebiotics – asparagus, barley, beans, buckwheat, bulgar, dandelion greens, eggplant, garlic, fresh herbs, jerusalem artichokes, leeks, lentils, oats, onion, peas, rye, soybeans, spinach, wheat berries, yukon potatoes…there has to be something on this list you can include in your daily lineup of food.
Some fruits that are rich in prebiotics are bananas, berries, cherries and also dark chocolate, nuts, tea, chicory, and coffee.
Have you ever bought a product with the ingredient inulin on the label??? Inulin is a prebiotic found naturally in chicory root and jerusalem artichokes and is also an ‘added ingredient’ in some processed foods like pasta, yogurt and cereal bars. Added fiber is definitely not the same as REAL food though, just another food manufacturers idea for making the Standard American Diet not so SAD. http://www.patriciabannan.com/blog/nutrition/fiber-versus-fiber-whats-the-difference/
Probiotic Rich Foods are fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, natto (fermented beans), olives, pickles, sauerkraut , tamari, tempeh, tofu and yogurt.
Kombucha is a functional food full of live bacteria and completely dairy free.
Enjoy your food and at the same time feed your coral of bacteria so they boost your immune system heading in to the cold and flu season
Go shopping people and buy some pre and probiotics, you’ll be glad you did when your co-workers and family are coughing and sneezing all around you!!!
PS A flu shot only protects against one strain of bacteria, pre and probiotics fight the rest, along with sleep, exercise and washing your hands!