Eat for Im­mu­nity

Pro­tect your health with these im­mune­boost­ing nu­tri­tion tips.

Oxygen - - Contents - By Shoshana Pritzker, RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN

These six nu­tri­tion tips can help keep the snif­fles at bay.

You are what you eat — and what you eat can make or break your im­mu­nity. A poor diet that de­liv­ers empty calo­ries and ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents into your body com­bined with an in­tense ex­er­cise reg­i­men, lack of sleep and stress can com­pro­mise your im­mune sys­tem, mak­ing you more prone to in­jury and putting a halt to your re­sults. Bulletproof your health with these re­search-backed nu­tri­tional strate­gies and avoid be­ing bedrid­den by bad bugs.

Keep Qual­ity Car­bo­hy­drates

Carbs are get­ting a bad rap these days, es­pe­cially with the ke­to­genic diet gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, but they hap­pen to be the main fuel source for ath­letes and the pre­ferred source of fuel for your brain. How­ever, the kind of car­bo­hy­drates you in­gest af­fects not only your brain power and phys­i­cal strength but also your im­mu­nity. Sim­ple sug­ars (glu­cose, fruc­tose, su­crose, honey) such as are found in candy and soda can neg­a­tively im­pact im­mu­nity by ham­per­ing the abil­ity of white blood cells to en­gulf and kill in­vad­ing bac­te­ria by as much as 50 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in The Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal

Nu­tri­tion. Com­plex carbs did not cause the same prob­lem, ac­cord­ing to the same study: They are slower to digest, thereby sta­bi­liz­ing blood sugar lev­els, re­duc­ing your stress re­sponse, de­creas­ing cor­ti­sol and mod­er­at­ing the un­de­sired ac­ti­va­tion of im­mune cells. The sol­u­ble helps re­move tox­ins from the gut and acts as a pre­bi­otic to nour­ish the good bac­te­ria that re­side in there, and which com­prise a good por­tion of your im­mune sys­tem.

Wen­ever poss e, skip sug­ary an process 'I Of' . I sac to com­plex and fi­brous car­bo­hy­drates. If you're train­ing in­tensely, carbs should make up 40 to 50 per­cent of your daily diet. If you're train­ing more mod­er­ately, you can cut that back to about 30 per­cent. But no mat­ter what your in­ten­sity level, eat your carbs close to work­out time Re­cent re­search pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Ap­plied Phys­i­ol­ogy found that eat­ing carbs dur­ing or af­ter a tough work­out helps boost your im­mune sys­tem.

Power Up Your Post­work­out Pro­tein

Hav­ing pro­tein at­ter train­ing can help ac­cel­er­ate mus­cle gains and speed re­cov­ery, but it also can im­prove im­mu­nity: The an­ti­bod­ies tha fight dis­ease are made of pro­tein, so in­gest­ing qual­ity pro­tein af­ter train­ing sup­plies your body with all it needs to re­pair and re­build mus­cle tis­sue as well as fight in­fec­tion. Cer­tain amino acids also help fight in­flam­ma­tion, and pro­teins that con­tain zinc such as lean beef, beans and seafood help with the pro­duc­tion of in­fec­tion-fight­ing whit blood cells. As an ath­lete, you should err on the higher side of the in­take spec-trum, get­ting about 1 gram of pro­tein per pound of body­weight per day. Choose a va­ri­ety of clean sources like lean meats, turkey breast, eggs, fish, whey and plant-based pro­tein pow­ders.

Don’t For­get D3

Vi­ta­min D is es­sen­tial for ath­letes and has been shown in re­search to ost ath­letic performance and to re­duce ab­dom­i­nal fat. In terms of unity, vi­ta­min D can re­duce your risk of in­fec­tious dis­ease by trig-a strong anti-mi­cro­bial re­sponse to fight off un­wanted in­vaders, Mg in­fec­tion and dis­ease be­fore they even start. ow­eve4 even if you live some­where sunny, you could still be nt in vi­ta­min D, es­pe­cially if you are con­sci­en­tious and use your creen. Sup­ple­ment in the morn­ing with 1,000 His of vi­ta­min lecal­cif­erol), the nat­u­ral form your body makes as a re­ac­tion tc ei­ther with or with­out food.

Be Pro-Ac­tive

It's es­ti­mated that 70 to 80 per­cent of the im­mune sys­tem ong­mates e gut, and the 10 tril­lion micro­organ­isms that re­side there are re sible for your over­all health. Pro­bi­otics can help im­prove di­ges­tion and op­ti­mize over­all health by bal­anc­ing the "good" and the "bad" bac­te­ria, which is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for ath­letes who are train­ing hard and con­stantly ask­ing their bod­ies to per­form Re­search in the Jour­nal of Sci­ence and Medicine in Sport found that ath­letes had 40 per­cent fewer colds and gas­troin­testi­nal is­sues when they took a pro­bi­otic as com­pared to those who took a placebo. In­clude pro­bi­otic foods such as yo­gurt, kim­chi, kefir, sauer­kraut and sour­dough bread in your weekly diet, and/or choose a pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment that con­tains live bac­te­ria to keep your GI tract in the pink.

Cut­ting Calo­ries = Colds and Flu

It's com­mon prac­tice to re­duce calo­rie in­take when try­ing to lose fat quickly but un­der-eat­ing can do more harm than good. Re­searcher from Michi­gan State Univer­sity found that cut­ting back on calo­ries can make you more sus­cep­ti­ble to the flu. The rea­son? With fewer fat stores, your body breaks down your lean tis­sue to help fight in­fec­tion, de­creas­ing meta­bolic rate. In ad­di­tional, lev­els of lep­tin - the hor­mone that con­trols ap­petite and makes you feel full - de­crease when you're hun­gry. And be­cause lep­tin helps reg­u­late basal meta­bolic rate, a re­duc­tion means your me­tab­o­lism comes to a screech­ing halt. Low lep­tin lev­els also ini­ti­ate an in­flam­ma­tory re­sponse, fur­ther com­pro­mis­ing im­mu­nity. In­stead of slash­ing calo­ries, ad­just your macronu­tri­ent bal­ance to op­ti­mize your fat-loss po­ten­tial , and be sat­is­fied to lose at a slower rate.

Water Works

Stay­ing hy­drated is of­ten the most dif­fi­cult task to master on a daily ba­sis, but main­tain­ing good hy­dra­tion en­sures your blood car­ries enough oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to cells, flushes tox­ins, pre­vents in­so­mia and can even re­duce your risk of de­pres­sion. Water also helps pro­duce lymph, which cir­cu­lates white blood cells, and keeps your eyes, nose and mouth cleean to re­pel dirt, dust and par­a­sites. Fur­ther­more with­out ad­e­quate water, your GI tract is sus­cep­ti­ble to bac­te­rial over­growth, com­prim­is­ing im­mu­nity. make it your goal to drink one large glass of water per hour. Add a lit­tle lemon to your H2o and Get a boost of Vi­ta­min C to help fight colds and pro­tect cells, help di­ges­tion and aid in detox­i­fi­ca­tion

Put down that dough­nut! Ex­cess sim­ple sugar can neg­a­tively im­pact im­mu­nity.

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