Can eating low-carb food help boost your immunity and keep you healthy?
It could if done right, says Priyanshi Bhatnagar ( Holistic Nutritionist)
Immune health is always important, especially during weather change and flu season. Immunity can be impacted by many factors, some that are within your control, and some that aren’t.
Supporting your immune system starts with the foods you eat, and the GOOD NEWS is that many of the best foods for your immune system are low in carbs so you can continue to work toward your weight loss goal. In this blog, I share low carb immune-boosting foods.
Let’s start with low-carb foods that are particularly high in vitamin C, B6, E, & zinc which are antioxidants and nutrients that several cells of your immune system need to function correctly.
1. Red Bell Peppers
If you consume (92g) of red pepper, you’ll get 117mg of vitamin C.
Less than a cup of chopped red pepper will exceed your daily need for vitamin C, and you’ll only be consuming about 5 carbs, 2 of which are fiber.
A medium-sized lemon has about 30mg of vitamin C and around 5 total carbs (5.4grams carbs/1.6g fiber).
A cup of strawberry halves (152g) supplies you with 89 mg, which is your entire day’s vitamin C requirement. That cup contains about 12 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber.
A cup of full-fat yoghurt contains live and active cultures, which will give your immune system an additional boost by feeding your gut bacteria as 70-80% of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut.
5. Bone Broth
Bone broth is rich in collagen, which forms gelatin when it’s cooked down. Collagen and gelatin contain glutamine, which is an amino acid that helps maintain the barrier between the inside of your intestines and the rest of your body.
Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that fight infections and viruses. They contain plant nutrients that enhance a type of immune cell known as natural killer cells, which are programmed to attack and destroy virus-infected cells.
Garlic contains a high concentration of allicin, a compound produced when garlic is minced or crushed that boosts the function of your immunity.
It does this by stimulating immune cells like macrophages and a host of white blood cells, which are the immune system cells in your body that protect you against infectious disease.
8. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a plant-based food that is high in zinc with one tablespoon containing about one mg of zinc. Each tablespoon has about 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein and less than 1 carb.
One ounce of almonds, which is about 24, has more than 7mg of vitamin E and only 6 grams of carbs. 3.5 of which are fiber. Almonds are easy to carry with you as a snack, and like hemp seeds, slivered almonds can be added to things like salad and yoghurt.
Not only is it a naturally low carb option, but it’s also chocked full of Vitamins A, C and E. If you consume (91g) of red broccoli you’ll only be consuming about 6 gm carbs, 2.4 of which are fiber.
11. Brazil Nuts
one of the best sources of the mineral selenium. Selenium plays a key role in the health of your immune system due to its incorporation in compounds called selenoproteins. One oz of Brazil nuts, which is about 6, has only 3.5 grams of carbs. 2.1 of which are fiber.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and chard are packed with vitamins and minerals. Especially spinach is a rich source of the B vitamin folate, also known as folic acid, is crucial for cell-mediated immunity. 1 cup of spinach provides only 1g carbs, .7 of which is fibre, additionally 81 mg iron, 8.4 mg vitamin C & 2813 IU vitamin A.
These are things that you can do today that don’t cost anything. We recommend you prioritize these basic steps for protecting and improving your health — and potentially your immune system.
•Don’t smoke: Smokers have an increased risk of catching infections and suffering severe complications from those infections.
•Get adequate sleep: Sleep is important for health in general, and as a bonus, it may also benefit our immune function.
•Stress management: While acute stressors may temporarily enhance immune functions, chronic stressors likely diminish immune function.
•Engage in moderate exercise: Moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and promote the healthy turnover of immune cells. Jogging, biking, walking, swimming, and hiking are great options.
•Use Essential oils: Tea tree oil have antiviral properties that may protect you against infection from viruses. Use in an oil diffuser to inhale them or make a hand sanitizer using tea tree oil mixed with aloe vera gel and isopropyl alcohol.
A powerful immune system requires good whole foods, and fortunately, the needed foods are low in carbs and taste great.
If you’d like more guidance on how to jumpstart your healthy diet, can visit my website detoxpri.in.