Hey Good Lookin’, What You Got Cookin’ for COVID-19?
Last week, I let you all know about my venture into the kitchen when looking to prevent illness or heal it. This week, I am sharing with you what I have been cooking for support with fortifying my inner terrain and providing nutrients for my immune cells to go to war if necessary. Bone broth is a staple in my house. Ever since my brother was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 15 years ago, bone broth has become a tried-and-true remedy for gut health and subsequently, immune health. Many of my clients coming to me for GI and autoimmune conditions know that I like to implement a Bone Broth Fast into digestive protocols, as well as including broth in the daily diet. It has helped me tremendously with my own GI system and to remedy several of my own gut issues. It is also great for overall immune health.
It seems, when it comes to preventing or fighting a cold, Grandma was correct about reaching for a piping hot bowl of chicken soup. This write-up in UCLA’s Explore Integrative Medicine newsletter is a great snapshot of the science behind why chicken soup may be more than good for the soul, but also for the body’s immune system. According to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, a compound called carnosine, which is found in sources like chicken soup and chicken breast, could help inhibit the proinflammatory conditions typically associated with the initial stages of viral infections and prevent the development of the common cold.1
In the recipe blog I shared with you this week, I include mushrooms in my broth. These mushrooms are very medicinal (and non-psychedelic!). They contain beta-glucans, which are polysaccharides that increase immune function by activating the complement system in our bodies, enhancing macrophages (a type of white blood cell), and increasing natural killer function.2 Beta glucans also exhibit anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumorigenic properties.2
Foods and Nutrients to Focus on for Immune-Support
1. Anti-inflammatory diet – include 8+ servings of colorful vegetables per day. This base diet is the most important thing you can do every day to support proper immune and whole system balance.
2. Include herbs, spices, berries, green tea, nettle tea, astragalus tea or tincture.
3. Focus foods to include: ginger, garlic, onions, mushrooms (especially shiitake, maitake, reishi, Turkey tail, etc.), spices (especially turmeric, ginger, clove), herbs (especially oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, thyme), cruciferous, cocoa, berries.
4. Vitamin C foods:
- Vegetables – Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, dark leafy greens (e.g. collards, kale, mustard greens, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens), green cabbage, parsley, red and orange bell peppers, purple cabbage, savoy cabbage, snow peas, watercress.
- Fruits – Strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, mangoes, orange, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, raspberries, clementines, tangerines.
5. Vitamin A foods: Beet greens, cantaloupe, carrots, Chinese cabbage, collards, dandelion greens, herring, kale, liver, egg yolk, grass-fed butter, mustard greens, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, sweet potato, turnip greens, winter squash.
6. Zinc foods: Oysters, scallops, shrimp, almonds, beef, cashews, chickpeas, crab, green peas, kidney beans, lamb, lobster, poultry, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds/butter (raw), spinach, tahini.
- Babizhayev MA, Deyev AI. Management of the virulent influenza virus infection by oral formulation of nonhydrolized carnosine and isopeptide of carnosine attenuating proinflammatory cytokine-induced nitric oxide production. Am J Ther. 2012;19(1):e25–e47. doi:10.1097/MJT.0b013e3181dcf589.
- Akramiene D, Kondrotas A, Didziapetriene J, Kevelaitis E. Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system. Medicina (Kaunas). 2007;43(8):597–606.