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Immune Boosting Foods To Keep You Well

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

Supplementation is often a necessary step to ensuring our body is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients necessary for optimal healthy living.  Many of our food sources are contaminated, and we don’t always choose the right variety and quality of food necessary to stay well.  But that does not mean we should not make every effort to eat well and make wise food choices.  We know that Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Probioticsare all critical players in the ability of the immune system to fend off disease and germs.  To help you make wise food choices that will arm your immune system with all the right weaponry, we have provided a list of the best food sources for each of these key immune boosting foods.

Zinc is found in highest levels in oysters, though they can also be ocean polluted with chemicals and metals so are not recommended as a daily food choice.  Better daily sources include grass fed beef, lamb, pork, liver, herring, egg yolks, pecans, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, ginger root, mustard, chili powder, and black pepper.

Vitamin D is difficult to obtain from food and the body’s ideal source is to manufacture it from cholesterol in our skin from the ultra violet rays of the sun. With busy indoor lives, northern climates, cholesterol-lowering medications, clothes covering our skin and concerns about skin cancer, we are getting less sunshine, so Vitamin D deficiency is very common. We recommend supplementation of Vitamin D with regular monitoring for optimal levels by your healthcare professional.  However, modest amounts of naturally occurring vitamin D are provided in egg yolks, butter, liver, mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, mushrooms and dark leafy greens.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that our bodies cannot manufacture and is only available in plant foods.  It is also not very stable, so is most potent and available in very fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Fresh vegetable juicing and eating fresh, whole fruits are two very effective ways to get Vitamin C.  All fruits and vegetables are very good sources but the very highest levels are found in the citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, parsley, dark leafy greens, and cabbage.

Probiotics are the amazing bacteria that form the military force that protects your body from invasions of every kind.  Also called favorable or “friendly” bacteria, they serve to help in the production of some B vitamins and vitamin K, breakdown our food, and inhibiting the growth of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.  This is especially true of invading germs that arrive in, and on, our food. While we recommend probiotic supplementation, fermented and cultured foods are the ideal choice due to the very high population or concentration of living friendly bacteria. Unfortunately, food processing has killed the living aspects of most of our foods so few foods exist today in typical grocery stores that are truly living and full of favorable live bacteria. Whole Foods stores carry several brands of fermented sauerkraut and a high quality organic, living yogurt.  (Most live cultures in typical store bought yogurts are inconsequential in number, damaged by pasteurization and combined with a great deal of sugar.) Additionally, fermented vegetables can also be purchased online at Immunitrition.com. Additional resources to learn more about fermenting foods can be found on the Internet at many websites, one such example is www.culturesforhealth.com.

Eat Well, Stay Well!

By |2014-03-03T11:01:43-05:00February 14th, 2014|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis
by Heather B.
In May of 2012 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. My first flare, I was told, was worse than my doctors had seen and I was unable to control it with oral medication so I wound up in the hospital for 19 days, after which I was still in the midst of a flare but it was more or less under control and I was sent home with a variety of medications. In the meantime, my husband, mother, and I began researching more natural ways to help heal my body from this ravaging disease that I was told was incurable. Throughout this whole ordeal I was covered by the prayers of many family members and friends and was praying myself for wisdom, guidance and direction from the Lord. Over time I became aware of the GAPS diet; however, I found that navigating my way through the GAPS diet was difficult and I began to experience flare-ups as I tapered down on my medication. As a result, my husband and I felt that the guidance of a qualified practitioner was greatly needed. Thankfully, I found The Woodlands Institute for Health and Wellness in June of 2013 and called to inquire about their services. My husband and I were treated like royalty by the staff from the very first moment.
I could tell that the staff and Dr. McManus herself cared deeply for their patients and desired to help them in any way they could. I was impressed and took great comfort in the fact that she addressed my disease, which had scared other practitioners away from me in the past, with such confidence. She analyzed my nutritional status and overall health by having blood and other tests run and worked up a detailed protocol for me that has worked wonders for my health! Under her care I was able to transition from the GAPS diet to a hybrid between the yeast-free diet and the GAPS diet and find that the meals I am having are very satisfying and quite delicious! I am also so grateful in that she was the first doctor to wisely recommend having a bone density test done because one side effect of the medication that I was on was bone loss. I was shocked to find out that I had osteoporosis and she quickly began to address that issue as well with supplements and hormone therapy and in just a matter of months my bone density improved. Her practice is truly holistic in that they also address things like anxiety and stress that contribute to poor health. I find that the staff at TWIHW is very knowledgeable and caring, two qualities that are essential in good medical practitioners. I have learned so much and have felt better overall than I have in years! In fact, I can’t remember when I had such energy and enthusiasm for life! In short, I feel so blessed to have been introduced to Dr. McManus and her staff. They are without a doubt God’s provision for me and it is such a comfort to know that I am in good Hands!
By |2016-03-02T18:05:49-05:00February 14th, 2014|General, Testimonials|