IMMUNE BOOSTING FOODS
With cold and flu season upon us, staying healthy is a number one priority for everyone. Boosting your immune system is a good place to start in defending yourself against the common cold. Our number one priority for every member is to stay healthy, not only when the weather turns cold, but all year round. A balanced diet full of macronutrients is so important in keeping your immune system healthy. While there are no guarantees that eating all your greens every day will make you superhuman, eating whole foods will certainly help to improve your overall health and therefore support your immune system. Better health means better quality of life! Before I give you a delicious recipe that is full of immune boosting vitamins, lets go over other ways you can support your immune system:
- ADEQUATE SLEEP – Everyone has heard 100 times that sleep should be a priority. But do you know why? A lack of sleep can result in a decrease in your body’s production of infection fighting antibodies. This increases your chance of getting a viral infection such as a cold or flu. 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep is recommended for adults. If you lay in bed for 8 hours a night, but toss and turn, this is not adequate sleep. Create a bedtime routine, do not drink caffiene late in the day, and do not fall asleep wth the TV on and you will create an relaxing enviroment that will welcome quality sleep.
- REDUCE STRESS – If you want to support optimal immune fuctions, trying to reduce every day stress will help. Relaxing with friends and family, and taking time for hobbies you enjoy are a couple ways you can unwind from a stressful day. The number one way to reduce stress though is to workout!!! So keep your regular gym habits and you will help your body fight off sickness!
- GUT HEALTH – Something that has become more mainstream in the past years is supporting your gut health. And while there are many benefits to taking a daily probiotic, increasing your immune system strength is one of them. 70% of immune related tissue is in the gut. So get in the habit of taking a daily probiotic, or increase your intake of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir or yogurt.
- HEALTHY DIET – A well rounded diet that is based on whole foods is the best way to boost your immune system. Avoid excess sugar and be mindful to include these key nutrients:
- Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, and winter squash are all great sources of beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor.
- Vitamin E – Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and pecans are all great sources to get more vitamin E in your diet.
- Zinc – Lean red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, seeds, and nuts are all great sources of this mineral
- Vitamin C – Citrus fruits are all high in vitamin C, but so are bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and brussel sprouts
CITRUS PULLED PORK
A delicious take on pulled pork, that is full of vitamin A, E, and Zinc to support your health. This recipe is also great to make in a big batch to use for food prep throughout the week.
- 2 – 3 pound pork tenderloin (leaner cut of meat than a traditional pork butt)
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 2 teas ground chipolte powder
- 1 to 2 onions, cut into thick slices
- 3 oranges, juiced
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 3 limes, juiced
- Zest from 1 lemon, lime, and orange
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 c avocado oil
- 1 to 2 jalepenos
- 2 teas salt and peper
- 1 teas chipolte powder and cumin
- 1 teas honey
- Mix salt and chipolte powder in a bowl. Rub over pork. Preheat oven to 250°.
- Heat dutch oven over high heat. Add a small amount of Avocado or coconut oil to pot. Sear pork at high heat on all sides, until every side has a nice brown crust, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove pork from pan.
- Spread onions on the bottom of your pot, then place pork on top. Place dutch oven covered in oven for 4 – 5 hours, until fork tender, and meat easily shreds.
- FOR CITRUS SAUCE: place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until well combined. Once pork is finished cooking, do not drain juice from pot. Instead dump all of the citrus juice over shredded pork and mix.
Serve inside a baked sweet potato for a delicious take on a stuffed baked potato, and you also get a bigger nutitional boost!
You can also cook pork in a slow cooker or Instantpot!