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Top Foods For A Strong Immune System

Last month I wrote about the top 3 no-brainer supplements that everyone should be taking. In conjunction with that, I thought I would focus on some of the best immune-supporting foods as that is on everyone’s mind these days. In fact, many doctors believe THE underlying issue around the last two years is that we are not addressing the health of the host, us.

Food is “information” for our cells. It is literally programming for our body to function well…or not. If you don’t keep your car tuned up it runs poorly and eventually breaks down, your body is no different. This is the study of epigenetics. Ever heard the phrase, “Genetics load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger”?

Only about 10% of all chronic disease is purely genetic, the other 90% we have the power to influence one way or the other through our lifestyle choices. In other words, we can make our bodies a very inhospitable place for “bad bugs”. The obvious steps include sleep, exercise, stress management, limiting our exposure to everyday toxins, and of course what is on the end of our forks.

The first food is bone broth, although it might be rough trying to eat it with a fork. Bone broth heals and soothes the gut where around 70% of your immune system lives. It helps to reduce inflammation, and the collagen and amino acids like proline and glutamine help to “seal” the gut lining and prevent leaky gut. A leaky gut is believed to be the cause of many auto-immune conditions. All health begins here.

Ginger is something that intuitively feels right to me when it comes to gut/immune health. According to Dr. Axe, cofounder of, “Ancient Nutrition”, research from PubMed shows it has antimicrobial potential which is important when it comes to infectious disease and inflammatory disorder treatment. Since before recorded history, ayurvedic medicine has believed that ginger breaks down the toxins in our organs and cleanses the lymphatic system. I definitely feel great after downing my favorite ginger drinks.

Vitamin C and Zinc together are especially good for immune health with respect to respiratory illnesses like the common cold and bronchitis for example. Best foods with Vitamin C include citrus foods, red bell pepper, parsley, black currant, and many others. Some high Zinc containing foods to add to your grocery list would be grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, nuts/seeds, legumes, and shellfish.

Beta-Carotene rich foods promote a robust immune system through anti-oxidant activity and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Think yellow, orange, red, and green. For example choose carrots, sweet potato, spinach, collard greens, apricots, and raspberries.

So what next, “just do it” right!? :) Eat the above foods consistently, avoid toxins, exercise 3-4 days a week, get 8 hours of sleep, powerfully manage/eliminate stress, done!

That is where the problem lies, we all want to be healthy, but most of us do not make it a true priority. For example, the gyms fill up in January and are back to normal by mid-Feb or so. How many diets and/or exercise programs have you started in your life? How long did they last? It just isn’t sustainable the way society teaches us.

Being “healthy” for a month or two a year will not prevent disease and make you resilient. The doctor bills, unhappiness, low energy, brain fog, poor quality of life, etc., are not worth it. Living healthy should be something we do, not something we… “have to do”. Kind of like going to the bathroom, it has to be done…or else!

Most of us have an idea of what needs to be done, we just need some true accountability to keep us in check until living strong is part of our daily lifestyle. We are held accountable to go to the bathroom because we know what happens if we don’t. The same holds true for disease but the urgency is not there because it is a slow poison, the most dangerous kind.

The sad truth is that it is usually our own fault if we find ourselves suffering from poor health . I find that either people do not care, or do not know that they are in control. My job as a Functional Health Coach is to make sure you do care, understand that you are in control, and hold you accountable until you do not need me anymore. The best part? You do not have to train like an Olympic athlete to achieve this.

Just pick one thing and start there. When you have it down move to the next. Enough with the overwhelming feeling of needing to do 10 new difficult things at the same time! A few months down the road and you will naturally be doing many healthy things without thinking much about it (yes, just like hitting the loo).

That is the basis of my coaching practice, starting right where you are at. I am accepting new clients and now is the perfect time as summer is just about upon us. Hit me up and we will schedule your free consultation where I will answer any questions you have. To learn more please visit my Instagram page and website!


P.S. Thank you to those who have registered with Fullscript and are now getting 20% off of all nutritional supplements for life! You also saved 30% during the promotion at the end of April. Anyone interested can always still get that lifetime discount by clicking here!

Bart Thurman, FDN-P, INHC Functional Health Coaching Cafe of Life Chiropractic 1325 Dry Creek Drive #307 Longmont, CO 80503 Office: 720-849-0124 @bart_breakfreewellness

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