As I am recovering from a 1,5 day cold, I have looked back at what I did right and wrong over the past year and realizing this is the first time I get a cold in quite some time I thought about sharing the little secrets of a stronger immune system.
It’s also important to take into consideration that the quantity of these products might differ depending of your state and overall activity. I recommend higher dosage of ”the good stuff” for both bodybuilders/powerlifters and pregnant women. Why? Simply because all these 3 have a highly important common point: building of new and healthy tissue and cells.
What shouldn’t we miss in our diet?
- Cod liver oil. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and an absolute base for a healthy pregnancy and training performance. A teaspoon of it will cover 90% of your needed Vitamin A and over 100% of your Vitamin D intake on a day. Vitamin D will aid the absorption of Calcium, hence is a great aid for when you need to game up your bone gains! There is also the belief that cod liver oil suppresses those proteins that promote chronic inflammation, rather giving you antioxidant benefits. The intake of cod liver oil is absolutely a MUST for people living in rather northern climates, such as us here in Scandinavia – due to the lack of sun hence synthesis of Vitamin D. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help reducing joint pains.
- Probiotics. No, it is not a tale, but we should actually eat more naturally rich foods in good bacteria and skip the probiotic supplement. Yoghurt and delicious Sauerkraut are naturally rich in probiotics, the latest is fermented by lactic acid bacteria and makes for an old traditional European dish. An equal to Sauerkraut we have Kimchi from East Asia and if you want to taste it, most supermarkets (ICAs here in Sweden) sell some version of it. Equally, you can choose traditionally made pickles (not the ones in vinegar, as this kills the bacteria) and even some cheese such as gouda, mozzarella, cottage cheese and cheddar. Probiotics may seem a ”fancy trendy new hipster food” but they have actually been here with us since the beginning, they are living organisms within us passed down from mother to baby by the birth canal, hence they won’t be picked up when the child is born via C-Section. Probiotics (1) help us to stabilize our gut health by maintaining a good level of good bacteria, (2) also helps with protection fighting against immunological diseases such as Crohn’s disease, arthritis, skin infections, stool infections, etc. The one probiotic that is easy to intake and really recommended is Lactobacillus, found in kefir type of milk. Also consume more Sauerkraut, yoghurt and pickles! Easy right?
- Natural butter. And especially focusing on the Vitamin K2 here. Butter is filled with fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E and K2 but Vitamin K2 is key in the metabolism of Calcium that not only protects the bone structure but also fights against many cardiovascular issues. Now the thing is that Vitamin K2 is especially found in products from grass-fed cows, so the source matters quite a bit when you’re buying your butter, meats, dairy, etc. Unfortunately, wisdom about K2 is rare here in the West but we do have documented ideas by doctor Weston Price who studied the correlation of diets and health in certain more excluded populations and found out that their natural diets and avoidance of any post-industrial diets was linked to the presence of a special factor that would protect these people’s bodies against disease – the miraculous Vitamin K2 (found only in animal foods and fermented products), sorry vegans.
- Liver. Something that not everyone enjoys due to the nature of the meat, this being an organ makes it more difficult to many ”modern eaters” to get themselves to the idea that it is actually healthy and an ancient ”superfood”, considered probably the most nutrient-dense food in the world and not only by our European culture but by many other out there. Liver contains Vitamins A, B12, B2 (riboflavin), B9 (folate, so needed to conceive healthily), iron, copper and choline, also being a source of high quality protein and low caloric. While it’s easy for mainstream publishers to claim ”liver is bad for pregnant women” it’s actually quite difficult for them to prove – because actually there are not enough tests on how ”excess of Vitamin A found in liver” harms the baby. Nonetheless, liver paste found in store is safe to eat as it does not contain as much liver as it should (there are generally only 30% liver and rest a mix of meats). How to introduce liver on your diet? Easy, pan fried with lots of onions, in burgers, or in any sort of dish that includes minced meat (spaghetti, f.e.).
Maybe exactly not the foods you were thinking about, right? Most articles and health magazines like to focus a lot on fruits (many that are not even available to us in Europe and that are not part of our diets as a proper diet should be based upon the local produce) and newly discovered ”superfoods” but often forget about how easy is to actually remain healthy if processed foods are skipped and instead switched with easy, natural and fairly cheap alternatives that have been here with us for thousand years. These are the ones that make our body function, give energy and help us to produce new healthy cells so needed to recovery periods, wounds, pregnancy or a disease (which is a weakened immune system, after all).
Let me know if you have something that we should look into, or a secret food you think we’re missing here. Remember to check out Instagram, comment and follow there. Until then…
See you in the next post!