As winter approaches, it is even more important than other times of the year to eat clean food. Clean food is food that is as close to Mother Earth as possible, that has not been stripped of nutrients in industrial processing. Clean foods are foods that have nothing harmful added to them, such as white sugar, corn syrup, or preservatives.
The safest foods are those that do not need labels or ingredient lists, such as all vegetables, intact whole grains, legumes, and animal foods such as free-range eggs and chicken, grass-fed meat, and wild-caught fish.
Strengthen Your Immune System by Staying Away From White Sugar
Sugar triggers the excretion of B vitamins and most minerals – Eating sugar therefore can lead to the depletion of the body – and thus sets the stage for all kinds of illnesses. For up to 5 hours after eating sugar, it destroys the germ-killing ability of white blood cells and reduces the production of antibodies – it literally paralyzes our immune system. Sugar interferes with the transportation of Vit C. It causes cell walls to become porous and allows unwelcome micro-organisms to invade the cells more easily.
Stay Away From Foods Containing Preservatives
Avoid preservatives such as Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Sulfite, Sulfur Dioxide, Propyl Paraben, BHA, BHT, and TBHQ. The function of preservatives is to kill bacteria. What sounds like a good idea at first, really isn’t. The reason is, that these chemicals do not differentiate between harmful bacteria and friendly gut bacteria. They kill all bacteria and therefore compromise our good bacteria in the gut, which make up 70 – 80% of our immune system.
Eat Lacto-Fermented Foods Daily
It is the most effective way to boost the population of good gut bacteria. You can make your own or buy them. Look for them in the cold section of your store. They should not be pasteurized, but raw. They should not include vinegar in the ingredient list, only vegetables, salt, and water, possibly some herbs or spices.
You can find sauerkraut (lacto-fermented cabbage), pickles (lacto-fermented cucumbers), as well as lacto-fermented carrots and beets in food stores. There is also kimchi, a traditional Korean condiment. Have 2 tablespoons of lacto-fermented vegetables daily. You can have it as a snack or an appetizer before your meals. Miso, lacto-fermented soybean paste is also readily available. To make a soothing broth, dilute 1 tablespoon of miso in ½ cup of cold water. Bring fresh water to a boil, let it cool a bit, and then add the miso water mixture to it. Miso should not be boiled – that would kill the friendly bacteria.
Eat vegetables that traditionally were kept in a cellar over the winter, such as all root vegetables: carrots, beets, rutabaga, parsnip, turnips, cabbage, and potatoes.
Chew well. Whatever you eat, make a point of chewing your food thoroughly. Even chew your drinks. The act of chewing strengthens our immune system by creating protective T-cells in our thymus gland.
Laugh often. Every time you smile, you give your immune system a boost. So: watch a silly movie, play with your kids, read a funny book, or try some new dance moves.
Sleep in. Make sure you get enough sleep. Listen to your body. Take a nap! Try to go to bed early – around 10/11 pm. The hours of sleep before midnight count double! The reason is: your liver, the most important cleansing organ in the body, kicks into full action at 11 pm. By being asleep at that time, you allow your liver to do her vital job properly, which will also take a load off your immune system.
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- 2 pounds (1 kg) sauerkraut, including the brine
- 3 carrots, coarsely grated
- ½ cup (120 ml) pearled barley
- a little olive oil
- a little maple syrup (optional)
Food Recipe Instructions
- Place the sauerkraut and carrots in a pot and add enough water to cover the vegetables, plus a little more.
- Pour the barley on top of the vegetables but do not mix (so that the barley will steam).
- Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until the barley is soft, about 1½ hours.
- Add a little olive oil and stir.
- If the sauerkraut is too tart, add a little maple syrup to soften the edge.
Serve with boiled potatoes and mustard.