Immune System Boosting Foods: "Doc Talks" with Dr. Daniel Nuzum
Jonathan Hunsaker: What foods can help boost your immune system?
Hey, Jonathan Hunsaker here again with Organixx. We get asked all the time, “What foods should I eat to boost my immune system?” Let’s ask Doc Nuzum right now.
Dr. Daniel Nuzum: Okay, immune boosting foods. What are immune boosting foods? Well, first off, these are foods that have to trigger an improved immune response in your system.
Some of these foods are nutritive. Okay, so they provide the nutrients so your immune system can operate properly. I like to use the analogy of the standard American diet providing 17 nutrients for us, and we have, depending on what you are counting as an essential nutrient or not, you have anywhere from 73 to 90 nutrients you need on a daily basis, okay? But our standard American diet only supplies us with 17 of those.
So, if you’re missing nuts and bolts—okay, this is like we went to your car and we randomly took 80 percent of the nuts and bolts out of your car, and then I handed you the keys and asked you to go to the corner to go pick up something at the shop. Do you think you would make it? No, of course not. Your car would break down. If your car even started, your car would break down, and you probably wouldn’t make it out of the driveway, okay?
Our standard American–folks that are eating the standard American diet, their immune system is working about as well as the car that’s missing 80 percent of its nuts and bolts. Okay? A little bit of stress, everything breaks down. A car missing 80 percent of its nuts and bolts, you put a little stress on that, try to turn it on, try to move it, anything, you try to do anything with it, stress it a little bit, and it would fall apart or break down. Correct?
So, in immune-boosting foods, we have to have foods that supply the nutrients that our immune system needs to operate properly, number one. So, we have that group of foods, and those would be fruits, vegetables, particularly the brighter the colors, the more the antioxidants that support immune function in those types of foods.
So, you have orange foods, and red foods, and yellow foods, and green foods, and things like that. The pigments that are in those—in these foods are all powerful antioxidants that help the immune system operate properly.
Also, eating a diet of fruits and vegetables that are very—is very broad, not just eating blueberries, but also eating other berries. And not just eating spinach, but also eating other greens. And not just squash, but eating multiple types of orange fruits and vegetables, okay?
So, a variety helps to stimulate your immune system. This does so by two—there are two methods here.
One is all of these foods contain nutrition, basic nutrients that your body needs to operate properly, and that your immune system needs to operate properly.
Two, we have these pigments in the fruits and vegetables that stimulate the immune system, kind of provoke it to function, to act. Kind of gives it a kick in the pants, if you will.
So, we have nutritious foods; then we have targeted foods. These are things like superfoods, like maqui berries, and acai, and medicinal mushrooms. A lot of your fermented foods. These are all targeted foods. These are foods that have specific responses in the body, which provoke the body to have a certain response. And they support the body in its natural, normal function.
So, let’s take medicinal mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms, I equate medicinal mushrooms to providing instruction to your body on how to defend itself. I tell my patients that when you take your medicinal mushrooms, it’s like taking your immune system to karate class. You’re teaching the immune system more techniques on how to defend itself. That’s medicinal mushrooms.
Let’s take fermented foods. Fermented foods set the internal environment of the body. They help to modulate our body’s pH; pH has a lot to do with what we end up growing in our body. If our body’s pH drops too low, let’s say your urine/saliva pH starts to drop down in the five range on the pH scale, you’re going to be prone to grow parasites, bacteria, fungus. If your body’s pH, if your urine/saliva pH ends up in the 8s, or close to—between 8 and 9, you’ll have the right environment to grow viruses. So, fermented foods help to regulate our body’s pH.
They also are both prebiotic and probiotic foods. Prebiotic foods are foods that feed the beneficial microbes in our system. Probiotics are the beneficial microbes. And so, we have fermented foods, a group of superfoods that are very helpful. We also have things like spirulina and chlorella, and other foods along with those lines that are—have both nutritive functions and detoxification functions, and supply a lot of raw materials that we need in order for our immune system to operate properly.
We also have cruciferous vegetables. Another very, very good immune boosting food. Not just because of the protectants that they have, there are protectants. The sulphur-based antioxidants in cruciferous vegetables are all cellular protectants. They’re very extremely powerful antioxidants. And these antioxidants quench hundreds of free radicals.
Cruciferous vegetables also have a very, very beneficial role in our body’s capacity to detoxify. The liver has a—there are four basic methods that our body goes through in order to detoxify. We have conjugation, oxidation, reduction, and methylation.
Conjugation, the very first one, is dependent on a compound called glucuronic acid. And the most abundant source of glucuronic acid that we can get in our diet is through cruciferous vegetables.
And so, cruciferous vegetables not only have these protectants that protect our cells, but they also have these other compounds that enable our body to detoxify itself. The more toxic you are, the less functional your immune system will be, or the more toxic you are, the more dysfunctional your immune system will be if that makes sense.
So, cruciferous vegetables play this role where they not only protect our cells and keep us healthy, but they help us to detoxify also.
Let’s see here. What else do we have?
Green foods. Green foods. Let’s talk about green foods. Green foods are, by pH, virtually all of our—the green foods that we would consume have an acidic pH, meaning their pH is below 7. What’s interesting is that green foods are the most alkalizing types of foods that we can consume.
Green foods are prebiotic in that our probiotic microbes consume green foods and they—they’re this excellent food source for our probiotics, number one.
Number two, green foods have this alkalizing effect on our body. See, in chemistry, when you add an acid to an acid, the response, the chemical reaction is to—is an alkalizing reaction. So, when we take acidic pH green foods and consume them, they raise our body’s pH. Most people eat very alkali foods. When we eat alkali foods, let’s take, for instance, when I say alkali food, I’m not saying alkalizing foods, I’m saying—I’m actually referring to the actual pH of the food.
Let’s take bread. Bread will have a high pH. It could be 8 or 9 on the pH scale. Let’s take a blackened steak, a steak that’s very well-done will have a pH of 8.5 to 8.9. Extremely alkali food. These extreme alkali foods take very long for our digestive system to break them down. And because of that, they cause our pH to drop. When we add these light acidic green foods into our system, they have the opposite effect. They actually balance out the drop in our pH caused by these foods with very high pH.
So, green foods are extremely important for setting the stage for our immune system to operate properly.
So, I hope that answered your question as to what are immune boosting foods?
Jonathan Hunsaker: Hey, thanks, Doc. Listen, are you eating the sad standard American diet? There’s so many of us that are. And now is the time to make a little upgrade. Let’s add some more fermented foods to our diet, let’s add some medicinal mushrooms, let’s boost our immune system. You’re going to feel night and day difference.
And if you’re looking for an easy way to add those medicinal mushrooms, check out Organixx’s 7M+. If you ‘re looking for ways to add some more greens, check out our OrganiGreens. It’s a phenomenal green drink. My daughter, she’s three years old, she loves it. I have a challenge at dinnertime sometimes getting her to eat her vegetables, and I just give her some of the OrganiGreens and I know that she’s taken care of.