Fight disease with these ten immunity-boosting foods!
About 2500 years before the moment you began reading this guide, a wise man said:
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Fight inflammation and create easy, healthy meals! We've created a FREE 7-Day AIP Meal Plan
Click here to Get Your FREE 7-Day AIP Meal Plan!
Sometime between then and this moment, we went to the moon, cloned a sheep, and created iPads—all cool things. But somewhere in all that technological advancement, our biological evolution got lost. We began to eat highly processed, inflammation-producing foods, and began to treat the resulting diseases with chemicals.
Hippocrates would be so pissed right now.
Luckily, some of us found the error in our ways, and got back to eating real food.
Though not a staple yet, groups of people all over the world have adopted the Paleo lifestyle, and thus returned to letting food be the only medicine they need to heal all that ails them.
Paleo is often unofficially referred to as the “anti-inflammation” diet. Which is a good thing because according to Karen Lamphere, MS, CN, most diseases have an underlying etiology involving inflammation.
So can eating the Paleo diet heal current conditions and decrease risk of future diseases?
Indeed! In fact, eating certain “Paleo” foods have been proven to improve conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, allergies, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes—and in some cases, heal them.
This guide will give you a comprehensive list of anti-inflammatory foods, along with their nutritional and healing properties, so that you can make proper—possibly life-saving—diet decisions!
Now before we get into the specific foods, let’s go over what an anti-inflammatory lifestyle looks like, and what you could do to incorporate the ideas into your days.
Use the following principles as a base for a healthier, inflammation-free life:
– Avoid refined sugar and limit natural sugars too.
– Eat grain-FREE.
– Dairy is a common food intolerance, so TEST before you allow it in your body.
– Eliminate legumes.
– Avoid all packaged and processed foods like the plague.
– Kick soy to the curb.
– Restrict consumption of starchy vegetables.
– Make sure to eat enough fat—good fat.
– Eat your veggies.
– Make sure your food is nutrient-dense.
– Choose organic vegetables over conventional vegetables; grass-fed meat over all other meats.
– Detoxify regularly with juicing, fasting, or detox baths.
– Make sure to get enough vitamin D.
– Spend time outdoors, perform natural exercise, play, and get good sleep.
These are general guidelines. Follow them and you’ll notice increased energy, you’ll lower your risk for contracting diseases in the future, and your current symptoms may subside if not disappear completely,
To supercharge your efforts, make sure to eat plenty of the following healing foods:
Salmon is low in calories and saturated fat, yet rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Research has showed that that eating salmon at least once a week contributes to diabetes and Alzheimer’s prevention, cancer prevention, and reduced inflammation.
There is a reason why Popeye was such a popular cartoon with parents. Spinach leaves are like Nature’s multi, packed with all sorts of vitamins (A, C, E, K, B6), manganese, calcium, selenium, riboflavin, iron, niacin and zinc.
Not only does it provide the power to fight against skin and breast cancer, but it’s also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. According to recent research by Manchester’s Faculty of Life Sciences, spinach also helps to slow down the natural degeneration process. They’re also incredibly easy to incorporate into every salad.
Some indigenous communities in South America have a saying that states, “A good broth will resurrect the dead.” Though we haven’t experimented with its zombie-raising properties, it is true that a good bone broth will help kickstart the healing process.
New York Times best selling author, Dr. Joseph Mercola, says, “Bone broth contains valuable minerals in a form your body can easily absorb and use, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals.”
The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion. Bone broth also inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses and fights inflammation, courtesy of anti-inflammatory amino acids such as arginine.
Apparently chicken soup is more than just good for the soul!
Most Californians and Mexican food lovers have been talking about the magical healing powers of guacamole for years—now there is actual science to back up this claim. Avocados are such a rich source of vitamins, minerals, healthful fats, and phytochemicals that the U.S. government has revised its nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more of them.
They contain beta-Sitosterol, a compound that may block cholesterol absorption as well as reduce discomfort of BPH (benign prostatichyperplasia). It is also under review for the potential to prevent breast cancer.
Avocados are also loaded with folate (one avocado pro-vides 57mcg, or 28% of the Daily Value), an important B vitamin that’s linked to the prevention of neural-tube defects in fetuses as well as prevention of cancer and heart disease in adults.
Oh yes, they also taste like heaven (especially when baked with an egg). Load up!
To most, kale is an acquired taste. But behind the ultra-chewy, green leaves is a highly nutritious vegetable that has the strength to support our body’s detoxification system. It not only lowers the risk of contracting cancer, but is also very helpful in lowering cholesterol levels.
Throw this into your morning smoothie and you’ll add a good source of dietary fiber and a load of vitamins (A, C, K, B6), copper, calcium, manganese and potassium. Kale is also used to avoid lung congestion in Chinese medicinal practice.
Ghee (clarified butter)
Ghee is among the best rejuvenating and longevity-promoting foods. It aids digestion and calms the nerves. Ghee’s rate of absorption is high, making it an excellent medium for transporting the nutrients of other foods to the tissues.
Use ghee in any situation that would require butter or oil. Ghee has a high smoke point, so it’s great for frying or sautéing, and is almost impossible to burn.
This delicious-yet-weird-looking fruit has almost double the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges, more fiber than you’ll find in a Fuji apple, and straight up beats the pants off bananas when it comes to potassium.
That unique cocktail of nutrients helps protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory disease. Kiwifruit also has natural blood-thinning properties so they could be used in place of aspirin in some cases, and they also reduce the formation of blood clots, lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure.
Kiwi: a super fruit if there ever was any.
If you’ve ever visited an authentic Japanese teahouse, then you’re aware that the healing powers of green tea have been valued in Asia for thousands of years. In the West, preliminary research suggests that drinking green tea may help to prevent cancer and possibly heart disease. Black tea is also under review for health benefits, though the healing agents, called “catechins” may be altered in black tea during processing.
One class of catechins called “EGCG” is believed to be the most potent compound in green tea. With the purported capacity to fight cancer at all stages, EGCG may have antioxidant power to seek out and destroy harmful free radicals; the ability to inhibit an enzyme needed for the growth of cancer cells; and a capacity to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. Researchers are also currently examining EGCG’s potential role in reducing LDL cholesterol.
Nuts (especially Walnuts)
The mention of nuts here excludes anything salted, roasted, or in a package with a monocled, top hat-wearing, dancing peanut. (Peanuts are legumes, anyhow. And legumes aren’t Paleo.)
True nuts are energy-packed and protein-rich, and may lower the risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease. And when eaten raw—as they always should be—nuts are an excellent source of the cardio-protective amino acid, arginine, and also offer a healthy dose of B vitamins.
Walnuts—some of the best nuts around—are packed with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that may alleviate arthritis and lower risk for heart attack and stroke.
They are also an especially good source of ellagic acid, an anti-oxidant compound which may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Grab a handful at a time but don’t go nuts…
In addition to being a great carb choice and the source of the most amazing fries on the planet—sweet potatoes are a loaded with carotenoids, filled with fiber, and one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet.These roots may help prevent cancer, degenerative eye disease, depression, and heart disease. Just make sure to eat them with the skin on!
These are just a sample of the many natural, whole foods that you can eat now to both prevent and fight disease.
Build your lifestyle around these delicious healing foods and the next time you visit a doctor may be on your 100-year-old birthday checkup.