Shelly Storm

Eating right during the pandemic is so important to help us stay healthy. Focusing on boosting your immune system through food is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. Every time we go to the grocery store or the farmers market or in our kitchens, we make mindful decisions about what to eat. Foods containing Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Vitamin B12 all support our immunity. A few beneficial foods to incorporate into your daily rotation to strengthen your body’s defenses are mushrooms, broccoli, Olive oil, berries, wild fish, green tea and many different kinds of nuts.

*Mushrooms increase protective antibodies from your saliva and ward off infection. The good stuff is in the stems as well as the caps so make sure you enjoy both!
*Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are loaded with sulforaphane which help us in detoxification. Research shows that eating cruciferous veggies actually pumps up your immune system against viruses.
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil ramps up the number of your immune cells and activates them!
*Berries increase certain types of immune cells in healthy people. They are also a great source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Your gut bacteria love them, which means they’re great for immunity!
*Wild fish like salmon high in anti-inflammatory omega 3 EPA and DHA fats, rich in vitamin B12, selenium, vitamin D and calcium.
*Green Tea is rich in a substance called EGCG which calms inflammation and helps to reset immune systems to healthy levels.
*Pecans are packed with fiber and omega-3 fats that support immunity.

Many of us are currently working from home and possibly eating more processed food. It is important to watch out for added sugar and/or MSG. Both of these show up in so many different forms and/or names and companies will sneak them into their food at all costs to enhance flavor and increase their addictiveness. Sugar can actually cause you to be hungrier and increase inflammation in your body. As a guideline I try to keep my total added sugar to less than 20g/day. MSG is a flavor enhancer that eliminates the feeling of being “full.” It is known as an excitotoxin and increases inflammation in the liver. When buying processed food Look for whole food ingredients. As a rule of thumb try not to eat packaged food with more than 5 ingredients, and if you can’t read it don’t eat it!
Sweeteners to Avoid:
*Sugar alcohols: mannitol, xylitol, and sorbitol. Theses can cause bloating, gas, & diarrhea
*Agave: highly processed and a concentrated form of fructose.
*Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are synthetic sweeteners that negatively alter our gut microflora

Better sweeteners to use:
*Pure maple syrup is a low glycemic sap and contains antioxidants and trace minerals.
*Raw local honey is packed with antioxidants.
*Coconut sugar is an unrefined low glycemic sweetener.
*Dates are one of my favorite natural sweeteners and since it is a whole food it also comes with a significant amount of fiber to balance blood sugar.
*Stevia is 200x sweeter than sucrose and can improve blood sugar and insulin response.

Practical food guidelines to use while trying to eat healthy:
· Eat whole, nutrient dense, real food
· 7-9 servings of plants per day
· Drink ½ your weight in ounces of filtered water every day
· Eat balanced meals including health fat, protein, fiber and greens
· When eating animal products choose wild, 100% grass fed and pasture raised
· Buy organic and local when possible
· Quality over quantity
· Minimize sweets
· Cook at home

In Good Health,
Shelly Storm, IHP
Integrative Health Practitioner and Wellness Coach
Right Living Wellness