Hello again Cave-fans! We hope you are all healthy, safe, and if you are still sheltering in place, we hope you are staying strong physically and mentally. As we as a society are coping with Covid-19 and the loosening restrictions, our team has been doing research on how we can eat and live just a little better by giving our immune systems what they need to stay strong in case we happen to contract the virus. Most of what we found probably won’t surprise you, as a Caveman customer, but there could be some tidbits that you’ll find helpful. Remember, we don’t expect everyone to be perfect – but knowledge is power. Let’s dive in.
First of all, let’s get one thing sorted. Here at Caveman, we believe in one very important key principle: Eat fresh, whole, and unprocessed foods every day.
This is part of our daily mantra at Caveman. By eating unprocessed or minimally processed foods, you are avoiding artificial ingredients, chemicals, and other junk you don’t want in your body. The best part is that following this principle naturally increases the fruits and vegetables that you will consume. Dark leafy greens and dark red fruits are packed with immune boosting antioxidants that help remove toxins from your body. Here are some additional guidelines on what you should try to consume daily, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO):
- Eat lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains! Now I know what you’re thinking about that last one: “Isn’t Caveman a grain free paleo brand?” Yes, we are. But whole grains also include yams, sweet potato, cassava, and taro which are all Paleo! Eating these items fresh is always better than buying frozen or premade.
- How much should you eat? Well, the WHO recommends that you eat 2 cups of fruit (roughly 4 servings), 2.5 cups of vegetables (5 servings), and 180 grams of whole grains.
- While snacking try to avoid processed foods that is high in sugar, fat, and salt. If you must, consume these less-healthy options in moderation.
- If you are cooking your vegetables, try to make sure that you don’t over cook them since this can reduce the amount of essential nutrients in the food.
- If you don’t have fresh fruit and vegetables easily accessible, select packaged options without added sugar and salt.
- STAY HYDRATED! Sorry for yelling, but this one we are quite passionate about. It has nothing to do with paleo, but water is literally essential for life. It helps bring the nutrients from the foods you eat to every nook and cranny of your body, can help regulate your body temp, and is a vehicle to rid your body of toxins and waste. Dehydration, on the other hand, reduces the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids that are integral in a healthy immune system.
- Try to drink 8-10 cups of water every day. Drinking tea instead of coffee is a great way to get a couple extra cups in, plus most teas are also chocked full of antioxidants. Some have immune boosting qualities as well, like echinacea and reishi mushrooms.
- Avoid drinking highly sugary drinks, including fruit juice. Some varieties, like apple juice, can contain as much sugar as an equivalent serving of soda.
- Eat saturated fat and oils in moderation. Avoiding them altogether is next to impossible (especially on the Paleo diet) but limiting them can have a positive effect on your immune response. According to a study by a group of scientists from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging found “over consumption of saturated fats may actually be a form of malnutrition that triggers the immune system to start attacking healthy parts of the body.” This is the last thing any of us need right now! So what kinds of fats should you be eating right now?
- Try to consume unsaturated fats. These are found in fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. Saturated fats, on the other hand, are found in fatty meat, butter, cream, cheese, and lard.
- Choose white meats over red meats.
- Always avoid industrially produced trans fats. These are often found in processed food like fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarine, and spreads.
- Last but definitely not least, eat less salt and sugar. Consuming large amounts of sugar has a near immediate effect on your immune function. According to Scientific American Magazine “eating sugar may put your white blood cells into a temporary coma.” After drinking a sugary soda this “coma” can last several hours. This is also true of salt. Many studies have shown that people with high salt content in their diets have immune cells that struggle to function properly.
- When preparing food, limit the amount of salt and other high salt condiments like soy sauce and fish sauce.
- Use iodized salt.
- Avoid over consumption of snacks that are high in salt or sugar.
- Avoid juices and sodas.
- Choose fresh fruit instead of desserts like cookies, cake, and chocolate.
We know that you are already ahead of the game being that you are a customer of ours, and we love you for it, but we hope that you found some of the tips above helpful. Even when we stop sheltering in place, these are good rules to follow to make sure your immune system stays strong. Stay safe and healthy Cave-fans!