Eating for Immune Health in 2022
If there’s anything we learned about the immune system in 2021, it’s that you absolutely cannot let your guard down.
Fortunately, with the right foods, you can keep your immune system ready for anything that comes your way. You will need it in 2022, that’s for sure!
That’s why at Resync, we want to gather all the resources you need in this guide to eating for immune function. We want your 2022 to have a bit more peace of mind than 2021 had to offer.
Let’s take a look at the easy choices you can make to positively charge your immune system.
Foods That Impair Your Immune Function
The standard American diet reads like a laundry list of foods to nix from your fridge. Support daily immune function by throwing these out!
- Processed, pre-packaged foods are high in sugar, salt, fat, and calories, but low in essential nutrients and antioxidants — a recipe for unhealthy weight gain and a suppressed immune system.
- White carbs and refined grains spike blood sugar and dysregulate your metabolism.
- Excessive red meat can contribute to painful gout in sensitive people, and getting too much is associated with negative effects like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, particularly when combined with a generally unhealthy diet.
- Deep fried foods not only increase damaging oxidative stress in your body (which impairs your immune system and energy levels), but can also cause irreversible stiffening of your collagen connective tissues, a process called non-enzymatic glycation.
- Environmental toxins that accumulate in your food and your body are only beginning to be understood for their negative effects. Exposure to toxins like pesticides and plastics, in the water and in the air, is tied to oxidative stress.
- Dietary triggers like dairy, gluten, and types of sugars can activate an immune response in people who are sensitive. Talk to a qualified nutritionist or dietitian to get to the root of digestive issues.
Besides these unhealthy foods, your lifestyle is the other half of the picture when it comes to having enough energy to rise every day.
Not getting regular exercise decreases your body's resilience in numerous ways. If you forget about your recovery, you’ll be in an even worse condition!
A well-regulated immune system needs key nutrients to mount an attack at a moment's notice.
Studies have shown that the immune system's natural response to pathogens can be supported — or “boosted”, if you prefer — by getting more of these key nutrients. I include some of the top foods that are packed in those nutrients to support your immune system so you can get them naturally as frequently as possible!
Vitamin C is one nutrient that has been shown effective in helping the immune system out. It’s an absolutely essential nutrient, but honestly it’s positive effects pale in comparison to some of the heavy hitters in this list.
That said, plenty of people don’t get enough just for baseline health, let alone enough to optimize their immune system when under attack.
Your frontline antioxidant, vitamin C, is found most highly concentrated in acerola cherries (avoid the sweetened ones), but you can eat enough by including colorful peppers, red and green leafy veggies, and kiwi with other citruses into your daily diet.
As an antioxidant, it is possible to take too much vitamin C if you’re supplementing. Like high doses of other anti-inflammatories, taking it at the wrong time (after a workout) may actually blunt the natural muscle-building response of heavy exercise.
So get enough for a healthy system without overloading it. I think that sweet spot is right around 500mg, exactly the amount you’ll find in Resync’s newest refreshing beverage.
For comprehensive coverage of vitamin C’s healthy-promoting effects, check out my article here.
Zinc is one nutrient with a high level of research to support when, why, how, and how NOT to take zinc for a cold or common respiratory infection.
High (but not too high!) levels of zinc for a very specific, short period of time might be just what your immune system need to support its healthy anti-viral reaction. Too much from supplements can hurt your immune system and cause other nutrient deficiencies, though, so read the label and know how much you’re taking if you choose to supplement!
You can get enough zinc in your foods on a regular basis from eating oysters once per week, which conveniently provides other minerals like copper that need to be taken with zinc. For daily support, go for cashews, beans, pumpkin seeds, hummus, meat, and other crustaceans - all of which have relatively lower levels.
Get higher levels of zinc at the first sign of an infection or after a suspected exposure. Do not take high levels of zinc for a long period of time — this can lead to copper, manganese, and possibly iron deficiency.
For a more detailed picture on why and how zinc supplementation works for supporting healthy immune function, we dive in deep on this article.
Dietary Plant-based Nitrates
Nitric oxide (“N-O” for short”) is a simple molecule with huge implications.
• It relaxes blood vessels
• It lets you exercise while using less oxygen
• It is essential for a healthy gut, brain, and even for functioning of your mitochondria
I wish more people knew the profound effects of this little powerful molecule!
Nitric oxide also gives your immune system it’s stopping power. A blast of it takes down foreing invaders like a weapon wielded by your white blood cells.
In fact, one study even shows this positive effect on a bigger scale. Researchers wanted to see if a beetroot supplement would reduce how bad the typical cold got, and they got some interesting results to say the least!
The research team found that supplementing with 400mg dietary nitrate daily was linked with 26% fewer cold symptoms. Better yet: those with asthma and those whose nitric oxide was low had an even bigger benefit!
Curious about where to get your plant-based nitrates? Check our list of the best sources here. Tip: the amount in red spinach puts the level in beets to shame!
70% of the United States population is insufficient or deficient in vitamin D. That’s a problem.
Vitamin D is not easy to find from food: oily fish like salmon, liver, and egg yolks are some of the only natural sources of vitamin D3.
Adding insult to injury, nowadays we hardly spend enough time out in the sun to make enough ourselves.
Although studies suggest that supplementing with vitamin D won’t necessarily boost your immune system’s response to an infection, it is a necessary nutrient for a healthy functioning immune system.
Check out my article on vitamin D to see if that’s what’s holding you back!
Berries have long been known to benefit the immune system during cold and flu season. Elderberry has numerous studies to back it’s immune-boosting claims, and other super concentrated superfoods (like aronia berry) may have positive effects as well.
The way these berries work is by providing your body the unique anti-inflammatory antioxidants that only come from plants, called “polyphenols”.
We get into the details of aronia and elderberry polyphenols, and their relevance for flu season, in this article. Tons of valuable information here!
Dietary fiber (think vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains) doesn’t strike most as an immune-essential nutrient, but it certainly is!
It makes sense, almost all of your immune system is located in your gastrointestinal system — it’s called the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. If your gut is where the first line response is, and your gut needs fiber to maintain healthy anti-inflammatory landscape, then fiber suddenly looks like a powerful tool to support healthy immune function!
Your gut bacteria — natural colonies of health-promoting microbes — play a major role in this fight as well.
And what does your gut bacteria need to thrive? Fiber, plain and simple.
If you want a drink that will help support your immune function with many of these nutrients, take a look at the newest member of the Resync line. The Resync Beverage is the world’s first sparkling refreshment formulated to support healthy heart, gut, and immune function. And it’s delicious.
With two types of fiber, vitamin B6 & B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, plant-based nitrates, and polyphenols, you won’t find anything like it anywhere but here!
Resync Sparkling Functional Beverage - Wildberry Citrus
Resync is a one-of-a-kind 3-in-1 functional beverage that supports the immune, heart, and digestive system all at once.It's enhanced with Vitamins B6, B12, C & D3.
This functional beverage provides:
• A powerful immune boost• Additional phenolic antioxidants
• 7 g of prebiotic & plant fiber for gut health
• Resync's signature plant-based nitric oxide blend made of red spinach, red beets, and Aronia berry
Our unique Wildberry Citrus flavor reinvents how you can enjoy a nutritious drink in a delicious sparkling way.Drink with a healthy purpose!
You can implement every diet tip in the world, but having a strong immune system depends just as much on your lifestyle as well.
Practice mindfulness. If you, like many, find comfort in scrolling social media or vegging out to your favorite shows, make sure you first treat your body and mind with the mindfulness it craves. That mind-body connection is so important for regulating every system in your body!
Manage stress and anxiety when negativity comes up in your life. Not only can being more even-keel help you lower stress hormones and regulate spikes in blood pressure, yoga and meditation even influence inflammation in your body!
Quality sleep and recovery are every bit, if not more, important as training. Nutritionally support your sleep with glycine-rich protein like collagen. Professional athletes swear by the recovery-enhancing effects of Resync Recovery.
Having a strong immune system in 2022 comes down to saying no to the things that deplete your immune function, and saying yes to the nutrients you need to keep your defenses up.
If getting that habit nailed down is going to be tricky for you, then check out our other resources on living for optimized immune health:
Stay In, Stay Healthy: What to Eat to Support Your Immune System Part 1
Stay In, Stay Healthy: What to Eat to Support Your Immune System Part 2
Got N-O Immunity?
And don’t forget our next blog on how to make healthy eating a lifestyle!
Cheers to your immune health and your happiness in 2022!
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While other companies push clickbait and fake news, what we say is backed by research. When you have the right information, you are empowered to make the right decision. That’s why we break down complex science into practical takeaways you can use today.
Helping you lead a healthier life,
The Resync Team
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Choi F, et al. "Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, vol. 18, no. 1, Jan 2019, pp. 9-16
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