Immune Benefits of Keto
It’s a sign of the times that everyone is becoming more conscious of not only their health but also their immune health. We think it’s important for you to understand just how your diet impacts your immune system and how a Keto diet can provide a lot of immune benefits!
There is lots of different research that has shown that your diet does in fact impact your immune function, for instance:
Insulin resistance caused from eating large amounts of carbs can both increase inflammation and alter immune function.
Adding Probiotics and fermented foods to your diet can not only lower your risk of infection but also speed up recovery by decreasing the severity of your illness
Obesity and excess visceral (belly fat) can lower immune function and increase the risk of an infection
What Are The Keto Benefits For Immune Health?
Research has found that eating a low-carb, moderate protein Keto diet may provide your immune system with a range to benefits besides having more energy to fight off infections like the flu.
In a 2019 flu-study at Yale, Researchers fed mice infected with the influenza virus a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, which resulted in a higher survival rate than compared to those on a normal high-carbohydrate diet.
Aikiko Iwasaki and his colleagues found that mice on a Keto diet were not only less affected by the flu virus, but that a Keto diet produced more T cells, which are mucus-producing and create a protective layer within the lungs, and allow the virus to be trapped and expelled before entering the body and worsening. It also gave the mice increased energy levels to aid them in fighting off the infection.
Eating a Keto Diet, such as the Ultra Lite Program also has positive effects on your microbiome, it in turn lowers the inflammation within your body and can even help to reverse insulin resistance–all of which is good news for the flu and other infections.
Immune Boosting Keto Foods
You might be surprised to find that even on Keto you can eat a diet full of a rich array of immune-boosting foods that will build up your defenses going into this challenging cold and flu season!
Citrus fruits pack a punch when it comes to Vitamin C!
1 whole lemon (including peel) contains roughly 83mg which is 92% of your daily Vitamin C intake. Why is Vitamin C the go-to for immune support? Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, but it also increases the production of white blood cells. Which are key to fighting infections.
So we recommend a squeeze of lemon juice in your morning glass of water each day!
Broccoli, part of the brassica family is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate ! and its also a high fibre food that is perfect for Keto as its low in carb as well with only 4g of carb per cup (91g).
1 serving will supply you with your daily dose of both Vitamin A & C, and best news yet is studies show that broccoli may decrease insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics.
Blueberries are a powerful antioxidant food that are packed with flavonoids, on in particular, called anthocyanin offers anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits.
In 2016 a study showed that flavonoids in particular played an essential role in the immune defence mechanism of the respiratory tract, and those people who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection, or common cold, than those who did not
4. Capsicum (Bell Peppers)
Believe it or not, gram for gram, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin. Beta carotene helps keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Ginger is a go-to for fighting off symptoms of your common cold and flu, it’s anti-inflammatory and has antioxidative properties which can reduce discomfort of a sore throat and can even decrease nausea as well!
Gingerol, is what gives ginger its heat and can also help to decrease chronic pain as well as lower cholesterol
Thanks to Garlics highly concentrated sulphur-containing compounds such as allicin (hello garlic breath!), it packs a punch of immune boosting properties.
A study showed that compared to placebo, those taking garlic supplements had 1/2 the amount of colds
Spinach is not just a great Keto food option as it’s low in carb, It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems.
What’s more, it’s an excellent source of Vitamin K One cup (180 grams) of cooked spinach provides more than 10 times the RDI for vitamin K
Nuts are not only full of healthy fats perfect for energy production on Keto, but they are also full of Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin that is key to a healthy immune system
Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E
9. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds can make a tasty addition to salads, breakfast bowls or even Keto Granola!
They are full of nutrients, including phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which means that it prevents free radical damage caused by stress.
10. Yoghurt & Kefir
A good quality yoghurt is one that is pot-set, organic or made from grass-fed cows that is high in fat and has no added sugar!
It contains billions of beneficial bacteria which can help the gut flora to fight off those pathogenic invaders.
Drinking Kefir, a fermented milk beverage has also been found to boost your immune system, according to a 2017 review, various studies have shown that regular consumption of kefir can help with:
- fighting bacteria
- reducing inflammation
- increasing antioxidant activity
This yellow spice is miraculous witch its wide-ranging health benefits! used both in cooking and as a herbal medicine to treat a range of inflammatory conditions such as a. Curcumin is the active compound found in Turmeric and is the the key to its immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
12. Green Tea
Green tea packs a high amount of the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. It has been shown to enhance immune function, and because green tea is unfermented (unlike black tea) the EGCG is preserved. Not to mention Green tea also contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which aids in the production of germ-fighting compounds within your T-cells (which are vital in hosting an immune response against viruses).
13. Bone Broth
We all know the go-to for when we’re feeling a little under the weather, the good news is Chicken soup is really good for the soul!
Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, are both high in B-6, and an 80g serve contains 50% of your daily recommended amount of B-6.
B-6 plays a role in many physiological functions within the body, and is vital to the formation of new and healthy Red Blood Cells.
Bone Broth, made from boiled up bones and joints of beef, fish or chicken also contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.
Zinc! it is crucial for normal development and function of the cells in our innate immune response. Not to mention it’s a powerful antioxidant which prevents free radical-induced injury during inflammatory processes.
Some types of shellfish are packed with zinc, so we recommend introducing more of these to your Keto diet
If you’ve decided after seeing all the immune boosting health benefits available from a ketogenic diet, that you’d like to give it a go, why not find your nearest Ultra Lite Practitioner, or download our 7 day meal plan to give Keto a go!