Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from a head cold this season? Or how about allergies in the spring? Or summer? Or fall? Or indoor in the winter...? I'm betting somewhere in here you'll end up saying yes. If not, congrats, you are either following a paleo diet or Bruce Willis in "Unbreakable". Okay, maybe not that extreme, but how often to you think about how your diet is effect your immune health?
My favorite, Mark Sisson at Mark's Daily Apple, has covered this topic extensively. He gives very in-depth and amazing information. Let me re-iterate- very in-depth.
A quick reader's digest, simplified explanation might be useful to those who've never delved into this discussion before. Food wise, grains, sugars, legumes, and processed vegetable oils help promote inflammation. Inflammation can be a good thing, unless it becomes chronic. Now, there are plenty of other factors affecting chronic inflammation, but let us just examine one group at a time...
Inflammation is your bodies response to "injury", per se. You smash your thumb with a hammer while hanging a picture frame. Your thumb turns red, swells us, and hurts like a mother for a few days. In response to the pain, you keep away from using the digit until the pain and swelling subsides. You had an inflammatory response to an injury- while you body healed the injury area, extra blood carrying healing blood cells flooded the injury site, swelling it, turning it red, and making it sore until the job was done.
When inflammation becomes chronic, we've got problems. Well, you're not smashing your thumb every day, right? Right. But you are eating grains, sugars, legumes, and vegetable oils. And they increase internal inflammation. Bad. If our body is constantly fighting an inflammation response, when a real problem comes along, it will not have the max number of reinforcements to take are of the problem.
Again, this was my reader's digest version. Check out some of these fantastic articles that this information was derived from:
Mark's definition of Inflammation
Mark's take on Sugar Supressing the Immune System
*These are just the tip of the iceberg for his take on immune health.
As if we needed another excuse to divulge ourselves into a tasty meal of delicious meat and savory vegetables...
- 1 London Broil steak*, preferably grass fed
- Tamari sauce**, 1 tbs per 4oz of meat
- Pineapple juice, 1 tbs per 4oz of meat
- Olive oil, 2 tbs per 4oz of meat
- Garlic, minced, 1 clover per 4oz meat
- Salt, 1/4 tsp per 4oz meat
- Fresh cracked black pepper, 1/4 tsp per 4 oz meat
Feel free to adjust any of the above to taste
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients
Cover the steak well, refrigerate for at least 6 hours up to 12 hours, flipping once
Heat a grill to medium-high heat
Remove the steak from the dish, discarding the juices
When the grill is goooooood and hot (and cleaned), place steak on grill
Turn steak after 2 minutes to get hash marks, grill another 2 minutes
Turn steak after 2 minutes for hash marks, and continue to cook until desired doneness (another 2 minutes should yield a medium-rare steak)
Let sit for at least 5 minutes covered with foil so juices can set
Slice thinly against the grain, serve with grilled, roasted, steamed, or any other deliciously prepared butter soaked vegetables
*London Broil is a term for the preparation (thin slices of beef against the grain) of the dish, not the actual cut of meat. You can usually find cuts of meat labeled London Broil in a supermarket, however some of the common cuts of meat used for this preparation are flank steak and top round.
**Gluten free, reduced sodium Tamari sauce, please! :)