How to Boost Immunity on a Ketogenic Diet
So, as the narrative goes ...
Many people wonder what is a Ketogenic, or shortly known as Keto, diet is? Is it something that has arrived just from another universe with super healing abilities? Does it make our immunity as stronger as that of Thanos – the galactic warlord from MCU?
Well, so much for the fiction fun, but in this narrative, we will focus on the scientific and factual based information about keto diet; what it is, and how it enhances our immune system to its optimal strength. So, let us begin our pursuit of knowledge about the keto diet right away!
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is composed of high-fat, low-carb foods that offer numerous health benefits. The health benefits of keto diet have been researched and proven by more than a dozen scientific studies from around the globe (source: Healthline). Along with enriching the overall immunity of the body, the keto diet is also proven to be effective against treating epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.
The basic aim of a keto diet is to radically lower the intake of carbohydrates and replaces the same with fats in the body. This puts the body into a metabolic state which is known as ketosis, a natural state in which the body uses fats instead of ketones for energy. The ketogenic effect caused by the intake of a keto diet brings a massive reduction in insulin and blood sugar levels, which provides many benefits to the overall health of the individual.
Especially people who suffer from diabetes, blood pressure, epilepsy, or other serious disorders, keto diet serves as a vital dietary regimen for them. When the body becomes efficient in burning fats for energy, the liver converts that fat into ketones, which eventually supplies the brain with tremendous amounts of energy as well.
Foods which makes up a keto diet are as follows:
- Seafood (fish, shellfish, crabs, shrimps, etc.)
- Coconut oil
- Nuts and seeds (sesame, chia, cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, etc.)
- Shirataki noodles (Japanese Konjac)
- Fresh meat (chicken, mutton, and beef)
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
- Plain yogurt
- Sugar-free tea, coffee, and green tea
- Low-carb vegetables (zucchini, cabbage, spinach, brussels sprout, kale, green beans, etc.)
- Cream and butter
How Keto Diet Boosts Immunity?
The ketogenic diet mainly consists of foods that limit obesity and glucose. It utilizes fatty acids to improvise the body’s metabolism, and thus, in a way improvise and enhances immunity. Due to the continuous intake of the keto diet, certain changes in the body takes place which ultimately leads to better overall health, which eventually means a better working immunity system.
There are a few ways the keto diet achieves this goal for the immunity. One of the first ways it does so is by improvising the body’s defenses against combating viruses. When the keto diet is consumed regularly, with strict nutritional guidelines, it triggers the growth of a certain group of immune cells known as gamma delta T cells.
These cells are responsible for producing mucus in the lungs and efficiently traps the incoming viruses, specifically the influenza virus. A study conducted by the researchers at Yale University has conclusive proof of this process. The second effective way by which keto diet effectively helps boost immunity is by radically reducing obesity.
According to a study published by the American Society for Nutrition in 2016, obesity can bring metabolic disruptions in the body and causes dysfunctionality of the immune system. Keto diet helps reduce obesity and improvise not only the working of the immune system but the overall health of the person as well. With the reduced weight, the body’s metabolism works without stress, helps immunity to work in optimal condition, and significantly reduces the chance of catching chronic and viral infections.
Another very significant way by which keto diet flourishes the immune system is by providing healthy and vital nutrient intake. The defect in nutrient intake is directly related to the suppressive working of the immune system. The role of the right nutrients is that much important that even a single deficiency of a micronutrient can lead to a deficient immune response.
One of the best micronutrients for the immune system – folic acid, zinc, selenium, iron, vitamin A, C, D, E, B2, B6, and B12 – are found in whole-foods on which the entire keto diet is based upon. Therefore, the combined package of the wholesome keto diet richly nourishes and provides the essential nutrients needed for the immune system to work at its best.
Some Other Good Ways to Boost Immunity
While keto diet being one concrete way as far as dietary method is concerned, it is not the only one in the world to enrich the immune system. There are various ways available by which the immune system can be enhanced and enriched as well. These recommendations and methods to boost immunity are scientifically-backed and are not at all difficult to follow.
Here is the list of lifestyle habits and changes you can do to increase the effectiveness of your immune system:
- Avoid smoking, alcohol consumption, and addictive substances of any kind
- Do moderate exercise regularly
- Get adequate and peaceful sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid stressors and stress as much as possible
- Eat a diet that mostly contains vegetables and fruits
- Keep yourself and your home clean, such as taking a regular shower two times a day, washing hands frequently, and proper sanitation of home/workplace.
According to Fruit of Spirit, consuming a keto diet has a direct relationship with increased immune system effectiveness. However, one should also not disregard the other ways described here for leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Therefore, make the most of what you eat and how you live to obtain that maximum level of health and prevention from minor/major diseases. As thinking and sensible human beings, it is our utmost responsibility to not only take care of ourselves but all those who are our loved ones, by being responsible for our health and leading-by-example for others to follow.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.