It is entirely possible to boost metabolism on keto but before we get to that I wanted to first share some other healthy tips for my readers to practice. If you just want to know how to boost metabolism on keto, just scroll down the page to find what you are looking for.
This blog post was supposed to be all about “upping my exercise after the new year.” But seeing how I’ve been knocked out 3 consecutive times with 2 ugly head colds and an even uglier stomach flu, I thought I’d hold off on my muscles and focus on the immune system (Gotta love working in a hospital… being sneezed on by toddlers is just one of the many perks). Thank goodness no COVID-19 yet!
Those of us working in health care are clearly at higher risk for catching these things, but this year’s flu season has shown to be pretty widespread, no matter where you are!
The CDC (Center of Disease Control) reports the entire continental US to be in the “red” this year on the COVID-19 tracking graph, meaning the virus is everywhere, causing a lot of people to get sick. There are actually different strains of the COVID-19 that have been circulating over the past year. And as you’ve probably heard, this year’s most prevalent strain of COVID-19 is more dangerous than before. Unfortunately, the vaccine is only so effective at protecting us from it.
In effort to lessen my own time on the couch, and hopefully help prevent me from catching anything another sickness this season, I thought I’d share some of my immune-boosting remedies and preventative tips I have read up on along the way.
First, try and prevent the sickness from even coming your way by protecting your body from the germs, and taking good care of your immune system. And second, if you do come down with something, kick these recommendations up a few notches to get yourself back on your feet again ASAP!
Before we get to the nutrition part… let’s remember the biggest prevention of all:
WASH. YA. HANDS. sounds like a no brainer, but in these uncertain times and with COVID-19 on the rise, I always wash my hands before eating. But I don’t think about the other things I might touch before coming in contact with my face and mouth-AKA my PHONE. I use it in clinic as a calculator, and even to show my patients helpful Apps. It collects all the germs I come across over the course of the day. And then I take it home with me! Think: on the couch making a few calls or drafting emails, in the kitchen looking up recipes… The idea makes me cringe. Lesson learned: find a new calculator, sanitize the iPhone before leaving work, and think twice before popping a piece of gum into my mouth (especially during flu season!) and if you haven’t already, mask up!
Now For the Good Stuff:
Vegetable detox Seriously consider a veg detox. Tomatoes, sweet potato, oranges, bell peppers, kiwi, blueberries, blackberries, beets (made the whole rainbow there are just a few examples of how you can get a variety of colors onto your plate–which doesn’t just make your meal look pretty–it actually ensures that you’ll get a variety nutrients to keep your body strong with this veggie detox! The different pigments in fruits & veggies act as anti-oxidants, and offer a multitude of anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits. For example, the deep red or purple color in blackberries and cherries contain a type of phytochemical (plant compound) Anthocyanins which is not only a powerful anti-oxidant, but is studied for its role in protecting against heart disease. And the bright orange in sweet potatoes and carrots is from Carotenoids, the phytochemicals that boost the immune system… cue the orange, people! This is why a vegetable detox is so important and can help you reach ketosis faster.
PROTECT YOUR GUT. The bacteria naturally living in our gut run the show when it comes to our health and reaching ketosis. One of their many roles is involved in regulating the immune system. You’ve probably heard of Probiotics, the bacteria that we know are good for our health, found in “healthy guts” (to put it simply). Probiotics are added to foods like
We can help support the protective bacteria already in our gut by eating foods that keep them living and working well. AKA: Prebiotics! These are found in foods like those colorful fruits and vegetables (apples, bananas, blueberries, garlic), and also foods like oats and cocoa! yogurt and kombucha. Unfortunately, the science is not quite there yet for us to understand how bacteria thrives perfectly in the gut with everyone else. It’s just a biiiiit more complicated than that. It’s a complex ecosystem in there. But there is cool science emerging that leads us to believe regular probiotic consumption can help balance the commensal bacteria in our gut… therefore I am a strong believer in getting a daily yogurt fix!
FIND YOUR ROOTS. I’m talking ginger and turmeric. These plants are actually in the same family and have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are pretty high in anti-oxidants, too! Many people may sip on ginger ale when their stomach is upset. Unfortunately there is no ginger ingredient listed in most commercial ginger ale. But there is truth to the intention! Ginger root has properties that help break up and expel intestinal gas, which can reduce the symptoms of nausea. Ginger tea and ginger lozenges are a go-to for me after the stomach flu!
GET IN ON THE ELDERBERRY. Of all the natural cold remedies I’ve seen (Zinc, vitamin C, etc.) studies on elderberry seem to be the most promising! Elderberry is a (anthocyanin containing) plant, shown to reduce cold and flu symptoms, and in some studies argued to protect against colds, sinus infections, and the flu! I’m not saying it’s the magical antidote, but I’m certainly still down to sip on elderberry tea when everyone around me is sneezing up a storm!
When sleep deprived, the effects of glucose regulation has been understood to have a negative association with metabolism. Chronic sleep deprivation has been noted to have the greatest effect on lipid metabolism, what this means is that because our bodies are great at handling minor sleep deprivation issues, it when sleep deprived on a chronic timeline where our bodies can run into trouble metabolizing fat and glucose. Also worth noting is the connection to the lack of growth hormone, also effecting the metabolism of fats. Studies have shown that small sleep disturbances can easily be corrected by our bodies but its the chronic sleep disturbances that cause the most problems. So the takeaway here is to have as many good nights rests as possible and don’t sweat it too much if you don’t get a great sleep periodically.