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Immunity Health & Wellness

Why a Stronger Immune System Starts With Better Nutrition

Photos: Courtesy of TK Consulting & Design

As a child, Whitney Miner was plagued with migraines, sinus infections, colds, and stomach bugs. Through the years, she grew tired of taking antibiotics and making trips to the doctor’s office. 

“After being sick for five weeks straight from getting the flu and a sinus infection back-to-back in 2018, I knew I no longer wanted to live my life constantly sick,” explained Miner, a holistic nutritionist and blogger. “I started researching the best way to naturally boost my immune system, and found out that 70 percent of our immune systems are in our gut. That means that what we’re eating is either contributing to our wellness or making us sick.”

Making a change

Miner decided to give plant-based eating a go, on a trial basis. 

“If I didn’t get sick, I knew it was legit,” she said. “I didn’t get sick in 90 days for the first time in my life. I shed pounds, had a ton of energy, and my skin was glowing. I felt amazing. It was then I knew that we truly are what we eat. We have the ability to impact our health through what is on the end of our forks.”

Miner believes the best way to take control of your health involves mindful eating that includes as many whole, plant-based foods as possible. She suggests exercising at least three times a week and meditating to decrease stress and improve mental focus, clarity, and psychological balance.

Being proactive

Through her website and social media, Miner helps others find their own healthy lifestyle. With the cold and flu season approaching, she says it’s crucial for everyone to keep their immune systems strong.

“I always say God is so smart; he put the medicine in the food. All we have to do is eat it,” Miner said. “Boost your immune system by consuming as many antiviral, immune-boosting foods as possible, including garlic, ginger, onions, green tea, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso, along with cruciferous vegetables, berries, citrus, and mushrooms.”

According to Miner, herbs that can boost your immune system include echinacea, turmeric, elderberry, astragalus, oregano, oil, and thyme.

Slowly, but surely

One of the biggest misconceptions about changing eating habits is that nutrition has to be all or nothing. Taking even small steps can make a difference. 

“Including a meatless day of the week is a great way to start adapting to the lifestyle,” Miner said. “You can then work your way up to one meatless meal a day. Before you know it, you’ll be comfortable eating only plant-based foods. Even just committing to adding a serving of fruit and vegetables to every meal can help people get adjusted to including more plants in their diet, by crowding out the more unhealthy items on their plate.”

And meals don’t need to be complicated. 

“I’m all about making this lifestyle as simple and accessible as possible,” Miner said. “Keeping staples like beans, brown rice, and green vegetables on-hand makes throwing together meals easy. Cut-up veggies with hummus, fruits, and nuts are great to have around for snacking.”

Changing your mindset

Unfortunately, Miner says, in this country, we aren’t taught much about the value of nutrition.

”As a society, we’re largely uneducated about the impact our diet has on both the prevention of illness and the healing transformational power of nutrition when we are already sick,” she said. Education is the way to change that. 

“That’s why I started Eat Plants & Prosper, with the mission of reaching as many people as possible with the message that food, not medicine, is healthcare.”

Miner adds, “Pay attention to your wellness, or you will be forced to pay attention to your illness. Give yourself the gift of good health by consuming more whole, plant-based foods.”

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