Boosting Your Immunity For Dummies
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Certain foods should never touch your lips. They cause such havoc, inflammation, and damage to your system, that they shouldn’t even be on your radar — ever. Damaging foods, such as artificial sugars, food additives, and some others make your body run about as good as a car runs on dirt. You’re only as good as the food you digest. Your energy comes as a byproduct of your digestion.

When you eat these foods, your body simply doesn’t recognize them as food but rather a food product of some type. As a result, you simply can’t properly digest these foods. Eating these foods can cause long-term damage to your health, particularly in regard to organ damage.

“Frankenfoods” — the worst of processed foods

Frankenfoods have been genetically engineered, and they’re full of allergens, preservatives, additives, or maybe flavor enhancers. In a word, yuck!

Frankenfoods are processed soy and meat alternatives. Unlike soy foods, such as edamame, tempeh, and traditional miso, which are closer to their natural state, these foods are a far cry from anything real.

Some vegetarians don’t eat any meat, eggs, or fish and are looking for ways to expand their protein sources — okay, that’s smart; you have to get your protein somewhere. But look past these food products for your options. This stuff just isn’t healthy for anyone. Period. In fact, these options aren’t even foods. They’re food products, usually a mixture of a wheat protein with a subpar oil.

The following foods get the frankenfoods label and should be avoided:

  • Soymilk

  • Tofu hot dogs

  • Veggie bacon

  • Veggie chicken

  • Veggie chicken wings

  • Veggie loafs

  • Veggie patties or boxed veggie burgers

  • Veggie “sausage” links

If you’re choosing to eat soy because you’re a vegetarian, be sure to stick with the fermented products that are closer to their natural state.

Soy-processing techniques destroy any possible benefit you can gain. In fact, you can even be at risk for estrogen dependent tumor growth — definitely not immune boosting!

Here are some hidden words for processed soy:

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  • Lecithin

  • Monodiglyceride (who knew?)

  • Protein isolate

  • Soy isolate

  • Soy protein

  • Soya

  • Textured soy flour (TSF)

  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

  • Vegetable fat

  • Vegetable oil

  • Vegetable protein

Sneaky food additives to avoid

When you eat processed foods, you run the risk of encountering “sneaky stuff” — the unsuspecting additives that find their way into your foods. The marketing of the product may lead you to believe that you’re getting something wholesome when, in fact, you’re not.

Additives are designed to make a food look good, taste good, and last longer. Here’s the kicker: Now, more than 400 additives are perfectly legal to put in your food. If that stirs you, just wait; there’s more — many substances used for flavor enhancers don’t even have to be listed on the ingredient label. These additives put an unnecessary burden on your immune system to make additives immune suppressors.

Here are the many faces of sneaky food additives:

  • Artificial coloring

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Emulsifiers

  • Flavor enhancers

  • Glazing agents

  • Preservatives

  • Stabilizers

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a common food additive with many different names. It’s also a neurotoxin, meaning it can have a toxic effect on your nervous system. Headaches, nausea, anxiety, or sleeplessness are all among the side effects of MSG. If you see any of these names on your food label, steer clear:

  • Autolyzed yeast products

  • Glutamate

  • Anything “hydrolyzed”

  • Soy protein

  • Yeast extract

Added corn or maize in a food is something you really have to watch out for. This food isn’t immune building, is often genetically modified, and is high on the allergen list. What makes this challenging is that corn and its processed derivatives “sneak” into just about anything packaged — which makes it one of the most overused foods. Look for corn or its derivatives under the following guises:

  • Corn flour

  • Corn starch (mazena)

  • Corn syrup solids

  • Dextrin

  • Dextrose

  • Food starch

  • High-fructose corn syrup

  • Maltodextrins

  • Modified gum starch

  • Sorbitol

  • Vegetable gum

  • Vegetable protein

  • Vegetable starch

Here’s a great way to avoid the sneaky stuff. If you choose to buy packaged or processed foods, look for ingredients that you recognize or know. Also, avoid any foods with too many ingredients. The problem with processed foods are they often have long ingredient lists.

When you start getting past five or so ingredients, they’re often preservatives, sugars, poor quality oils, and other additives, all of which are terrible for your health. Be careful of snacks, soft drinks, French fries, cured meats, candy, desserts, frozen foods, and fast foods — these foods are highly processed and where additives are frequently found.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is the coauthor of the health and lifestyle books Living Paleo For Dummies and Boosting Your Immunity For Dummies. She also created the successful kids' health and wellness program Superkids Wellness and the Paleo door-to-door home delivery food service Living Paleo Foods.

Melissa Joulwan is the author of the paleo recipe and lifestyle blog

Dr. Wendy Warner, a board certified holistic physician, is a nationally known lecturer and teacher of integrative holistic medicine.

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, who is a go-to expert in the nutritional field, helps patients build the strongest, healthiest bodies through her family-based workshops and consulting practice ( Twitter @drkellyann).

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