Every plant is a marvel of survival. Plants that we use for food can nourish us with their secrets of survival.
Many plants also provide sustenance for valuable plant pollinators, who pay back the favor by helping plants propagate. To protect themselves from harsh growing conditions, plants have become experts at creating substances called phytonutrients, or plant nutrients. Many of these phytonutrients are aimed at focusing and balancing immune function within plants, and they do similar things for those of us who eat them.
Make Room in Your Diet for Plant Nutrients
Plant nutrients include many vitamins, proteins, and types of dietary fiber, because — just as in humans — these things help plants use their resources efficiently. But the universe of phytonutrients is vast, and includes plant specialties like rutin, quercetin, 2-HOBA (2-hydroxybenzylamine, found almost exclusively in buckwheat), and many other such compounds that are unique to plants alone.
Plant nutrients like these can improve the way the immune system responds to challenges, and they sometimes help trigger healthy renewal processes in immune cells. But if we wish to experience the immune advantages they offer, we need to make room in our everyday eating for them.
Lucky for us, certain plants (like Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat) concentrate high amounts of beneficial phytonutrients in themselves, because they used them to overcome adversity during their evolution.
The Mediterranean Diet is known to aid healthy aging and immune balance, but no matter what dietary approach you prefer, you can always incorporate more vibrant plant chemistry into it. Here are just a few ways:
- Splash your meals with color! From bright green sunflower sprouts and bright orange kabocha squash to deep purple Concord grapes and deep pink beets, there is a world of fresh produce loaded with insider information they’d like to share with your immunity!
- People on low-carb diets can still nourish vital immunity by enjoying mushrooms, dark berries, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, sea veggies, sauerkraut and other pickled veggies, organic edible flowers like pansies and squash blossom, olives and olive oil, sprouted greens, all kinds of teas, radishes, the onion family of veggies, and almost all kinds of flavoring herbs and spices.
- Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat is a gluten-free plant that has an impressive portfolio — more protein and less carbs than many grains, plus a rich complex of phytonutrients that can help renew immune cells while also giving immunity better focus and balance.
For a Deeper Dive
Ever wonder how the Mediterranean Diet could so profoundly encourage wellness, even into old age? One way is that it goes to work at the level of your genes! This article describes groundbreaking research that found this plant-based diet to help cells retain more youthful characteristics and stay focused on their vital duties.