Welcome to Wellness Wednesday! Each week I will share an article or recipe as part of the Wellness Wednesday blog hop link-up, and at the end is a place for you to share with us too! Co-hosts for this blog hop include Never Lacking Zeal, Frugal G33k, The Wise Wife and Hudman Honey Farm. So let’s go!
More and more people are hearing about the GAPS diet. GAPS (an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is based on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s ground-breaking book Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia.
Along with priceless information about healing the digestive tract and restoring the gut microbiome she includes her Top Ten list of ways to boost your immune system.
Newcomers to the world of real, traditional food will probably be dumbfounded to read that the number one way to support a healthy immune system is with animal fat and cholesterol-rich foods. For over thirty years Americans have been brainwashed to believe fat is bad, fat makes you fat, fat clogs arteries, fat causes heart attacks. Except that it’s all been a big fat lie.
As you begin to absorb the information from Dr. Natasha’s book it begins to make sense how Americans have been in a downward health spiral for the last several decades. We’ve been mistakenly advised to eliminate the very foods that can keep us healthy. Because of this we have put a very heavy burden on our bodies: a burden to create new cells, regulate their growth, create hormones, create barriers to toxins that want to get in, fuel an immune system that needs to patrol for infections and disease - all of this without the proper tools, without the proper building materials. It’s like telling a brick layer to build a wall without using any bricks. You could build a wall with just mortar, but it will not be structurally sound and certainly won’t last as long as a wall built with mortar AND bricks.
#1. Fresh animal fats (from meats and dairy) and cholesterol-rich foods (particularly raw egg yolk)
Animal fats include tallow (beef or lamb fat), lard (pork fat), chicken or goose fat (sometimes called schmaltz), and duck fat; butter, cream and cheese from cows, goats and other dairy animals. Wild caught cold water fish such as salmon and cod also possess healthy fats such as cod liver oil, fish oil and roe.
Animal fats are not made up only of those wrongly demonized saturated fats, but, like all naturally occurring fats, each is a mixture of different percentages of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Goose, duck & chicken fat, and lard have generous amounts of monounsaturated fats like those found in olives and avocados.
The health food world has discovered the many useful properties of coconut oil, a saturated fat, and yet they are unwilling to embrace beef or lamb tallow, lard or duck fat because they include saturated fat. Healthfully sourced animal fat is something to be desired in a healthy diet.
Healthy animals make healthy fat.
Animals living outdoors in ways appropriate for their species, eating the food God created for them to eat, will yield beautiful, clean, healthy fat rich in vitamins and fat soluble activators.
Unhealthy sources of fat include fat from any animal living in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) fed a steady diet of GMO grains, antibiotics and other inappropriate substances.
Healthy saturated fats provide structural integrity to our cells. Our immune system cells are not exception – all cells need saturated fats. Cholesterol, found in all animal fats, is the key component in several important body functions which include helping our skin manufacture vitamin D from sunshine exposure, and being used by the adrenals to make important hormones, including sex hormones and anti-inflammatory hormones. When we don’t eat cholesterol-rich foods our body must use up precious energy to manufacture it out of the carbohydrates in our diet, and then turn around and use the cholesterol to manufacture everything else. When our adrenal glands are already fatigued due to illness or stress this unnecessary step wears them out even more making us more prone to infections of all kinds.
Animal fats provide complete, fully formed and easily absorbable versions of the key fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. Pasture raised eggs, whole clean raw milk and cream, butter, cheese, grassfed beef liver and chicken liver, wild caught cold water fish and fish eggs are all great choices for immune-boosting fat soluble vitamins.
Even though labels may say carrots contain vitamin A, the truth is plant sources of these vitamins are not fully formed and require our bodies to use up energy, enzymes and and other reserves to complete the transformation into usable forms. Again, when our bodies are stressed this conversion is difficult and may not even happen at all. This is especially true for people with digestive disorders. This means no matter how many carrots you eat you just aren’t getting vitamin A – you need to eat foods with fully formed vitamin A to get what you need!
Now it’s your turn. Share your number one wellness tip with us on the Wellness Wednesday link up!