BUILDING A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
How to avoid the endless pharmacy line in winter.
Even though this is the season when we need to be functioning at our best, it’s the time when people get sick and spend hours in the doctors office and the pharmacy line. So why is it that colds and flu peak at this time of the year?
According to a study from researchers at Mount Sinai Medical School, the flu virus is more stable and able to stay airborne longer when the air is cold and dry, the spread of the virus is most prevalent when the temperature reaches a chilly 41°F (5°C); infections slowly decline as the mercury rises, before stopping altogether at 86°F (30°C). (Tropical countries, where fairly constant, high temperatures are prevalent, tend to have relatively even rates of infection all year long, without the sharp peaks and valleys seen in cooler countries.) It’s also possible that the drier air in winter can dehydrate mucus in the nasal passages, lowering the body’s natural defense against a virus.
time.com Why Are Flu Viruses Seasonal? By Bryan Walsh Wednesday, Aug. 05, 2009
It’s estimated about 4 billion dollars will be spent during the winter season on remedies for cold and flu symptoms and potions for boosting your immune system. Lets just think of it as the pharmaceutical Christmas bonus!
But how effective are they really?
In my opinion, waiting until November or December to start thinking about building your immune system is too little too late. it should be a year long process. The bodies ability to fight infection depends upon the strength of our immune system which is essentially made up of 4 main organs, the bone marrow, spleen, thymus and the lymph nodes. Together these organs control the production and maturation of cells that defend the body from infection and disease.
There are thousands of ongoing research studies trying to measure how well someone’s immune system is working and how best to support it but the truth is with so many variables it’s hard to know what works best! Where one person may be deficient, another may have an abundance so what may work for one, may be totally inappropriate for another.
While there seems no specific evidence of research to support a link between lifestyle and a healthy immune system, it is widely accepted that there are certain patterns emerging that seem to support that the two go hand in hand.
Our bodies were created to self heal and they do a pretty good job if we give them the right tools to work with, the immune system is our defense system and is no exception to this. According to Harvard Health, for our immune system to function well, it requires balance and harmony. Sounds a lot like our Toxic Free lifestyle! So where to start?
Here are 5 ways you can help your body defend itself.
Get enough sleep
Don’t skip the sleep! This seems to be a common denominator used in many research studies. Your body is constantly rebuilding but even more so while you are resting. Getting enough sleep is essential to building a healthy immune system. Try for 7-8 hours a night, I know its hard but it will be crucial to your health. Enough said…get your zzzzzz’s.
Eat less sugar
Sugar is not our friend and it is in everything, mainly in the form of fructose. Many say it is just as addictive if not more so than recreational drugs and fools the brain by turning off the appetite control system. Sugar has no nutritional value at all, it is just empty calories which can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in turn causes other chronic medical conditions. Fructose is metabolized in the liver which is also our main organ for detoxification and the incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is growing at an alarming rate even in children. Cutting the fructose out of our diet can decrease the work of the liver so it can focus on doing the job of detoxification it needs to do.
Eat quality protein
Your body uses amino acids found in dietary proteins to help build the proteins that help make up your immune system.
If you have to eat meat, choose grass fed beef, wild salmon, wild tuna, pastured chicken, organic farm eggs and greek yoghurt as your good quality proteins.
However, there are many other great sources of plant based proteins like beans, legumes, quinoa, non GMO tofu, nuts, seeds and nut butters.
The stress response is a good thing, it is the bodies way of protecting us from danger and disease. During the acute stress response the body increases production of white blood cells so they are ready to be deployed to areas they may be needed. Unfortunately we all seem to live in constant states of lifestyle stress from our jobs, finances, family obligations and health issues. This Chronic stress suppresses the immune system, so we tend to have low white cell counts and less ability to fight off infection and disease when we need it.
It is important to find ways to relax, either with meditation and yoga, exercising, spending time with friends, watching a movie or reading a book. Whatever works for you.
Supplements, Enzymes and probiotics
“..Researchers, including some at Harvard Medical School, are finding evidence of a relationship between such “good” bacteria and the immune system.
For instance, it is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the development of aspects of the immune system, such as correcting deficiencies and increasing the numbers of certain T cells”
We need good nutrition! You have heard the saying you are what you eat, my friend Tylene Loomer, owner of OneBode takes it one step further by saying you are what you digest. Many people have digestive issues and food allergies and we hear more and more about lactose intolerance, gluten allergy, leaky gut syndrome, which is not surprising when you consider that the ‘food’ items we often see on our plate may look like food but are so synthetically altered they really belong in a display cabinet.
While eating fresh and raw is the answer to many of our nutritional deficiencies we can help ourselves with digestive enzymes and a good probiotic. The digestive enzymes help to unlock the additional nutrients locked into the food from the cooking process, the probiotics help to support the good bacteria in the gut and I’d choose probiotics over antibiotics any day.
I highly recommend Flo or any of the other Onebode products available under the nutrition tab at the gobeyondnatural.com website. They are made purely from plant based enzymes and are clean and free from any synthetics.
You can join for free by using the referral code; toxic free journey.
(Good companies for non GMO vegetarians,Eden foods, Wildwood, Mitoku and Tofurky) Check out the nongmoproject.org website.