Your immune system. Our food intake and diet.
Our digestion and our stress levels.
So many connections.
But it comes full circle back to stress for many of us!
What IS our immune system? It's simply the grouping of cells, organs and tissues that network together to protect our body from 'foreign invaders.'
Our 'immunity' being our ability to fight off these invaders: infections or toxins.
There is a great deal of evidence from research showing effect's on our immune system, and our immune systems' effects on our overall health.
We know the connection. There is a sensitive balance. We are still learning.
How balanced is YOUR immune system?
It's not just about getting sick.
It's about how well your body functions... do you have many food allergies? Do you have lots of energy throughout the day? Do you take or drugs (from medicine) or eat drugs (pesticides on food?) Do you feel good?
The key here is, with everything else I talk about, BALANCE.
Balance is key. So many things in life affect our immune systems, too bad that there are more things that suppress our immunity rather than support it.
Immune suppressants: surgery, antibiotics, stress, travel, low self-esteem, emotional extremes, sugar, alcohol, smog, industrial chemicals, heavy metals, cigarettes, excess vegetable oils, low protein absorption, aging, excess iron, excess eating, lack of sleep, allergies...
A balanced attitude, healthy lifestyle habits and the following support the immune system...
Immune Supporters: healthy digestive function, the right amount of exercise, chemical-free diet and home, yoga, clean water, plants and herbs, vitamins, minerals, love, laughing, meditation, positive attitudes, relaxation, happiness from music, wholesome nutritious food...
How many suppressing situations do you have? and how many supporting?
For me, stress is the biggest one in the suppressors. Food, water, digestive function, music & love are my best supporters, and I'm still working on all the others.
We are all a work in progress, as I've said before.
I know that when I'm stressed out, my body is sending out constant streams of hormones to keep me fueled and primed ready to fight or flight (neither of which I am doing!) and those hormones floating around not being put to use will contribute to weight gain as well as affect my immunity.
Excess stress hormones put your immune system on a break so you can focus on the issue at hand.
Not a good break either, like the bouncer in the front of the bar goes to take his break in the BACK of the bar, leaving ALL potential nut cases to ENTER the bar. The nut cases are all the problems we can encounter and won't have protection against with our immunity on a break - problems like viruses and bad pathogens.
Problem is, there is rarely an actual issue in front of me that causes me to need the stress hormones to run or fight. It's our stress, our stories that our mind creates, our worries, our anxiety of the future or sadness from the past that keeps us down. Down = slower functioning immunity. You've heard this before, the caveman mentality of the lion in front of us, except its actually just a stack of paper on our desk, no real true threat at all. But our body still thinks it is.
What can we do?
We can examine our life and our choices. We can figure out if our stress is real, or fake worry. We can take steps, small steps, to begin treating ourselves better.
Constant reminders, it takes constant reminders to take care of ourselves and figure out what is stressing us out.
....Then deal with it.
Foods to support your immune system to eat today...
Whole grains like brown rice
Raw, unpasteurized fermented foods
Green vegetables like kale
Wild fish like salmon
Nuts & Seeds like almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds
In a world of fast-paced, sugar-laden, deep-fried, drive-thru, processed foods... these simple foods could be considered therapeutic.
But they are simply real, whole foods!
I teach whole foods nutrition, it's amazing because it's the answer to our worries. But it's not a magic pill, it's something we have to want, to work for, to take time to do and to respect ourselves enough to do it. It's education and it's preparation and it's time. But it's do-able.
So take a second to think about what can you do today to support, not suppress your immune system?
All we need is what tradition tells us: real food! from the ground!
Raw food! fermented foods! ... The stuff our ancestors' ate.
Eat real food and feel the difference.
Needing nutritional support for your immunity, weight loss, cancer or inflammatory conditions? Contact me today for an appointment in the Okanagan.