Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Posts tagged ‘Immune system’

Gut

We all basically get that our gut is part of our digestive system. But I am telling you, there is so much more to your gut than that. It’s crazy smart, crazy important, crazy at the center of everything! Don’t believe me? Read on…

5 quick and critical reasons why you should consider respecting your gut more

1. It Controls Your Moods: It really, really does!

Your body needs the nutrients it extracts from the food you eat in order to produce the energy it needs to sustain life and do the things you do every day. But the other reason it needs those nutrients is so that it can be able to produce the right type and amount of hormones it needs to ensure your quality of life. And your hormones, they control EVERYTHING in your body. They are like a finely tuned orchestra playing the “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi; If one flute goes out of tune – you’d know all about it. The whole symphony sounds different… next, the base gets out of timing, because the flute confused it. Before you know it, the whole thing sounds like a choir of cats… The poorer your food is nutritionally, the poorer the hormonal balance of your body, and then the quality of your life plummets, and then your mood become more unstable and unpleasant.

Memory not quite as good as it used to be? You more than likely need more dopamine.  Not in the mood for some lovin’? Your testosterone levels may be shot. Feeling snappy and unsafe? Your serotonin levels need to go up.  Feeling ‘ugly’ and unworthy as a woman? Could be your estrogen and progesterone levels are not balanced.  The list goes on and on. Bottom line – if you eat poor nutrition foods – you get poor quality moods (that actually rhymes…).

2. It Controls Your Immune System: for real!

Over 60% of your immune system is contained in your gut. Your good and bad bacteria play a huge role in the balance of your gut flora. If there isn’t enough good bacteria, you’re not likely to get the most out of the food you eat. And remember, everything in your body is fueled by what you eat. And if the good to bad bacteria ratio is out of whack (and most of western society has that problem) then your immune system goes down. You start to get sick often. And no amount of vitamin C or Echinacea is able to fight that ‘flu’ feeling that never seems to go away.  Maybe you could find pro-biotic (ideally pre-biotic) supplements.

3. It Controls Your Aches & Pains: who would have thought?

What you eat directly affects how your body feels. Food allergies and intolerances, although being two different things, are both created by poor gut flora. And they both manifest n various aches and pains throughout your body: joint pains, bloating, headaches, gas, muscle aches, foggy thought processes—any of those can be caused by an intolerance to a food.  The most common culprits are gluten, lactose, and nuts, but food intolerances range as far into the bizarre as asparagus. If you have suspicions of food intolerances or allergies – try isolate the offending food, then back it up with a medical test. Allergies or intolerances, when chronic, can lower your immune system, which causes stress to your physiology, which lowers gut efficiency, which exasperates the allergy or intolerance and so on…

4. It Controls Your Sleep:

What food you eat, when you eat it, and how well it is digested by your gut will all affect the quality of your sleep.  If you eat less than 30 minutes before you go to sleep, you’re loading your body with the extra task of digestion. So now on top of all the repair work it has to do to all other cells in your body, your gut has to take energy to do digestion too.  The result is that you wake up not as invigorated as you should.  What food you eat and how well it is digested will obviously affect your sleep too. Anything that requires extra effort by your gut often causes insomnia or irregular sleep.

5. It Controls Your Focus:

Just by creating a better gut environment – you can get so much more done. This really works in two main ways. (1) If you eat too much, your body has to divert energy to the digestive process – which means taking energy from everything else – including your focus.  (2) If you eat the wrong stuff, no energy for what is ahead of you.

Have you thanked your gut today?

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Boost Your Immune System

At any time of year, if your immune system is low, the effects you may experience include colds and other viral infections, sore throat, enlarged lymph glands, digestive problems, fatigue or lethargy, allergies. And even though it’s true that we can’t really help but be exposed to airborne viruses or pollution and other harmful environmental factors, we can always take steps to help our natural defenses stay strong enough to see off all opposition. And like most other things, a healthy immune system starts with good nutrition. .

So here is my list of yummies to help you on your way to a strong immune system: 

Fruit and vegetables – we all know how important these are as part of our diet, largely because they are full of anti-oxidants which we need to strengthen immunity. The body needs a constant supply of anti-oxidants from food in order to fight free radicals, chemicals the body produces during metabolic activity and defense against viruses and bacteria. Free radicals can cause infection and even contribute to the growth of cancer cells. A wide variety of fruit and vegetables in the diet is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, and there are plenty of supplements available too if you feel you need an extra boost. It was recently reported that drinking two cups of black tea a day provides the same anti-oxidant benefit as five servings of fruit and vegetables – good news for those of us who love our cuppa!

Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, taken in warm water once or twice a day will maintain the body’s correct PH balance, which in turn will support beneficial bacteria in the system. Harmful bacteria multiply in a more acidic environment.

Protein, whether from animal or non-animal sources, is necessary to maintain immunity. A high carbohydrate diet that is deficient in protein places unnecessary stress on the pancreas and immune system.

Sugar, caffeine and alcohol are not the best, as they prevent our defensive cells from functioning at full efficiency. Consume these in moderation…

Omega-3 oils, from oily fish or flaxseeds, help to prevent inflammation, which may otherwise distract our defensive cells from fighting free radicals.

Garlic is highly beneficial. Crushed, raw garlic stimulates white cell activity and increases the production of antibodies. Although not quite as effective as fresh garlic, supplements also supply an immunity boost.

Water is life, and a healthy gut is essential for a strong immune system. Not drinking enough water can cause constipation which allows toxins to build up and attack our defenses. The liver, kidneys and spleen, which work to eliminate toxins, all need water to do their job, so make sure to drink your eight glasses a day.

Strong immunity involves all aspects of the self:  the balance of physical, mental and emotional factors is needed to ensure our immune system works as hard as it can to protect us from harm. So there you have it!

 

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