Life­style im­mu­nity

Too much sim­ple re­fined sugar can lower the abil­ity of your im­mune sys­tem, namely the white blood cells to func­tion prop­erly.

New Zealand Fitness - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Lani Lopez

In­clude healthy fats and oils – avo­cado, olive, flax and co­conut oil – and re­duce sat­u­rated an­i­mal fat. If you’re iron de­fi­cient, add liver into the diet or an iron sup­ple­ment. To help in­crease Omega 3 lev­els, eat oily fish daily in­clud­ing salmon, tuna and sar­dines.

Avoid smok­ing and drink­ing ex­ces­sive al­co­hol and cof fee. En­sure you get ad­e­quate nu­tri­tion, flu­ids for hy­dra­tion and sleep.

De­hy­dra­tion is a con­cern with a mild fever. Drink plent y of flu­ids in­clud­ing di­luted veg­etable juices in­clud­ing car­rot, beet­root, sil­ver-beet and ap­ple; veg­etable soups and herbal tea prepa­ra­tions. This will help to re­hy­drate your body and lessen the stick­i­ness of the mu­cous and mu­cous mem­branes. Pure wa­ter, home­made ice-blocks, herb teas, soups, and di­luted or­ganic fruit juices (no can juices) should be en­cour­aged. Di­lute juices with wa­ter. High in­takes of sugar (even from fruit), de­presses im­mu­nity, so keep sugar in­take low.

Fevers — A cool cloth or chilled wheat bag ap­plied to the fore­head or back of the neck can help lower a fever and re­lieve headaches.

Mild foods — such as soups, sof t stewed fruits and veg­eta­bles are rec­om­mended. Vi­ta­min C foods in­clude cit­rus fruits, green cap­sicum, straw­ber­ries and toma­toes. If you are breath­less, opt for a veg­e­tar­ian diet (no meat, fish or eggs). If this does not suit you in­clude beans, chick­peas and lentils to boost up your meat dishes. Use or­ganic meats, veg­eta­bles in­clud­ing pars­ley, basil, green cap­sicum, broccoli, brus­sels sprouts, toma­toes (lots of them), fruit and in­crease horse­rad­ish, wasabi, cin­na­mon, fenu­greek, gar­lic, gin­ger and onions in your diet. You might like to add more culi­nar y herbs to your diet or tr y drink­ing thyme or rose­mar/ y dr y herbs. Avoid mu­cous form­ing foods like ba­nanas, dairy prod­ucts, re­fined car­bo­hy­drates, egg whites and ex­ces­sive amounts of wheat. Sup­ple­ment with small amounts of cal­cium for ti­fied soy or rice milk. Avoid food sen­si­tiv­i­ties and if you are not al­ler­gic or sen­si­tive, sub­sti­tute dair y prod­ucts for soy, eg soy cheeses. You can also try ste­via, a nat­u­ral sweet­ener sugar sub­sti­tute and egg sub­sti­tute. Your lo­cal health food stock­ist can help re­place mu­cous form­ing foods un­til you are bet­ter.

Avoid sugar – did you now that too much sim­ple re­fined sugar can lower the abilit y of your im­mune sys­tem, namely the white blood cells to func tion prop­erly? If you sim­ply must have sugar, eat a max­i­mum of two tea­spoons of Manuka honey or three serv­ings of fruit daily, but do not in­clude any more sim­ple re­fined sug­ars in your diet un­til you are bet­ter. If you are di­a­betic, fol­low your health pro­fes­sional’s di­a­betic guide­lines.

One tea­spoon of sugar re­duces your im­mu­nity by up to 30 min­utes. Sof t drinks – car­bon­ated drinks are usu­ally high in sugar. I avoid diet drinks as well, but it’s my natur­o­pathic opin­ion. Tr y di­luted fruit juices in­stead, or as pre­scribed by your doc­tor if you are di­a­betic.

My favourite herbs and foods which can make dishes more tast y are gar­lic, reishi, shi­take mush­rooms, onions, leeks, gin­ger with herbs rose­mar y, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and spices, in­clud­ing turmeric, cin­na­mon, cloves and chili. Io­dine giv­ing sea­weeds and cru­ci­fy­ing bug-bust­ing broccoli, cab­bage and cau­li­flower are ver y good too. All these won­der­ful foods kill bac te­ria, boost im­mu­nity and even pro­tec t your liver.

Eat small meals five to six times a day – three main meals and two to three

snack size meals. Eating this way makes you feel sa­ti­ated and helps avoid crav­ings, bad sug­ary choices, bing­ing and also main­tains a steady source of en­ergy through blood sugar bal­ance.

Con­sume eight to ten glasses of wa­ter daily. Wa­ter is the ba­sis of life. It hy­drates all of the cells in the body and keeps ever y thing mov­ing. De­hy­dra­tion de­pletes en­ergy and re­hy­dra­tion can re­duce in­flam­ma­tion in the air ways and loosen up mu­cus if you’ve al­ready got con­ges­tion.

Use fruit and veg­eta­bles

that are fresh when­ever pos­si­ble, plus or­gan­i­cally grown and or­ganic grains and meats. Some­times that can be dif fi­cult, but pes­ti­cides, her­bi­cides and food sta­bilis­ers are likely to put ex­tra stress on the body. Choose a pro­tein bar or sushi over a high sugar muf­fin, or high fat snack. Re­fined car­bo­hy­drates, sugar, white rice and white flour – these foods ser ve “empty” calo­ries. They con­tain ver y lit tle nu­tri­tional value, vi­ta­mins, min­er­als or fi­bre.

Al­co­hol – is par t of many peo­ple’s lifest yles but of fers lit tle nu­tri­tional value, is loaded with sugar and in fac t it de­pletes vi­ta­mins and min­er­als rob­bing the body of vi­ta­mins B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid, cal­cium, mag­ne­sium and zinc. Zinc is used by white blood cells to ward of colds and flu. Al­co­hol slows down the brain, ner vous sys­tem, hear t, liver, stom­ach and kid­neys. It in­creases uri­na­tion, ac ting as a di­uretic, de­plet­ing elec troly tes and in the long term can cause the liver to be­come fat t y lead­ing to poor liver func tion, high blood pres­sure and high choles­terol and can lead to di­a­betes, psy­cho­log­i­cal de­pen­dence and al­co­holism.

Sup­ple­men­tary

im­mu­nity

Other im­mune boost­ing herbs and for­mu­las in­clude Echi­nacea, Golden Seal and Malcolm Harker’s “Em­phy­semol” if your chest con­ges­tion is deep. Min­er­als, like zinc with se­le­nium are good es­sen­tials for im­mune boost­ing and pro­tec tion in the lungs, nose and throat. Laven­der, eu­ca­lyp­tus and fri­ars bal­sam in­halants are great to break up sticky mu­cus and help clear the air ways.

Pro­bi­otic or fer­mented foods that help gut bac­te­ria can in­crease your im­mu­nity es­pe­cially if you’ve al­ready dosed up on an­tibi­otics or had post-nasal mu­cus drip into your stom­ach at night. This can cause an im­bal­ance of good gut bac­te­ria, so bal­anc­ing and sor ting that out will not only help your im­mu­nity, but your mood too.

En­vi­ron­ment

There are healthy and un­healthy en­vi­ron­ments, but for im­mu­nity there are a cou­ple of key points.

Get clear about smok­ing – ex­po­sure to any smoke at tacks im­mu­nity. Ever y ad­dic ted smoker I know is con­stantly wait­ing for the im­pe­tus to quit. Why wait for a cold or flu to prompt you to quit or en­cour­age a friend / col­league to? Stand up for liv­ing smoke-free.

The big­gest en­vi­ron­men­tal im­mune risk is stress. Take a good look at your life and limit your ex­po­sure to stress­ful places and peo­ple. You’ll feel bet­ter and stay bet­ter too.

When you’re un­der pres­sure, don’t stress, take ac tion: Stop, breathe and re­lax. Even a minute breath­ing deeply a day is a pow­er­ful pre­ven­tive health mea­sure. Med­i­ta­tion is even bet­ter, as are yoga and Pi­lates – a few hours a week are a di­rec t in­vest­ment in im­mune­boost­ing stress re­duc tion.

Eat or­gan­i­cally grown veg­eta­bles that are fresh when­ever pos­si­ble.

BY LANI LOPEZ

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