Maintaining good health and overall well-being is a goal many of us strive for. We all have an immune system, it can be strong or weak in some and compromised in others but regardless of its current state, it always needs to be supported.
In this pursuit, the approach of “eliminate, nourish, and then supplement” can be a powerful guiding principle. This methodology emphasizes the importance of first removing harmful elements from our lifestyle, then nourishing our bodies with essential nutrients, and finally, supplementing where necessary to bridge any gaps. Let’s delve into this holistic approach and understand how it can positively impact our health.
- Eliminate the Harmful:
The initial step in enhancing our health involves identifying and eliminating harmful practices or substances that may be detrimental to our well-being.
- Dietary improvements:
- Processed foods: Remove or reduce consumption of processed and refined foods, which are often laden with unhealthy fats, sugars, and artificial additives.
- Sugar and sugary drinks: Minimize intake of added sugars and sugary beverages, as excessive sugar consumption can lead to various health issues such as obesity and diabetes.
- Trans fats and unhealthy oils: Avoid trans fats and opt for healthier cooking oils like olive oil or coconut oil.
- Artificial sweeteners: Cut down on the use of artificial sweeteners, as they may have adverse effects on metabolism and gut health.
- Nourish the Body: At In Flow Chiropractic we are always talking about keeping your biochemical toxicity low in order to keep your body healthy. Biochemical toxicity refers to anything that you put in or on your body that creates internal stress. Unfortunately, and I am sure it won’t surprise you, sugar and alcohol are top of that list. Both of these can be huge immunosuppressants (meaning that they lower your immunity).
Nourishing your internal system with good quality, whole food is one of the best ways to support your immune system. Lots of nutrients that our body extracts from food are used in the makeup of our immune system so it is vital that you are putting good stuff in your body.
Research suggests that immune boosting foods include mushrooms, particularly Shitake and Reichi as they work on cells directly involved in fighting major disease processes. Mini trees… also known as Broccoli are full of a compound that helps the immune system. Other foods that fit nicely into this category are green tea, orange vegetables, goji berries, blueberries, garlic, honey and yoghurt. However, these are NOT superfoods and it doesn’t mean that if you eat only these foods your immune system will be strong and healthy. Having a varied and balanced diet made up of “real” unprocessed food is step one and then adding a sprinkling of immune boosting foods is step two.
If going cold turkey scares you then be realistic with your cutting. For example, if you normally have three sugars with your tea, try having one sugar instead. This way you can gradually decrease your intake so that it is manageable and doesn’t send you on a sugar frenzy.
Once harmful elements are eliminated, the focus shifts to nourishing the body with the right balance of nutrients, a crucial aspect for optimal health.
- Balanced diet:
- Variety of whole foods: Incorporate a diverse range of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to ensure a well-rounded nutritional intake.
- Adequate hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and maintain bodily functions.
- Regular physical activity:
- Exercise routine: Establish a regular exercise routine that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises to keep the body active and strong.
- Adequate sleep:
- Quality and quantity: Prioritize getting sufficient, quality sleep to support overall health and allow the body to rejuvenate and repair.
- Supplement Wisely:
While obtaining essential nutrients from a balanced diet is ideal, sometimes it’s necessary to supplement to ensure our bodies receive all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Supplementation is last on the to do list for immune system support. This is because a cocktail of supplements will never be able to replace a good diet. Many people believe that supplements are magic pills that somehow correct the effects of a bad diet or even give people permission to ignore certain food groups in their diet. We promise you, this is not the case, adding them on top of a healthy diet & in cases where modern agriculture has made nutrients hard to find will have the most benefits to you and your immune system.
This is a common supplement that we all know contributes to a healthy immune system. Like discussed earlier, components of your immune system rely heavily on the intake of nutrients and Vitamin C is one of those. Special cells in our immune system need Vitamin C to carry out their defence actions so it is important we supplement on top of Vitamin C rich foods like raw red pepper, oranges and broccoli.
The sunshine supplement! A large proportion of the population is Vitamin D deficient which is scary considering it is one of the most powerful nutrients for supporting immune function. Ideally buy in the form of D3 + K2.
Probiotics refer to the good bugs that live on and in you, a large majority residing in the gut. Adding extra good bugs will support the health of the gut which is actually where most of our immune system is found. If you are wondering about the difference between pre and probiotics; Prebiotics are the compounds that probiotics need to eat in order to survive and grow. Amazing prebiotics are cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli… are you seeing a certain theme with the broccoli here?
It is never too late to start supporting your immune system.
By following the “eliminate, nourish, and then supplement” approach, we can take proactive steps to optimize our health. It’s important to remember that every individual is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your lifestyle or starting any new supplement regimen. Taking a holistic approach to our health empowers us to make informed decisions and lead fulfilling lives.
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