|Posted on November 15, 2017 at 2:10 PM||comments (9)|
For a prettier version with pictures and links, view my Docs version.
The season is here for fun and cheer, but there are food stuffs lurking at the holiday tables. With all of the talk about sugars and processed food causing immune issues, you might be worried that you'll be captured by Aunt Sue's apple pie or Uncle John's barbecue meatballs. Everyone deserves a treat and there are ways to help you prepare your body for the foods to come.
In this blog, we'll address how you can clean and feed your body in a way that will build your defenses.
You might wonder how it is that diet actually influences immunity to fight away communicable illness. To put it simply, all of the body is interconnected and permeated by the lymphatic system, which houses the white blood cells, your body's army against disease.
When it comes to the digestive tract, you begin absorbing substances into the lymphatic system as soon as the food passes from the stomach to the small intestine.
To ensure the cleanest operation at this intersection of foods, bodily fluids, and lymph, you must first have the avenue clear of debri.
One simple thing to add to your daily routine can kick start this clearing is to drink freshly squeezed lemon juice in water first thing in the morning and several times throughout your day.
Lemon water is underestimated, but is seeing the limelight more these days. Though highly acidic outside of the body, lemon will alkalize, internally, and stimulate the production of bile from the liver. Bile is a key ingredient to the breakdown of things passing through the duodenum of the small intestine. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI)
Keeping this area free of debri allows for the lymphatic vessels in the wall of the small intestine to be receptive to the nutrition that you put into your body (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3026597/" target="_blank">NCBI). Also, lemon will help to keep the kidneys clear, so that debris can be easily eliminated from the body (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4265710/" target="_blank">NCBI).
Some other great benefits of lemon are that it kills bacteria, promotes hydration (sometimes, by making you more thirsty for water), and it packs a vitamin C boost that can kick a cold in the tuchus (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI).
For a comforting treat, add some local raw honey to warm lemon water. Raw, unfiltered honey does more than just combat seasonal allergies. It has strong antioxidant abilities, which means it helps to eliminate free radicals (annoying little cellular energy thieves) from the body. Honey soothes and aides in healing ulcers in the digestive tract, adding support to the absorption of nutrition. And, should you end up with a tickle in your throat, honey can soften the scratch as an all natural and sweet cough syrup. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583289/" target="_blank">NCBI)
Speaking of sweets, we need to cover the importance of avoiding processed sugars for the sake of your gut and immune system, as well. Research continues to show us that processed sugars cause inflammatory bodily responses in multiple ways. Inflammation in the gut is going to interfere with absorption of proper nutrition and make the liver work harder to process what you've consumed. No matter where in the body, inflammation will halt the proper responses to invading illnesses by the white blood cells. Essentially, inflammation indicates high acidity, which is what you want to avoid. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2868080/" target="_blank">NCBI)
Who am I kidding? We are all going to consume something sweet this season, so what can you do to help your body process it?
One quick sugar zapper is unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, which comes in liquids, tablets, capsules, etc (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/" target="_blank">NCBI).
But, let's face it, not everybody can stomach vinegar.
If you want a lighter flavored sugar combatant, just make sure you eat your greens and veggies Al dente. This will give you a soluble fiber boost, which means less sugar absorption. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI)
As for things to put into your body for prevention and quickly kicking a cold, I have compiled a succinct list from my own family's experience:
Garlic - one of the best blood and lymph cleansers (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417560/" target="_blank">NCBI).
My husband has eaten a single raw garlic clove to treat a sinus infection for almost an entire day. We eat garlic regularly to battle the symptoms of mold exposure.
Citrus fruit - boosts the immune system with vitamin C (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/" target="_blank">NCBI).
We consume vitamin C in oranges, juice, and tablets to keep our family healthy when others are passing around sicknesses.
Full Spectrum Omegas - essential fatty acids that build cellular tissue and promote general wellness (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11802309" target="_blank">NCBI).
We consume whole fats in avocado, nuts, and coconut oils every day to boost the effectiveness of the rest of our diet and our mental wellness.
Probiotics - having the correct levels of good flora in your digestive tract has proven to boost immunity and maintain general wellness (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18183940" target="_blank">NCBI).
Our family uses MegaFlora as a daily supplement, but we also consume foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough, and kefir.
Hopefully, you now feel ready to enjoy the season with the ability to sustain your gut health.
Stay tuned for more empowering tips, soon to come!