One of the leading assaults against our immune system is sugar. Sugar suppresses our white blood cells (our immune system) for several hours after we consume it. And for some, that will last all day because we are constantly grazing on it without even knowing it.
I recently sat down with a patient and went over some of the things she was eating with respect to sugar. We discovered that in some her “healthy” food choices, there were up to 25 tsp of sugar. While this is extremely unsettling, it was eye opening, too. Once she was armed with the information that sugar was prominent in her diet, she felt like she could make a change.
Did you know that every 4 grams of sugar is equal to 1 tsp? 12 grams of sugar = 1 tablespoon.
Package marketing can often be very misleading. We must learn how to understand nutrition fact details so we can interpret the amount of sugar everything contains. Whether or not something is healthy will easily become common sense once we know what we’re eating.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 added tsp/day for men, and 6 tsp for women.
Did you know there is no actual sugar requirement by the body? Everything we consume will be broken down into sugar, including fat, protein and complex carbohydrates.
You will be on the right track to staying healthy by avoiding sugar.
Food sensitivities (Link to what the heck is a food sensitivity) can be another common culprit in getting sick. Whenever a parent tells me that their child has chronic ear or throat infections, my brain immediately jumps food sensitivity playing a crucial role. During my time in practice, I have have the most common sensitivity linked to these infections is dairy. Dairy produces mucous, which can aggravate an illness that someone is already experiencing.
So why would a food sensitivity be linked to getting sick? When we encounter a new virus or bacteria, our body creates an antibody. That is how we become immune to it. The second time we encounter the same bacteria/virus, or even one very similar, our immune system responds immediately and destroys it. Food sensitivities occur when a food protein escapes from our digestive tract into our blood stream and our immune system makes an antibody to it.
Consuming food sensitivities on a regular basis distracts our immune system from paying attention to the real problems – the harmful bacteria or virus. Then what happens? We get sick.
Lack of Sleep
During sleep, our body has the opportunity to heal itself. Most of us know that a good nights rest can do wonders when we’re not feeling well! If we fail to give ourselves rest our immune system cannot function properly. Sleep can be disrupted by many factors like insomnia, or outside issues such as eating too late. It’s easy for our bodies to be distracted; the time we could be using to heal,
our bodies are busy digesting.
Stress is another enormously undervalued source of health problems. Stress is one of the biggest causes of inflammation. With inflammation comes a flawed immune system. Instead of attacking viruses and bacteria, our bodies end up attacking themselves. Just to name a few, they come in the form of osteoporosis, arthritis, allergies, and skin problems.
Taking a look at how we handle stress and targeting our sources of stress can be beneficial.
We can reduce stress by:
* Eliminating the cause (e.g. toxic relationships)
* Taking action (mediation/exercise)
* Nourishing the systems within that handle stress (adrenal glands)
Low vitamin D is a very common cause of a low functioning immune system. Low vitamin D is rampant in the Bay Area. Most of us spend too much time inside, and when we are outside, we use sunscreen that blocks the production of Vitamin D. Supplementation is key, especially in the winter.
Exercise is a great way to increase circulation. It helps eliminate waste, and deliver nutrients to cells, allowing for a stronger immune system. Another great way to increase c
irculation is the BEMER: a revolutionary medical device that increases microcirculation by 30% in just 8 minutes.
How can the BEMER help?
We have personally seen quicker healing with colds and flus when the device is targeted in affected areas. Since increasing the flow of your blood’s circulation helps create white blood cells, you can be sure that your immune system is also getting a healthy boost.
Support Your Body to Prevent Illness
- avoid added sugars (very common in packaged foods)
- limit fruit intake to 2 pieces per day (sugar is sugar no matter the source)
- get at least 8 hours of sleep a night
- finish eating the bulk of your food 3 hours prior to bed
- choose protein/healthy fat and fiber rich meals
- get tested for, and avoid, food sensitivities
- reduce stress/inflammation
- have your vitamin D tested and make sure it is at optimal levels (I recommend levels of 75-85 for most of my patients).