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Immunity Begins in the Belly
We often talk about illness and disease as being something out of our control. Like we are unwilling victims of overaggressive germs and bacteria. These feelings of being vulnerable lead us to doubt the amazing capabilities of the human body not only to defend against foreign invaders but also to heal and restore health once it has been compromised. So, we have come to rely on prescription drugs rather than put our faith in our immune system like we should.
The Rise of Prescription Drug Use
It’s all too easy. We can eat anything we want, live a sedentary life and walk into the doctors office for a magic fix when we don’t feel well. The problem with this is multifaceted.
In the first place, we don’t actually ever fix the problem if we keep putting and bandaid on it. Secondly, pumping the body full of antibiotics reduces resistance. Thirdly, the chemical concoctions that we pop like candy are toxic, and the toxins accumulate over time in the body.
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So, while living a life without taking personal responsibility for our health and using a drug as the first line of defense may seem logical, it is anything but that. It is not until we truly realize that immunity is, in fact, a choice and we can do many things to boost the body’s ability to stay healthy, that we will be able to reduce our dependence on dangerous pharmaceuticals.
The Right Fuel
Your body, like any fine tuned automobile, requires fuel to operate. We don’t expect to put chocolate milk in our gas tank and drive our car, so why do we think we can load the body full of nutrient void foodstuffs and demand that it never get sick or tired?
When the human body is fed nutrient dense foods it responds in remarkable ways. Many people have no idea what it feels like to feel really great because they have never given their body the opportunity to be its best.
Building up immunity starts with a healthy diet, rich in whole foods that are designed to support bodily functions, heal and defend. Would we expect an army to win a battle with Nerf guns?
The human body needs ammunition in the form of nutrients in order to win the battle that it faces it on a daily basis. Nutrients come from whole foods, not processed foods, so ditching the Americanized diet is essential if you want to boost immunity.
What goes on the inside of your gut largely determines how effectively your immune system works. An unhealthy gut puts you at tremendous risk of both short term illness and long term disease. Inside your gut a battle wages between good bacteria and bad bacteria.
A healthy balance of each is important for optimal health. However, when we bypass living foods and choose dead, processed foods instead, we don’t help the good guys but fuel the bad guys, thus causing an imbalance.
Eating a small amount of fermented foods daily helps keep the good bacteria in top shape. Foods such as kefir, tempeh, miso and sauerkraut contain beneficial microbes that improve gut health. You can also take a high quality probiotic supplement that will do much the same thing.
Other Immune Boosting Tips
In addition to a making a concerted effort to eating a processed-free diet full of healthy organic fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, organic poultry and meat and health promoting saturated fat, consider the following:
- Exercise outdoors for at least twenty minutes a day – the exercise, fresh air and vitamin D will help boost immune system function.
- Cook with healthy oils such as coconut oil.
- Reduce stress with meditation or yoga.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Drink at least 10,8-ounce glasses of filtered water daily.
- Practice optimism.
- Eat plenty of leafy greens.