Boost Your Immune System: Beyond the Food.

Boost Your Immune System: Beyond the Food.

You are more than a set of constructed gears that tick and click. Much of Western medicine operates with this belief. A gear out of place? Just pop it back in. This may surprise you so brace yourself- you’re a living being. Your body doesn’t drive you, you drive it. Your food relationship, lifestyle, and mental dialogue are all your input. This input tells your cells what to do and what to not do. This includes your immune system. It’s not a simple as plug in a few activities and your immune system is optimal. Genetic switches, past decisions, resource availability, chronic illness are factors too. Good news is that these simple and no salesman involved practices can improve your immune system.

Physical Activity

Most of us are intelligent and know we need to exercise. What may blow your mind is that running or some 1980’s calisthenics isn’t necessarily the best exercise for you. If it’s your jam, then do it. However, physical activity has flexible options. You do need some kind of cardio, gets heart rate above resting level which means above 60- 100 beats per minute. This is a range and you’re resting heart rate could be outside of it depending on many factors. Either way, know your resting heart rate and get it up at least three times a week. Walking, challenging yoga, HIIT, Barre, biking, dancing are just a few cardio options. Stretching and strength building is important too. Workouts such as yoga, barre, and dancing incorporate cardio, stretching, and strength.

You immune system loves physical activity. I mean just MF loves it. It promotes detoxification that you need often. So much better than those awful damaging cleansing drinks. (if you see an ad for one, don’t do it). Movement flushes out liver and lymphatic system which in turns affects every living cell of your body. Cardio promotes oxygen levels and blood circulation. Now when you eat well, it goes further in your body. Physical activity helps regulate your gut. You digest food better and enhance nutrient absorption.

Sleep & Relax

Your body needs balance of active times and times to relax. More than a recharge time, sleep and relaxing allows your body time to repair and bring every function into an improved balance.

Sleep is a contributor to

  • insulin regulation
  • heart and blood tissue repair
  • brain tissue repair and establish new brain connections
  • nerve repair
  • hormone re-balancing- including the major stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.

Relaxing can help these too and promote the “happy” chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Sleep and relax works in tandem with physical activity. When you have both in your life, you drive the balance your body needs to sustain you. That balance is the domino effect to boost your immune system.

Sensory Seeking

Warm fuzzies are life supporting. Yes you should feel good. But in the right way. Seek the warm fuzzies to promote more of those amazing “happy” chemicals. When you soothe your nerves and bring your hormone chemicals into balance, your immune system is able to do it’s job better. Self care is another crucial part and often involves sensory input. There are 10 simple ways to you can care for yourself. Self care is not optional, it is a part of your health care.

Your Body Hears You

Thoughts and express words reveal beliefs about yourself and others. This impacts your immune system on a biochemical level. You can verbally feed stress with your thoughts and words. Feeding stress increases inflammation and stress chemicals, reduces those “happy” healing biochemicals. All suppressing your immune system.

It doesn’t mean you sugar coat what you say; however, watch your thoughts and words which reflect emotions and stress concerning a situation, environment, or person. You can literally speak healing (thus improve immune system by reducing judgement and allowing grace on yourself and other.

Reduce Stress

All of this leads to stress reduction as a major benefit of each lifestyle practice. I cannot understate the roll of stress on our bodies and minds. Stress in short term, as in minutes or a few hours, is beneficial. Stress long term is not and it’s more than with-holding those “happy” chemicals. Long term stress, called allostatic load, prevents biological processes that repair and heal your body, including the immune system.

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Immune health isn’t a simple as taking your Vitamin C and hope for the best.

You are in control.

Food hasn’t been left out. Food and supplements for the immune system are up next. Be ready to be shocked by the absolute bull shit out there. Subscribe to vegetarian updates for the next installment.

JRiley

UnSuperfoods: A Less Restrictive Guideline

UnSuperfoods: A Less Restrictive Guideline

Super foods is a super marketing ploy for businesses and organizations to establish nutritional authority. Which super food list is the truth? None of them. All of them. The point is you have flexibility while meeting what your body needs. All of the superfood list contain all if not some of these groups.

What about protein?

Most greens and cruciferious vegetables contain the protein you need. Beans and legumes are helpful too. Animal products rarely contain more nutrition than plants, thus barely any made this list. Meats may contain protein but also high in saturated fats and salt. My suggestion that if you are a meat-eater- palm size two meals a day. A shocker for some of you. While I’m busting dairy and meatalicious dreams, dairy isn’t the best source for calcium either. Most greens and starches are. Your body absorbs them better.

What about food allergies or gut issues?

Fruits tend to be highly acidic which can aggravate the gut. Bananas generally are safe. Cooked fruits in whole grains or starches could help tolerance. Do listen to your body, especially with food allergies. Rice can be substituted for wheat. Seeds can be eaten instead of nuts. If raw versions of any food is problematic, light cooking or steaming is just fine. Raw food isn’t always better.

Switch it up. By day, week, or season. Be flexible in your food relationship.

J.Riley

Superfoods: Super Helpful or Super BS.

Superfoods: Super Helpful or Super BS.

You see those lists. Eat this super food. Top 10 super foods. Here’s a powered form of super foods. Just super. Generally, super foods are a list of nutrient dense or nutrient significant foods. Often short list and often not the whole story.

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Super Helpful Foods

These lists are not wrong. Often Western diets lack variety and nutritional benefits. Superfoods bring nutrient-dense foods into focus in our food relationships. It makes it easy to “know” what to eat.

Super BS

These lists are not right either. Most often these super foods are limited and give the misconception to eat a limited diet. Rainbow your food relationship. Super foods are a marketing gimmick or attention grabber. Not all on the list are the best for you either. You might see dairy on some lists. Dairy can be troublesome for those with IBD or gut disorders. Some people are sensitive to it. Nuts and seeds can be an issue too with digestion. It doesn’t mean you’re not super if it’s not for you. Many fruits and vegetables can be switched out for another. Kale is tolerated in my food relationship. I logically understand why it’s amazing food to eat. However, this king of superfood is not well-liked or a focus. Often I substitute other foods to keep the nutrients and keep kale at a distance. Not all superfoods are super either. Acai is delicious but blueberries are not that much different nutritionally. And much more cost-effective to eat.

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How Do You Eat Super?

We can make it easy for ourselves without being so restrictive. A general guideline helps you keeps your food relationship in a healthy status. However, you pick the specifics or let a nutritional professional help you. Especially, when you are dealing with food allergies or chronic illness. A more open guide on the types of foods you need is coming soon.

JRiley