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Are We Eating the Right Food for a Healthy Immune System?

[21 May 2009 | 2 Comments | 16 views | Author: Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT]
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There was a time when the experts in the medical science field worried about influenza. Today the focus seems to have shifted to ‘afflulenza’. Lifestyle diseases, more than anything else, are snuffing out lives and shortening productive years of the population.

The mantra seems to be to get rich, buy cars, get houses and get meals out. When we chase such a lifestyle what we get in return is appalling. We get obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer. We fail to appreciate that despite the progress in medical science, there are sure cures for a very small number of ailments.

On top of it, there is an extraordinary level of reliance on the antibiotic alternative as patients and doctors are in a hurry to earn the next buck, which does not make things any better. Natural antibiotics , on the other hand, treats ailments and boosts the body’s responses to illness.

Besides the visible physical problems, a prolonged illness can wreck mental health and can also affect immune system health negatively. It can hinder the body’s capacities to self-heal. Immunity is a relatively new area of study for the medical experts and not much is known about the mechanisms of its dysfunction.

However, it has been established that certain factors that there are certain factors that affect immune system health. The way we eat and what we eat is one of them.

The immune system, which is primarily responsible for recognizing foreign substances like bacteria and toxins must be in proper shape to perform its function of destroying such foreign material. A weakened immune system is an invitation to disease in two ways.

It is incapable of fighting infections and you are therefore susceptible to contracting diseases more often. The immune system also looses its capacity to recognize foreign invasions and starts destroying the body’s own normal cells, which causes autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Food has been the most prominent of all causalities behind the gradual decline of traditional family patterns and eating practices. We may be eating more calories but we are obtaining them from poor sources, eating fat of inferior quality (trans-fats), more sugar, refined carbohydrates, more meat, chemicals and preservatives. This type of diet can adversely affect the body’s self-healing capacity.

Instead of the supplements that you may choose to add on to your food, opt to eat certain foods that help your immune system. Vit. C in combination with magnesium and calcium resists infections. For people who have digestive problems, citrus fruits may not be advisable as they are highly acidic in nature.

Crabmeat, lobsters and oysters are rich in all three nutrients – calcium, magnesium and Vit. C. Salmon is rich in a lot of minerals and vitamins along with a substantial quantity of Omega 3 fatty acids. These are good for arthritis and heart disease and also aid immune system functioning. Other healthy sources of Vit. C are broccoli, tomatoes, peaches and guava.

Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential for immune system health, which you will not find in supplements. Chicken and broccoli are healthy sources of selenium. Different types of edible mushrooms increase the production of white blood cells, which are essential for effectively combating disease.

A case also exists for the use of herbs for immune system. These are herbs that our ancestors used, to maintain health and vitality. These herbs are still an integral part of traditional therapies and the mainstay of homoeopathy.

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