A little reminder to love on your virus fighting machine.
Wow. The immune system. I am not sure there has ever been a time in recent years that this system has gotten so much attention. With an entire world shutdown by COVID-19, people are thinking what can I do to not catch this virus? And if I do catch it- is my virus fighting machine ready to tackle it? In other words, is my immune system ready to take on COVID-19?
So, today we are writing about the basics of taking care of our immune system and optimizing it. Let’s set ourselves up for success. For part 1, I want to start with two of the main things that irritate, or anger the immune system. #1) The food you eat – this can be your greatest nemesis or your most important strength. #2) The stress we carry, and even allow around us.
More on food. The SAD diet. Quite ironic, how the standard American diet is known as the SAD diet. With changes in government laws and subsidies, the government chose to subsidize 5 crops – corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice. These crops are the most readily available, and they are the cheapest for farmers to grow and consumers to buy. As most people here in the states follow the path of least resistance, their bellies get filled up on what we call empty calories – things that are made from these 5 crops. Unfortunately – these things wreak havoc on the immune system. These foods in excess lead to high sugars and increased cortisol, both of which wear out the immune system and dampen its ability to protect you. Move away from this eating pattern and instead move towards eating at least 80% colorful veggies – eat the rainbow… more on that later in Part 3.
Let’s talk about stress next. Oh my. This one we don’t want to face. Too often even in my own life- I think I am the victim of stress. Is there anything I can do to decrease it? We have demands at our jobs, in our families, parking tickets that we forgot to pay, and of course our own criticisms of ourselves. Stress feels inevitable, and it is so easy to live accordingly. But what if in this next season you start realizing how much stress is hurting you and your virus fighting machine? What if you slowly start taking ownership of your own life and implementing small BABY steps towards a more joyful life where the right amount of stress is there to propel you forward but the wrong amount of stress gets removed? Or you get more properly nurtured to manage that stress? More on that in part 3. 🙂
For now – I am going to keep this article simple – but these are the two main things that wear out your immune system. Next week – I am going to get into the nitty gritty. I will get into how environmental toxins, food sensitivities, and infectious agents, “bad bacteria,” that can live inside you, steal your nutrients, and wear out your immune system. In 2 more weeks you will hear from our health coach, Jenni, who will talk to you about how to nurture your immune system.
If you want your whole health evaluated and to get a personal deep dive into your immune system – contact your provider at Functional Medicine of Idaho. Have them order an ION panel for you – a special lab test that gives us tons of information on how your immune system is functioning and follow up with a consult with your provider 4 weeks after.
See you next week for Part 2!
Mikayla Todd, FNP
Adult Functional Medicine Practitioner