Did you know that most of our auto immune system is pretty much managed by our Small Intestine? Not only that but around 95% of our serotonin is produced and managed in the gut. Some would say that the gut is the first brain as so much happens here. What does that mean for us? Well, simply put, what we eat and drink will have a direct bearing on our immune system. And there’s more! It’s not just what we eat and drink, what we think and feel will also compromise our immune system.
We only get what we eat and absorb!
Our Small Intestine has a very important job and that is to absorb all the nutrients from our digested food. It really depends on the quality of the food and the type of food that we eat, then, as to how our immune system will be. The challenge is to eat a good selection of organic and fresh fruit, vegetables, protein and healthy fats most of the time. Sounds easy! On a day to day basis most of us do this and we generally are healthy and fit. Then something happens and off we go into a spiral of colds and viruses or worse. Generally I tend to find that I can pin point the time this happens in my own life and the lives of my clients. People can tend to blame getting sick on external factors like their job, or others being sick around them. But how come we don’t get sick some days and do get sick other days? How come 90-95% of the time we don’t catch the cold or flu that is making its way round our family and work place? It is because on those days our immune system is not compromised.
What compromises the immune system?
We do! Well a combination of factors that we allow to come together without realising we have done this. Here’s an example. I am wheat and gluten intolerant. Generally I do not eat bread of any form. I also do not take dairy produce, if I can avoid it, because I know when I do I have immediate cramping and bloating and all matter of dis-ease in my gut. I also tend to stay away from sugar, well, processed sugar.
Here’s another thing. I have a bit of a weakness for sugar (most of us do) and can have occasions where I binge on it. They do not happen often but when they do, I tend to get a cold! The word to take on board here is ‘binge’. Should I be in a situation where I eat foods that contain grains, dairy and processed sugars, I will find that I am under the weather for days after and can sometimes catch a cold or flu. But it’s not that I catch anything. It is more that my immune system is down and I am not able to fight off the virus as well as I would, should I have stayed away from the above foods. My system needs to cleanse and it will do this by clearing out and that is what a cold or flu is, a clearing of the immune system.
We are also the Thoughts we THINK!
Normally I am a positive person. I think positive thoughts and feel positive and successful in my day and life. However, there are days when I can find myself getting cranky or annoyed easily. We are thinking beings and most of our thinking is subconscious and quite often our subconscious thoughts can be negative. We can put ourselves down or be hard on ourselves. We can be our greatest critic instead of our biggest fan. Sound familiar. Every time we think negatively about our selves or get angry we are weakening our immune system.
Add this into the mix of what is being eaten and drank and our poor immune system hasn’t much hope.
From My Own Experience:
In my case it would be safe to say that for the most part, I am aware of what can weaken my system and I generally avoid creating situations where this can happen. I call this my ‘wellness plan’. Included in my plan would be a 20-40 minute daily exercise regime, good sleeping habits, filtered water drinking habits and a healthy eating plan.
I Have Personal Experience of Stress!
I know that I can get over stressed if I don’t take time to rest and exercise. Lately I have been busy writing my book: Tap Into Success. I have also had clients coming to me and I am doing some teaching in school. So guess what suffered? My daily exercise of either walking or swimming. I also was away from home and found myself eating gluten free sweet things, drinking more alcohol than I normally would and guess what happened? Yes put all these factors together and hey presto, my immune system was compromised and I finally fell to the barrage of viruses being sneezed around the classroom.
Had I just had one of the changes above happen I probably would have managed to rebalance easily. But I had too many stressors at the one time my immune system weakened and I got sick.
Some Helpful Tips
Now I know that this wouldn’t happen to you. But just in case it did! With Christmas coming it might be a good idea to:
- Have a commitment to exercising – even just walking each day for 30 minutes is good. This helps to keep the lymphatic system clearing away the toxins from our bodies.
- Be mindful of what we are eating each day, committing to buying fresh and organic where and when possible.
- Plan ahead. knowing what you are going to prepare for your meals each day allows you to buy in the produce needed and helps to prevent you from going down the Fast Food route.
- Be aware of how much alcohol you are drinking and ensure you drink plenty of water. It doesn’t have to be cold water, you could also drink hot water with lemon. Beers and wines are quite high in preservatives and additives regardless what they say on the label.
- Remember the gut-brain connection. If there is too much sugar in the system and it is not regulated we will have difficulty converting and managing these sugars and this can lead to depression and anxiety, which will also weaken the immune system.
- It might be an idea to take some digestive enzymes with your meals to help you digest and absorb the goodness from the food you are eating.
Remember that it is normally the combination of factors that generally weaken the immune system so try your best to prevent situations where you are going to do all of the above and if they are going to happen walk it off, drink plenty of water and stay positive!
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