Autoimmune disease… “an inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body”. Recently, I have heard this diagnosis a little too often. It could be considered as relatively good news.. in that your body is not fighting something scarier, but at the same time the body is fighting something with an unknown cause. How can this even be possible? Can we do something to change this?
I just got back from the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute in Seattle… not only am I inspired, but I also feel like I lived every day well while I was there. As I consider this.. I know it has the majority to do with what I ate over the weekend. Not only did I make good food choices and drank lots of water, but I also ate a plant-based diet. I’ve done this a few times – been inspired to follow a plant-based diet, particularly after I read Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollen, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, or watched the documentaries Forks over Knives and Food Inc.
One of the sessions I attended was Boosting our Immunity by Teri Mosey. Totally inspiring! After the session it got me thinking… eating is not just about fat loss and being lean (which is what I have recently been striving for), it’s also about using food to optimize my life, improve my immunity, fuel the cells in my body.
According to Mosey, every system in our body is intertwined… the skeletal, muscular, endocrine, digestive, immune system… the list goes on. If 75% of your immune system is linked to your digestive system, and 90% of your body’s serotonin is in your stomach… how can what you eat not matter to your whole body? Well evidently it does! So… what should you eat? What is optimal for our body?
Here is some interesting information that I learned:
- The body is a self-healing system. If self-healing is optimal, you are physically a new person every 7-10 years.
- You want the pH of your blood to be slightly alkaline. This is ideal for your immune system and allows optimal self-healing. In an alkaline body, cancer cells can not grow.
- So, what causes the opposite; what causes acidity? This is what causes inflammation in the body. It includes, processed and packaged food, genetically modified food, excess protein, fat, sugar, alcohol, coffee, dairy and meat, sweeteners, stress, and lack of sleep,
- Anti inflammatory (alkaline forming foods) include walnuts, avocados, bitter-leafy greens..
- The most genetically-modified food in the US are wheat, corn and soy.
- Carbohydrates should be fruits and vegetables, and gluten-free alkaline grains (quinoa, amaranths, millet)
- The only sugars that do not harm the immune system are maple syrup, unheated honey, unrefined cane juice.
- The digestive system is our enteric brain, our second gut… hence the term “go with your gut”… therefore by keeping your digestive system balanced and healthy you can positively effect your emotions.
- Supportive nutrients for a healthy digestive tract include, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, mint, ginger, sage, thyme, rosemary, papaya, pineapple. Natural prebiotics (food that feeds the good bacteria in your stomach) are bananas, raw garlic and raw sauerkraut.
- The number 1 causes of allergies/intolerance are gluten and dairy.
- Grass-fed, organic, antibiotic and hormone-free meat should be consumed in moderation.
- Going gluten free needs an all-or-nothing approach. As soon as you have one meal with gluten, you have caused inflammation and you are back to square one.
- To reduce gas from beans, cook with Kombu seaweed in the water (and scoop off the foam in the water while boiling) or used Eden bran canned beans (organic, non-BPA can linings, cooked with Kombu seaweed and not salt).
- Eat with the seasons is advantageous to the immune system
So..I found this information really interesting and I am definitely going to try a plant-based diet while I keep researching … but be your own nutritional detective – we are all different.. find what works for you!
Some stuff to check out:
Teri Mosey’s Website at https://holisticpathwaysllc.org/
Eat to Live food Pyramid http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/foodpyramid.aspx