There are a million different immunity boosters out there, ranging from health supplements, to cure it all, get fit as well, and stay young forever promises. These advertised boosters bombard us every day. On TV, on social media, and even in supermarkets, they all display an array of these products.
But do they deliver the goods, or just suck your wallets dry?
The brutally honest truth is some of these products can indeed improve your health. But only if you’ve done your research, know what health problem to target, and often combine it with regimes.
Unless you’re a doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, pharmacist, or a medical specialist, you wouldn’t know where to start. Most people got their immunity knowledge from whatever high school crammed in between gym and math, or what you got from Grey’s Anatomy. Which probably doesn’t help much.
I also learned about immunity the hard way! As in, the moment my kids hit daycare and school, I was introduced to the vicious, never-ending cycle of colds, gastro’s, and infections I never heard about! I can only hope that this article can help someone from being a victim of that pattern.
Let’s start by understanding the immune system and what it does for you.
The National Cancer Institute describes the immune system as follows: “A complex network of cells, tissues, organs, and the substances they make that helps the body fight infections and other diseases.”
To put it in simple words, your body has a build-in germ-fighting detector! It is your first defense against the toxins of the outside world! The immune system doesn’t just fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungus, it also creates the antibodies that fight diseases such as cancer.
Did you know that your skin is the very first protective barrier against harmful bacteria and chemicals?
Did you know that your gut’s microbiota, the bacteria already living inside you, actually supports and decides which of your anti-bodies fights against a cold?
That is why working on boosting your immune system starts with nutrition and not all those advertised supplements! If you’re not getting the basic nutrition your body, including your immune system, needs, no amount of supplements can help you fight a cold.
And the opposite is true as well! If you’re eating very healthy and are taking extra vitamins or natural supplements, you might end up in the hospital with an overload of vitamins that your body can’t absorb.
The simplest way to build your system up to fight off common colds, gastro’s, and runny noses is to just put the right food in your stomach!
I’m not talking about suddenly filling your fridge with greens, or suddenly following a hyped diet, or buying a year’s worth of all the superfoods known to man. Nope. That’s just ridiculous!
And let’s be honest, most people would throw away the greens as they wouldn’t have the time or knowledge of how to cook some of the foods they bought. The average person loses the motivation for diets after two weeks. And we’ll get into all the long-term health problems diets cause. So unless you’re an athlete, model, or actor who needs to look a certain way for a job, or someone who’s suffering from a terminal illness, stay away from diets! Finally, eating an overabundance of superfoods is not going to help you get healthy if your main food intake is takeout. Basic nutrition doesn’t start with counting calories either, and I’ll debunk that for you also in another blog.
So I’m sorry for all of you with hectic schedules, fans of fast foods, and boxed goodies fanatics. I wish I could lie to you like those advertisements and sell you the next boosting immunity pill. But I can’t and I won’t.
I’ll be brutally honest with you instead and give you a simple math equation.
Fruits + vegetables + grains + proteins + dairy + oils + water = a healthy mind and body
What you put on your plate will have a direct correlation with not just your immunity, but how well your body and mind work, and it will also have a direct impact on your overall mood!
As I don’t want to overload you with information at once, I’ll break down the basics of food groups in the next post. There’ll even be an explanation why an apple doesn’t give you the same nutrients as apple juice. Then we’ll dive into what each food category does and how it affects your health. And finally, we’ll look specifically into which kinds of food support or boost immunity!
Till next time!
For now, take a moment to look at what goes on your plate. Better yet, check where your hand reaches when you have a craving. There’s often a direct link between your overall health, your energy levels, how well you deal with stress, and what your gut is digesting.
Alex H. M.