Balance Your Immunity31 Oct 2022
To balance our immune system, we must first find balance in our lives.
Nutrition, physical exercise, and mental attitude are the major determinants of how our state of health develops from the moment we're born. Every new day gifts us with the opportunity to adopt healthier lifestyle habits and welcome essential balance and harmony into our lives.
Have you ever noticed how no animal willingly smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol, or adds unnatural chemicals to its life-giving food, air, or water? Only those out of balance with the fundamental laws of nature partake in self-destructive actions.
Non-living, dead foods can take a toll on the body, including illness, disease, and rapid aging. By understanding this, we heighten our awareness that food should provide fuel and nourishment.
Toxic obstructions are the residues left over from a lifetime of improper foods and negative thoughts, causing degeneration and deterioration. Every living organism continually strives to remove obstructions with the ultimate goal of achieving perfect health. When you start removing energetic blockages from your body, radiant health appears.
Love what loves you back - lifestyle balance
Every dynamic in life comes down to relationships; with others, ourselves, and nature. When we connect with activities and a lifestyle that loves us back, we form a healthy relationship with life and can reap the abundance that it offers.
Everything is connected. All we consume, feel, and do becomes a part of our story and affects us on every level - mind, body, and soul. Californian holistic health pioneer Dr. Bernard Jenson once said, "If you step on a cat's tail, it's the other end that yells!" reinforcing the fact there is no single part of the body that is not affected by the whole and vice versa.
Our Body’s Messengers - pain and inflammation
Our bodies speak to us through the messengers of pain and inflammation, warning us that something is out of balance and crying out for our help and attention. The reduction of inflammation is vital in immunity. When we cease ingesting food devoid of enzymes, life force, and essential nutrients and instead focus on a fresh, raw organic, vegan diet, we free up our body's energy to heal itself. Never forget that we always have the power to restore balance and connectivity to our lives.
Microbiome - our digestive allies
Inside every one of us are trillions of microorganisms — bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other life forms collectively known as the microbiome.
The microbiome and the immune system are intrinsically connected, determining the education cells receive. Dietary and microbial diversity go hand in hand. The typical unhealthy Western diet is highly non-nutritious, which results in less-diverse gut bacteria, and promotes inflammation and chronic disorders. However, eating an organic, raw plant-based diet boosts the microbiome, reduces inflammation, and helps to balance the immune system.
The irresponsible increased use of antibiotics requires investigation into its effects on microbiota and health. Antibiotic‐induced changes in microbial composition can negatively impact our health and vital bodily functions, including immune regulation, metabolic activities, and overall wellness.
Due to the over-prescribed use and subsequent antibiotic resistance, we face a global health crisis. We must urgently reconsider the non-sustainable orthodox medicinal paradigm and adopt an alternative holistic approach.
Did you know that 70-80% of immune cells are present in the gut?
Poor diet and lifestyle choices directly impact upon our gut. When the gut cannot function correctly, it can become a consistent source of inflammation. If there's inflammation in the gut, there is systemic inflammation, wreaking havoc throughout the body. This destructive inflammation affects our nervous system, immune system, and, eventually, our endocrine system. Internal inflammatory conditions have been associated with mental health disorders, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and energy production issues. All chronic illnesses are linked to chronic inflammation proving how gut health affects immunity.
Disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment. To maintain a healthy microbiome balance and support optimal immunity, we must consume nutritious organic plant foods to neutralize acidity and restore digestive harmony.
Cell Function and Immunity
The immune system consists of thousands of moving parts that all play a role in maintaining a well-balanced immune response. These parts all need to work in harmony. This process involves activating the right cells at the right time and shutting them down once the threat is neutralized. These include:
- Natural Killer (NK) cells - kicking into action when your body senses infectious microbes or life-threatening cancer cells.
- Helper T cells - working hard to destroy any cells that an invading pathogen has infected.
- B cells - act like defensive warriors by targeting antibodies to fight specific invaders.
- Cytokines - terminating signals that initiate inflammation and immune responses.
When our immune system is out of balance, these cells cease to coordinate carefully, sending our body's immune response haywire, consequently allowing sickness to take hold. An overactive immune system leads to many debilitating conditions, such as arthritis with painful joint inflammation, especially with a background of an acidic, inflammatory diet.
Lifestyle Habits and Emotions that Support our Immune Systems
The impact of emotional and psychological stresses should never be underestimated regarding healthy immune function. People who experience a positive attitude and contentment in their professional and personal lives tend to embrace a robust immune system. Negative emotions can deplete the body’s defenses, causing bacterial, viral, or fungal infections to invade and spread.
So what are the best ways to balance immunity?
There are many ways your lifestyle can balance your immune system, but one of the most important is eating organic living foods in balance with nature.
Devitalized processed food that has been pasteurized, homogenized, or produced with synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives is destroying our immunity and burdening our systems with toxic debris.
Another reason for us to eat organic, living foods is how easily they make their way through our digestive system. The longer a food sits in our digestive tracts, the likelier it is to ferment, resulting in gas, inflammation, toxic waste, and acidosis. Raw foods positively impact the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. Here are a few ways to balance your immunity:
Achieving a healthy balance of good bacteria nurtures the microflora within your digestive tract, improving your immunity and aiding your digestive system. Probiotic foods encourage a healthy microbiome responsible for nutrient absorption, hormonal balance, and a healthy weight. Naturally, pre-fermented, probiotic-rich foods that replenish good bacteria include kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, coconut kefir, and coconut yogurt. You can also take probiotics as an additional supplement to your diet. .
Moderate-intensity exercise mobilizes immune cells helping them to be more efficient at detecting and reacting to an infection. Movement activates the detoxifying lymphatic system supporting the body's natural ability to fend off millions of germs.
Supporting your immune system is one of the many important roles that water plays in your body. Our blood and lymph contain immune cells that require water to flow and circulate throughout our bodies. Staying hydrated can aid in washing harmful pathogens in the throat down into the digestive tract to be destroyed by our stomach acid.
Sleep and retreat
Sleep is our most powerful 'reset' button, helping the immune system to function at its optimal capacity. During sleep, our vital organs restore and regenerate, giving us a fighting chance to ward off infection and illness.
Stress can affect every aspect of our daily lives and is one of the biggest modern-day 'silent killers.' Whether it affects us instantaneously or accumulates over time, we can all be susceptible to the devastating impact that chronic stress has on our immune function.
Mindful activities such as meditation, exercise, sleep, and diet can all combat stress and help us feel less overwhelmed in our lives.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin. Sunshine is the best natural source of Vitamin D, proving yet again how deeply connected human health is to nature. The body creates it from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors. However, during the darker months, it becomes scarce, so ensuring we receive our daily quota from the foods we eat is essential. Evidence shows that low levels of Vitamin D make a person more susceptible to illness. To combat the risk of deficiency, you can take a whole-food vitamin D supplement to strengthen your immune system, regulate hormones, and keep the bones, heart, and brain healthy.
Specific foods to aid the immune system
Here are some of our favourite natural plant-based foods to add to your diet, and how they boost your immune system.
Turmeric is an incredible healer originating from India. It has been used for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Its vibrant golden color is formed from curcumin - turmeric's main nutritional active compound. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antibacterial, and antifungal powerhouse, helping to reduce pain, boost Immunity, and support healthy intestinal microbiomes for optimum digestion. Studies have shown that curcumin helps reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. Black pepper possesses a bioactive compound called piperine, which enhances the absorption of curcumin by helping it to pass through the intestinal wall easier and into your bloodstream.
The fiber in carrots helps to keep blood sugar levels under control. They can also:
- Help the body to fight infections.
- Lower your risk of diabetes.
- Strengthen your immunity.
Goji Berries are a potent source of A, B, and C vitamins. They contain 500 times more vitamin C per weight than an orange and have been considered a superfood in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5000 years. Vitamin A helps to support eyesight, immunity, healthy skin, and mucous membranes.
Did you know there are over 500 different kinds of avocados, all offering a wide variety of tastes and flavors? They are rich in vitamins E and K, which boost immune activity, act as a potent anti-inflammatory, protect the body tissue from damage, help produce antibodies and act as a natural beautifier for the skin and hair. The folate offered in avocados can also help ward off cancer and depression, alongside their healthy fat content, which protects the heart.
Kale is an alkalizing dark, green leafy vegetable containing four times the vitamin C content and twice the selenium content of spinach. It's an immune-supporting powerhouse that helps fend off illness, offering other nutrients such as vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Mushrooms - immune enhancers
Regarding immunity, mushrooms are miracle workers and have been a leading star in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Mushrooms are abundant in anti-inflammatory, alkaline-forming antioxidants. Their bioactive compounds play an essential role in balancing the immune system due to their immunomodulatory effects and ability to stimulate it when fighting off harmful invaders. All medicinal mushrooms contain powerful polysaccharides called beta-glucans, which can fight cancer. There are many varieties of mushrooms, all working in their own way to help balance your immune system. Here are some examples:
Reishi - acts as an immune modulator, regulating and fine-tuning the immune system. They have a hard outer shell making them inedible, so capsules are the most convenient form. They have been shown to increase the th1 cytokine response, stimulating a cellular immune response.
Shitake - contains lentinan, which acts as a natural antitumor compound. They increase NKN and cytotoxic T cells, which help to conquer viruses and cancer cells. Shiitake mushrooms may have potent antimicrobial properties, making them an effective natural antibiotic. Interestingly, a study showed it only killed disease-causing (pathogenic) microbes, leaving beneficial bacteria unharmed.
Enokitake - also offers anti-cancer and immune-enhancing properties.
Maitake - helps to stimulate a cellular immune response when fending off bacterial infections by increasing Th1 cytokines.
Turkey Tail - contains natural prebiotics which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. They are considered to be a powerful disease-fighting fungi. They Protect DNA from damage, support the immune system and enhance a healthy inflammation response.
Cordyceps - Over 400 species of cordyceps have been discovered. Researchers believe that the fungi may exert antitumor effects in several ways. It can help to manage diabetes, inflammation, and heart health.
Before introducing anything new into your diet, ensure it doesn't counteract or react with any medication you may be taking or cause an allergic reaction.
Ginger is a spicy, aromatic root containing compounds called gingerols. These compounds have powerful anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-ulcer, and antioxidant properties, which help to prevent cardiovascular disease, fight diseases, and support the liver. They are highly recommended for nausea, bloating, and other digestive complaints due to imbalances in the microbiome.
Broccoli sprouts are nutritional powerhouses. Rich in various nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber. When consumed, they offer a potent source of one of the most immune-supportive biochemicals called sulforaphane - excellent for lowering inflammation witnessed in many diseases and helping to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Garlic's immune-stimulating properties increase the activity of NK cells, a type of immune cell that helps kill off cancer cells and viruses. Its healing powers include:
- Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Increasing beneficial bacteria in the GI tract.
- Acting as an effective antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal.
- Boosts virus-fighting T-cells in the bloodstream
- Improves circulation
- It helps your adrenals produce fewer stress hormones, reducing your fatigue and stress levels.
Please be aware that garlic can thin your blood and should not be taken with blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), so always check first.
The Hippocrates Wellness Lifestyle
At Hippocrates, our mantra is: "Give the body what it requires, and it will heal itself."
Positive life transformation in balance with nature helps to maintain the essential immunity we need to thrive. Our carefully curated, ground-breaking 3-week life transformation program - backed by science - will teach you how to embrace the therapeutic and rejuvenating powers of a raw, vegan, organic plant-based diet.
For over 60 years, we have observed tens of thousands of people reverse and prevent disease and premature aging by shifting their mindset and diet to align with the healing Hippocrates Wellness Lifestyle Protocols: Immunity, Regeneration, Mindfulness, and Fitness,
To learn more about how you can take responsibility for your health, balance your immune system, and reclaim the vitality and wellbeing you deserve, contact one of our wellness experts for your free 30-minute consultation.
Find balance, and you'll find health.