Not a day goes by that someone in my circle doesn’t ask me a question about a specific food or nutrient looking for a quick answer: And these days, it’s all about inflammation, immunity, and CoVid-19:
“Is turmeric good for inflammation?”
“Does Vitamin D help the Immune System?”
“Does Vitamin C help the Immune system?”
“Should I supplement with Reishi mushroom?”
The list goes on & on and on.
And with CoVid-19 raging, people want easy answers to boosting immunity and decreasing the likelihood of serious illness. Recently green tea and dark chocolate have also appeared in the news as immunity boosters.
“One particular nutrient or food isn’t going to help you or hurt you that much.” Is usually the response they get from me.
Your health, overall, is about the totality of what you do day in & day out; not any one specific nutrient, no matter how potent.
It’s not about the individual food or the individual supplements but the totality. Vitamin C is good. Vitamin D is important, mushrooms have immune complexes in them. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory.
But all those things aren’t going to matter much if you’re putting them in an inflamed overweight body, burdened with damage that you may not even know is there and that you keep damaging by your everyday actions; what you put in your face.
And whether you know it or not, you could be further along on the path to disease and disability than you think.
Here’s the hard truth your doctor likely never told you: It is virtually certain you have atherosclerosis; the beginnings of heart disease, and maybe other diseases as well.
“Boy that’s a bold statement, Leslie, how do you know?” I can hear you saying.
Simple, studies (done at autopsy on children who died in accidents) show consistently that 50% of kids age 10-14 have ‘fatty streaks’ in their arteries; considered the first stage of atherosclerosis. That’s right, kids 10-14 years old! These are studies dating back to the Korean War, long before our current obesity epidemic!
So, it’s easiest just to assume you’re likely further along in the continuum than you think and start taking the action to undo the damage.
Here’s the good news: the human body has AMAZING regenerative & recuperative abilities.
Even people with advanced heart disease, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and more can reverse much of their damage by eating a predominantly plant-based diet.
And with such a diet, people, even with advanced disease, can be more comfortable in weeks and can reduce the overall burden of disease in months.
Ok. So now the “what to do.”
(1) Start eating more plants: Starting today, eat salads that are twice as big (without fat-laden salad dressing) and eat them twice as often. So a big salad for lunch & another with dinner.
(2) Cut the amount of animal food you’re eating. I suggest that you take every potion & split it in 3. That way you’re effectively eating 2/3 less.
(3) Add whole, in tact grains & starches to your diet: brown rice, quinoa, millet, barley, sweet potatoes, etc. They will fill you up for far fewer calories and the added fiber will help feed the good-guy bugs in your gut and decrease inflammation.
(4) Work on eliminating dairy: dairy; even organic grass-fed, is loaded with naturally occurring hormones and growth factors that lay down fat, stimulate cell growth and reproduction and leave you more open to a large variety of diseases.
(5) Eat more fruits & vegetables (in addition to the salads mentioned above).
Now that you’re doing all this, adding in the turmeric, the Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and mushrooms makes sense on top of a good foundation. The chocolate and green tea; good too. Just be sure the chocolate is non-dairy dark chocolate without a lot of added sugar and cocoa butter. Those changes can enhance immunity but remember that immunity starts with getting more of the basic building blocks found in fresh fruits & veggies into your body every single day.
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