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 Cancer  Holistic-online.com

Natural Immune System Strengthening

Diet Therapy for Immune System

The type and the quantity of food you consume is very important for your health. Food provides the energy to your body. For a healthy immune system, the food should provide all the nutrients that are essential for good health.

Food contains several complex chemicals, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. For example, a small clove of garlic contains more than two hundred different chemicals. The right diet can keep you healthy, prevents infection and minimize the need for medications.

The fact that diet is very important in developing the body's resistance to infection had been recognized for thousands of years. The ancient scriptures of India documented the association between food and health in 5000 B.C. The medieval church records in England recorded the relationship between crop failures and famine and subsequent epidemics.

According to Richard P. Huemer, MD, author of "The Natural Health Guide to Beating the Supergerms," the consequences of a good or bad diet cannot be understated." Dr. Huemer has shown that HIV-positive men with a high intake of vitamins do not develop full-blown AIDS as quickly as the men who have a low intake of vitamins. Further, patients with AIDS require large doses of micronutrients to achieve and maintain normal levels of these nutrients compared to healthy persons.

Infection disturbs the nutrient levels in the body. (3) Variations in the diet result in ups and downs in immunity.

So, if you feed yourself with the right "foods," you can influence the regeneration process. You can help your body back to a healthy state that can fight the external attackers and keep it in "good shape."

Guidelines For A Healthy Diet

Here are some recommendations for healthy eating for a healthy immune system.

Eat a Low-Fat, High-Fiber Diet

A low-fat, high-fiber diet reduces your risk of degenerative diseases and improves your overall health. Soluble fiber helps move food through your digestive system quickly.

Reduce your fat intake. A high-fat diet can lead to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. It is not enough to reduce just the fat intake. You must combine it with a high- fiber intake.

Fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains are good sources of soluble fiber. Another great source for soluble fiber is psyllium husk. Consume at least 25 grams of dietary fiber per day.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat at least five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They are important source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals provide disease-protective effects to the body.

Protein

Adequate protein intake is important for proper immune functioning. 
Protein deficiency can adversely affect all facets of immune function. If you are suffering from diseases such as cancer and AIDS, you need to supplement your diet with a high-quality protein (e.g., whey protein, soy protein isolate, and egg protein) at a dosage of 0.8 gram per 2.2 pounds of body weight. The protein will help prevent the wasting away (cachexia) associated with these conditions.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is the body's single most important nutrient. Almost all of the body's functions rely on water. It carries nutrients to the cells; carries waste and toxins away from the cells and out of the body; maintains the body's temperature; and provides protection and cushioning for the joints and organs of the body.

We lose water constantly through physiological processes such as sweating, elimination and breathing. This water needs to be replenished. The body does not keep a reserve of water as it does with other nutrients. So, our need for water is continuous.

Experts recommend that a healthy adult should drink one and a half to two quarts of water per day. Sometimes we need more water because of accelerated loss of water due to heat, excessive sweating, diarrhea, etc. When you feel thirsty, drink water.

Oils and Essential Fatty Acids

Cold, pressed, unrefined nut or seed oil like flax seed, walnut or pumpkin seed oils contain the essential fatty acids omega-6 linoleic acid and omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. Our bodies need essential fatty acids for many important metabolic functions. Take the oil daily on salads or in other dishes. The oils lose the critical nutrients when they are heated; so make sure you consume it cold.

Studies have shown that when your body is deficient in omega-6 linoleic acid, our immune system gets suppressed. The body converts linoleic acid into Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that stimulate immunity.

Cold-water fish oil from salmon and mackerel is another good source for essential fatty acid.

For best results, eat fish and a salad with a dressing of unrefined, cold-pressed sunflower or walnut oils. The fatty acid of the fish helps ensure the conversion of the oil's linoleic acid to Prostaglandins.

Foods To Be Avoided

There are several foods you should avoid. The most important is sugar.

Sugar

Sugar contains no nutrients. Excessive sugar intake can deplete your body of several vitamins and minerals. We recommend that you avoid consumption of any refined food or food products.

Dr. Robert McCracken, a UCLA anthropologist, faults refined sugar for some forms of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and even possibly some kinds of cancer. (2) He noted that members of certain primitive tribes who consume more saturated fats than Americans, have normal blood cholesterol levels and suffer from fewer diseases than Americans. His research showed that the main difference is that they never touch refined sugar.

A high intake of sugar adversely affects the immune system. Sugar impairs the ability of white blood cells to sweep up and kill bacteria. It also robs the body of key nutrients such as zinc that is vital for the immune function. 

Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of "Lick the Sugar Habit" gave 59 reasons why sugar ruins our health:

59 Reasons Why Sugar Ruins Our Health

  1. Can suppress the immune system.

  2. Can upset the minerals in the body.

  3. Can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

  4. Produces a significant rise in triglycerides.

  5. Contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection.

  6. Can cause kidney damage.

  7. Reduces high-density lipoproteins.

  8. Leads to chromium deficiency.

  9. Leads to cancer of the breast, ovaries, intestines, prostate, and rectum.

  10. Increases fasting levels of glucose and insulin.

  11. Causes a copper deficiency.

  12. Interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

  13. Weakens eyesight.

  14. Raises the level of neurotransmitters called serotonin.

  15. Can cause hypoglycemia.

  16. Can produce an acidic stomach.

  17. Can raise adrenaline levels in children.

  18. Malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.

  19. Can cause aging.

  20. Can lead to alcoholism.

  21. Can cause tooth decay.

  22. Contributes to obesity.

  23. Increases the risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

  24. Can cause changes frequently found in people with gastric or duodenal ulcers.

  25. Can cause arthritis.

  26. Can cause asthma.

  27. Can cause Candida albicans (yeast infections).

  28. Can cause gallstones.

  29. Can cause heart disease.

  30. Can cause appendicitis.

  31. Can cause multiple sclerosis.

  32. Can cause hemorrhoids.

  33. Can cause varicose veins.

  34. Can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.

  35. Can lead to periodontal disease.

  36. Can contribute to osteoporosis.

  37. Contributes to saliva acidity.

  38. Can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

  39. Leads to decreased glucose intolerance.

  40. Can decrease growth hormone.

  41. Can increase cholesterol.

  42. Can increase the systolic blood pressure.

  43. Can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

  44. Can cause migraine headaches.

  45. Can interfere with the absorption of protein.

  46. Causes food allergies.

  47. Can contribute to diabetes.

  48. Can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

  49. Can contribute to eczema in children.

  50. Can cause cardiovascular disease.

  51. Can impair the structure of DNA.

  52. Can change the structure of protein.

  53. Can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.

  54. Can cause cataracts.

  55. Can cause emphysema.

  56. Can cause atherosclerosis.

  57. Can promote an elevation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

  58. Can cause free radicals in the bloodstream.

  59. Lowers the enzymes' ability to function.

A short fast can help improve the immune function by lowering the blood sugar levels. Fasting will significantly increase the ability of white blood cells to destroy microorganisms. Do not extend the fasting for an excessive period, since eventually the leukocytes' energy sources will become depleted.

Summary

Foods to Eat

  • Whole grains

  • Vegetables, especially green, orange, and yellow vegetables and roots, all of which boost immunity

  • Beans, especially soybeans and soybean products, such as tempeh, tofu, tamari, and miso

  • Seaweeds: small amounts daily to increase trace mineral consumption

  • Nuts and seeds in very small amounts

  • Shiitake and reishi mushrooms are powerful immune boosters.

  • Chlorophyll-rich foods, such as microalgae and cereal grasses, are antiinflammatory and immune-enhancing.

Foods to Avoid

In addition to avoiding the following foods, do not eat too much food, do not eat late at night, and eat simpler food combinations.

  • Meat

  • Sugar

  • Dairy products

  • Alcohol

  • Refined foods

  • Chemicalized food

  • Processed food

  • Oils and fats (minimize)

  • Recreational drugs

Next Topic: Top 15 Foods for Immunity

See Also:

Nutrition Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

Diet Therapy for Stress Management

References:

  1. Dr. John McKenna, "Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics," Avery Publishing Group.

  2. Paul Bragg and Virginia Bragg, "Healthy Eating Without Confusion," Santa Barbara, Calif.: Health Science, 1967, p. 12.

  3. Richard P. Huemer, MD and Jack Challem, "The Natural Health Guide to Beating the Supergerms," Pocket Books, NY.

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