IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTH – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC

Whole healthiness, that is, maintaining, balancing and promoting good health requires that we mindfully nurture our immune system on a daily basis. Our immune system encompasses a group of cells inside our bodies that protects us from disease. A healthy immune system which balances the T cells and the antibody producing B cells is balanced, and able to perfom its job in keeping invaders out. These invaders can be anything from viruses, bacteria, substances such as gluten and dairy, sugar, processed foods and grains, heavy metals, toxins and stress, which go on to foster and promote autoimmune disease. “An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. The immune system normally guards against germs like bacteria and viruses. When it senses these foreign invaders, it sends out an army of fighter cells to attack them.”

If we are able to keep our bodies foundational systems in good shape, that being our diet, stress hormones, gut health, nervous system, and the body’s toxic load, we can heal the immune system. If we are cognizant of the things that trigger an “immune response,” and are able to avoid these triggers, we can practice awareness and prevention of developing an autoimmune disease.

The food that we eat gives information to our cells that can either promote wellness, or inflammation…on a cellular level. For example, GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) cause crops to contain proteins that are unnatural to the plant making it almost impossible to digest, such as gluten. Research tells us that these proteins cause immune reactions in the gut that promotes development of autoimmunity.
Gluten is impossible for humans to digest, and when pieces in large quantity get into the bloodstream, the immune system goes on high alert due to the fact that gluten is seen as foreign and produces antibodies to attack it. When these same antibodies attack the gluten they also inadvertently attack our tissues as well. This is called MOLECULAR MIMICRY, and is not specific to gluten. Molecular mimicry happens when your immune system sees your own tissue as foreign.

I subscribe to the saying, “Let thy food be thy medicine.” The food we choose to eat, promoting either wellness, or inflammation, gives vital information to our cells, and instructs our cells how to navigate by changing the way the enzymes work inside the cells. For example, sugar is a toxic substance that offers no nutritional value, (and research shows that sugar causes an increased risk for depression, and causes anxiety,) and in fact tells our cells to promote inflammation. Sugar crosses the blood brain barrier and is known to cause not only physical inflammation, but inflammation to the brain.

In addition, due to the over processing of gluten, this too communicates to our cells to foster inflammation.

Nutrigenomics, means food that you eat that affects the genetic expression of your cells. Food that we eat is responsible for the genes that are activated, and the genes direct enzyme activity. Enzymes determine how a cell, tissue, and organ will function. If you are eating foods that are “low in calories” according to the packaging, but the ingredients contain sugar, wheat, trans fats, and other toxic and unhealthy ingredients, it instructs your cells to create inflammation, and in addition, causes your body to gain weight, and promotes disease. Remember, inflammation is key in promoting all chronic diseases, and autoimmune disease. Everything we eat is absorbed and digested and winds up floating around in your blood, and then finds its way to all of your cells giving important information.

Choose foods that will communicate with your cells to encourage wellness, body, mind, and spirit. When we eat foods that are unhealthy, it causes an unhealthy body, and mind, and weighs heavily on an otherwise positive spirit.  Look for foods that are organic, unprocessed, organic, and natural. Replace processed sugar with low sugar fruits such as berries, kiwi, grapefruits, avocado. Look for foods that contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants from plant foods that work in the body to enhance overall health. They also help to control blood sugar spikes after meals. Eat polyphenol filled foods every few hours for maximum benefits.

Some polyphenol rich foods are a variety of berries, red raspberries, flaxseed meal, dark chocolate, black/green tea, apples, red wine, cocoa/cacao powder, and pure pomegranate juice.

Eat phytonutrient rich foods which are found in plants and veggies and provides many health benefits, as well as helps in preventing disease, and can increase your energy level. Foods such as organic whole grains, nuts, beans and tea are also rich in phytonutrients.

Eat grass fed, organic beef and poultry, and wild salmon for healthy protein for building and maintaining healthy cells. Chia seeds are also a great protein source.

Eating organic and natural foods are the safest way to maintain a healthy immune system, healthy diet, and in turn, achieving harmonious health for life through providing optimal nutritional support for the body, mind, and soul. In addition, it is just as important to surround yourself with positive relationships, as research tells us that toxic relationships promote inflammation on a cellular level, and to be mindful of your thoughts, dismissing worry and negativity. When you have a negative or worrisome mindset ongoing, this leads to ongoing anxiety, which can lead to ongoing depression, and these toxic thoughts promote inflammation on a cellular level. Our physical health and our mental health are directly correlated, and it is a choice to work toward wellness each day.

Being mindful of the foods that you choose to eat, and knowing that food IS information, will support your health at the cellular level. Read labels and ask questions about everything you put into your body. Further, be mindful of your thoughts, and choose wisely who you enter into a relationship with as your health depends on it! Our immune system needs to be cared for and nurtured in order to achieve wellness!

Take good care of your immune system, and harmonious health for life will follow!

For information on how you, individually, can support your immune system, and how we can work together to achieve your health and wellness goals, please go to the “Contact” page on this website, and I will contact you within 24 hours!

Wishing you Harmonious Health 4 Life!

Love and blessings,

Wendy