The key to good health starts with a positive mental outlook. Diet, of course, plays a major role. Many Americans are turning to plant-based therapies in the form of herbs.
Why Herbs? Instead of suppressing the body or treating only the symptoms of the problems as drugs tend to do, herbs work with the body’s intricate system, allowing it to come into a proper state of balance and harmony.
If you have a chronic illness or are on prescriptions drugs for any condition, herbal therapy should be approached carefully. Always consult your health care professional or visit a holistic practitioner prior to using herbs.
More is not better — Herbs may look mild, but they can carry a pretty good punch in excessive doses. Always start off with a small amount of the herb and work your way up to larger amount.
NATURE’S MEDICINE CHEST AND OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
With the vast increase of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, as well as HIV and AIDS awareness a worldwide concern, protecting and strengthening your immune system has become a top priority for all individuals.
SUGAR AND YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Sugar weakens the immune system. Excessive sugar consumption contributes to more than 60 chronic ailments including: borderline diabetes, nervous disorders, depression, hyperactivity and arthritis.
In studies published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition a mere 100 grams of sugar in any form (i.e. white refined sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey or fruit) “decreases the germ-killing ability of white blood cells for up to five hours after ingestion.”
The need for sweets reduces the production of valuable antibodies – proteins that combine with and deactivate foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria.
Sugar also blocks the absorption of and increases the excretion of many minerals, especially calcium, and interferes with the transport of vitamin C to the bloodstream.
In consuming huge amounts of donuts, cookies, cakes, candies, soft drinks and other high sugar foods you are systematically breaking down your immune system’s ability to fight back.
Other health concerns linked to too much sugar in the body include yeast and parasitic infections, hypoglycemia, emotional imbalances and, due to sugar’s depletion of minerals of the body, an increased rise of osteoporosis and kidney stones.
Even natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup combined with the amounts in fruits can have a negative effect on the body, however, the worse is white refined sugar. Sugar is stripped of virtually all nutrients during the refining process, which forces your body to use up your mineral resources to digest it. This puts a major burden on your immune system, leaving it wide open for just about every virus you come in contact with.
Sugar craving is an addiction, and to improve the strength of your immune system you must first overcome your addiction. Nutritionists suggest that you eliminate all refined sugar from your diet and then gradually reduce the amount of natural sweeteners you use. Read all labels carefully and keep your daily intake of sugars to under 40 grams. For those suffering from immune system dysfunction or chronic illness, experts recommend lowering the daily intake even further to 20 grams. Be sure to check with your health professional before starting this process and for monitoring along the way.
Like any addiction, the cravings will at first be difficult to fight. Keep your sweet tooth happy by eating two or three servings of sugar-filled fresh fruits and sweet vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers or winter squash. Once you can find healthy replacements and reduce your body’s need for sweets, your immune system will have the strength it needs to fight for you.
Join me tomorrow for some basic herbs that help support your immune system.