Cultivating a Healthy Immune System

The immune system is your body’s defense mechanism for fighting colds, staving off infection and remaining healthy. If you suffer with common chronic ailments including asthma, allergies and eczema, or if you are frequently sick, then your immune system is wearing out.

Think about this fact: The human gastrointestinal tract (also commonly referred to as the ‘gut’) houses most of the immune system – about 70%. If you take a bite of food and follow its entire journey, the whole long pathway from your mouth at one end to the other end where you discard your wastes, then you have an idea of how lengthy and complex the gut is.

Your adaptive immunity is the portion that begins to recognize and alter its response so that you build up immunity. When a virus flares and you develop a common cold or the flu, it is your body’s way of developing immunity. You also have innate immunity, which is the one passed down through generations.

The remaining portion is your basic line of defense: primarily your skin. Skin, along with mucus membranes and other physical responses like sweat, tears and salivation, protect against the intrusion of foreign bodies and antigens.

Support your gut microbiome.
Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase energy levels or just generally look and feel healthier, then you need to maintain a healthy gut flora. Did you know that 90% of the cells in the human body are microbial? Your microbiome is teeming with life. Keep it alive and well and free of antigens and foreign bodies by increasing your pre- and probiotics, maintaining adequate stomach acid (toss out those acid reflux pills and start working on the root cause!) and repairing any nutrient deficiencies in the gut barrier.

Eliminate antibiotics altogether.
It goes without saying that if you have a bacterial infection, you need an antibiotic. Since fewer than 1% of bacteria cause diseases in people, requiring an antibiotic should be extremely rare. An example of a bacterial infection is the bubonic plague or MRSA, a hospital acquired infection.

Most bacteria are harmless and some actually help by digesting food, destroying disease-causing microbes, fighting cancer cells, and providing essential nutrients. Each time you take antibiotics (or eat them in your food supply) you are destroying your gut flora and making yourself susceptible to a host of ailments.

Welcome fat back to the table.

It’s good for the heart, brain, immune system and just about every aspect of human physiology you consider. Every cell in your body is comprised of a “phospholipid” bilayer that wants to remain young, soft and supple. Nutrients can easily pass in, bypassing wastes that are on their way out. Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) need dietary fats to become absorbed. Think of it. In a single generation we have somehow become convinced that dietary fat represented a threat to our health. Indeed, nothing could be further from the truth.

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For more information about my clinic in Oradell, NJ, including Functional Medicine, Neurology & Nutrition, and The Grassroots Medicine Initiative, please call (201) 261-5430.