Your Immune System…In Training
With cold and flu season just a few months away, the late summer and early fall is the ideal time to get your immune system into tip-top shape. You can think of your immune system as an athlete getting ready to compete in the Olympics. You want to be in prime condition when it’s game time!
The first step is getting back to eating Right for Your Type. If you’ve fallen off the wagon during the summer, now is the time to review your beneficial and super beneficial lists and make special note of your avoids. Remember: when you take a bite of food, you are impacting your immune system and its capacity to function. As Dr. D’Adamo writes in Eat Right 4 Your Type, “The immune system works to define ‘self’ and destroy ‘non-self.’ This is a critical function, for without it your immune system could attack your own tissues by mistake or allow a dangerous organism access to vital areas of your body. In spite of all it’s complexity, the immune system boils down to two basic functions: recognizing ‘US’ and killing ‘THEM.’ ” Since over 40% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, our diet can be the number one defense against a poorly functioning immune system. Following the diet that is right for your type acts to improve immunity and protect you from disease.
By now, we all know that proper exercise plays a critical role in health and well-being. But a study reported in the journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that regular work-outs can influence your immune function. According to the study, people who exercise regularly appear to be less likely than couch potatoes to catch colds. Researchers found that in survey results from 547 healthy adults, people who reported being the most active had 25% fewer colds over the course of a year than those on the less active end of the spectrum. So Type A’s get out those yoga mats and Type O’s get your running shoes ready!
Another interesting factoid comes from a study done by the University of Cardiff in the UK. They found that people who regularly eat breakfast may be less likely to get colds or the flu. In a 10 week study of 100 healthy students —nearly half of the participants developed an upper respiratory infection during the study period, those with multiple illnesses, reported that they did not eat breakfast. Those prone to anxiety and stress were even more likely to experience cold and flu symptoms. Bottom line, starting the day with food is crucial to health—and starting the day with a blood type friendly breakfast is an even better way to start the day!
It goes without saying, to take some common sense approaches to staying well. Frequent hand washing, using “cough and sneeze etiquette,” and avoiding people who are already sick, are all good preventative measures. Getting adequate rest and exercise will also help support your immune system. Dr. D’Adamo also suggests that you include some immunogenic polysaccharide containing foods, such as parsnips, and immune boosting foods such as garlic and onions into your diet. Larch arabinogalactan, derived from the Western Larch tree, is another polysaccharide that has been widely acclaimed by the scientific community as an immune enhancing supplement. Green tea appears to interfere with attachment in many strains of influenza.
Studies also show that elderberry extract (like NAP’s Proberry) is beneficial in preventing the spread of viral influenza, as it blocks neuraminidase, the enzyme made by the flu virus which allows it to attach to the tissues of the nose and throat. It’s likely that antioxidants called flavonoids—which are contained in the extract—stimulate the immune system and other properties in elderberry extract have an anti-inflammatory effect. As the chill sets in, it’s a good time to get yourself back on track. Eating right, exercising, starting a supplement regimen, and using common sense approaches to avoiding germs will ensure a happier, healthier you this winter!
For more information by Dr. D’Adamo on colds and flu, please go to:http://www.dadamo.com/science_bloodgroups_influenza.htm
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