From Fat Storing to Food
As we continue our blog series on tips for strengthening your immune system, we want to dive into another aspect that can trigger the immune system simply because it’s a part of the immune system: carrying extra fat.
If somebody is overweight at this point, it’s not their fault. It’s the fault of a disastrous food industry with manipulative marketing, and lobbying practices, and a ridiculous governmental system that’s giving us food regulations that are steering us astray. Though it certainly isn’t their fault, it is their responsibility to turn it around. That’s the hard part. For someone who is carrying extra weight, it places tremendous amounts of stress on their immune system and causes the haywire reaction we discussed in our previous blog post.
Remember that fat acts like an organ producing estrogen. If you have a lot of excess fat, you’re producing a lot of excess estrogen, which isn’t ideal. So we want to make sure that we do whatever it is that we can to bring our bodies to the best possible weight condition we can, because it’s good for our immune system. A little excess fat — not a problem — but too much definitely is.
Brr.. It’s Cold In Here
Another way that we can trigger the immune system or cause it to go a bit crazy is to get too cold. Sure, there are plenty of studies out there that have suggested that kids going out and playing in the cold with their wet hair isn’t what gives them a cold. We know about those studies, but what we also know is that one of the most demanding activities on the body is regulating temperature.
Did you know that a Nile crocodile can go an entire year between meals? Think about that. Do you know why they can do that? Because they don’t regulate their body temperature. They’re cold-blooded. So they don’t need nearly the kind of energy we do. We mammals need to eat regularly all the time to make sure that we’re maintaining our body temperature.
You know what happens when you start to really shiver at the core of your bones. We’re not talking about going outside with some wet hair for 10 minutes, we’re talking about when you have no choice but to let yourself shiver for a long, long time. That’s when you are making massive energy demands on the body.
When your body is shivering like that, it’s because it’s trying to generate energy to warm you back up. As you can imagine, it’s important to not let that happen for the long-term. Hey, if you want to go for a 10 minute run in minus 30 degree weather, that’s fine!
But if you go outside for hours and hours in the cold, wet, minus 30 degree weather, then you’re going to cause your immune system undue stress, and you’re going to make yourself more susceptible to colds, flus and other diseases.
Plant Foods: The Great Debate
This one may cause a little controversy…
Not all plant foods are good for you. In fact, many of them are not good for you at all. Some of them are good for you in limited quantities, but if you eat them too much they become bad for you. We need to be respectful of plants. So here are some rules to live by that might help you with your relationship with plants.
Take for instance kale. Is kale good for you? Of course, kale has many great nutrients in it… But when you eat kale on a regular basis, your body starts struggling to uptake magnesium, which can cause a magnesium deficiency. This can have all kinds of negative side effects, like damaging your sleep and causing muscle cramps. It’s not just kale that reacts this way, it’s also broccoli and all of the vegetables in the cruciferous group. So what that means is not that you should never eat kale or broccoli ever again, it’s that you should eat it occasionally so that you can eat enough of it to get the good but not so much that you allow the bad effects to accumulate.
Here are some tips that might help you with this:
Eat a little bit of cruciferous vegetables occasionally, not every single day, just enough to create an on-and-off relationship with them.
Some vegetables worth avoiding are the nightshade plants, or ultimately the plants that come from the Americas. Take for instance corn — it’s not an ideal food for humans to be eating at all. Nightshade plants like eggplants and tomatoes are plants we need to have a careful relationship with. This isn’t to say you should never have them, this is to say you don’t want to have them on such a regular basis where they start to build up an attack on your immune system.
Why? Well, all organisms want to live. Animals and plants don’t want to be eaten.
Occasionally an animal will protect itself biochemically, like a skunk or a waterbuck, though these biochemical defenses are rare in the animal kingdom. Plants often defend themselves physically like animals, but not with speed, rather with thorns or prickly stems. But mostly plants defend themselves biochemically where they’ll use chemicals to attack the digestive process in order to protect themselves.
As humans, we have a hard time eating plants that are relatively new to us, and since humans didn’t originate in the Americas, many of the plants in the Americas are very hard on us because we don’t have a long history with them.
Avoiding plants that are triggering the immune system is an important part of making sure that you’ve got a really balanced immune system.
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