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Immunity For All

Make Your Immune Health Superhuman

By Gigi Trozado-Depala on 17.02.2020 04:00 pm

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"That can’t be right?"

"As a fitness professional, surely you can’t get ill?"

Then it dawned on me, how has this assumption managed to fixate in the minds of many for decades, in that whatever your route of professionalism or attachment to fitness be it, athlete, life coach, personal trainer or avid gym goer. We are naturally immune?

Obviously, being super human holds court for the likes of Marvel and DC comic book superheroes.

Yes, we are all role models, yes we dedicate our lives to inspire and yes we are committed to training and a healthy lifestyle. But contrary to many perceptions of the role model being unbreakable, we could well become one of the 30.3 million that suffer from chronic inflammation. The truth is we are all susceptible and likely to be living in a state of low level inflammation.

Low level inflammation

We are all aware of inflammation. An association with aches, pains and stiffness. Correct, but there’s more. Inflammation is natural and necessary for healing. It is the body’s response to illness including infections or injuries. The body’s immune system will send an increased amount of white blood cells to the area fighting off infection or injury. Essentially it is the body trying to protect itself from further harm.

But there lies the culprit. In todays society our bodies are faced with a multitude of stressors. Over the course of one’s life repeated inflammation can have severely negative effects on our health, such as depleting your body of nutrients, contributing to emotional imbalance and impairing your ability to think.

Take a moment. There’s probably at least one thing that may have or has disrupted your flow today?

As time goes on our bodies become more susceptible to the damage of inflammation. Life’s ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, heart disease, allergies, type 2 diabetes, depression, various types of cancer, arthritis, joint disease and irritable bowel syndrome and stroke and obesity may all be caused or worsened by inflammation.

But when the inflammation is chronically turned on, the immune system’s ability to fight off other ailments and pathogens is compromised.

The question begs, is this due to the fact that we are creatures of an increasingly toxic and over stressful environment? Truth is most people are inundated with stress and environmental toxins with endocrine disrupting and cancer causing chemicals from when you clean your kitchen with chemical substances after preparing your daily meal to when you accept an offer for dinner with your nearest and dearest on a Friday night. Inadequate dietary choices, toxins and stress are namely a few of the contributors.

Boost your immunity

How to combat inflammation

Just as we need water to live and air to breathe. It is fundamental that we help our bodies with this continuous attack of immune triggers. It’s has been scientifically proven that one of the better ways to help your body fight inflammation is to embark on taking steps to adhere to an anti inflammatory diet.

It may seem like common sense, but I for one am amazed at how many people or clients are not 100 percent clear on what this entails.

First and foremost, you want to cut back on or eliminate unhealthy foods including processed foods, sugars and sugary beverages, refined carbs (such as white bread and pasta,) and red, processed meats and alcohol.

Anti- Inflammatory Diet

Specific choices:

  • Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower.
  • Fruit: Especially deeply coloured berries like grapes and cherries
  • High-fat fruits: Avocados and olives
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil and coconut oil
  • Fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies
  • Nuts: Almonds and other nuts
  • Peppers: Bell peppers and chili peppers
  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate
  • Spices: Turmeric, fenugreek, cinnamon, etc.
  • Tea: Green tea
  • Red wine: Up to 5 ounces (140 ml) of red wine per day for women and 10 ounces (280 ml) per day for men

To be more precise:

The truth about fats

It makes sense that our bodies consist of fat that encases protects and nourishes all of our essential organs, so why not eat to nourish and replenish that sole purpose.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids not only heal inflammation, but they also help maintain proper brain function, regulate mood, support cardiovascular health, balance hormone production, and preserve the integrity of the cells throughout your body.

When the ratio between omega-6s and omega-3s is too high, the result is increased chronic inflammation. Many staples of our fast-paced life diet i.e. chips, most baked goods, processed foods, chicken and red meat are all high in inflammatory omega-6s.

To make sure your ratio of omega-6s and omega-3s isn’t too high:

  • Avoid the unhealthy foods above
  • Eat plenty of nuts and seeds (especially ground flaxseeds and chia seeds)
  • Eat leafy greens often
  • Add either wild-caught fish (if you choose to consume fish) or an omega- 3 supplement that provides the long-chain fatty acids EPA and/or DHA to your diet

Eat fish at least three times a week

  • Choose both low-fat fish such as sole and flounder, and cold-water fish that contain healthy fats,
  • Use oils that contain healthy fats
  • The body requires fat, but choose the fats that provide you with benefits.
  • Virgin and extra-virgin olive oil, avodaco oil or coconut oil (organic if possible like this one) and expeller-pressed canola are the best bets for anti-inflammatory benefits. Other options include high-oleic, expeller-pressed versions of sunflower and safflower oil.

Natural sugar and spice

  • Sweeten meals with phytonutrient-rich fruits, and flavour foods with spices.
  • Most fruits and vegetables are loaded with important phytonutrients. In order to naturally sweeten your meals, try adding apples, apricots, berries, and even carrots.
  • Rather than seasoning your meals with salt, enhance flavour with anti-inflammatory herbs like garlic, ginger, and turmeric.
  • And for flavouring savoury meals, go for spices that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, including cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage, and thyme.

You are sweet enough

  • Consuming excess added sugar and refined carbohydrates causes several changes in the body, which help explain why a diet high in sugar can lead to chronic, low-grade inflammation.
  • Excess production of AGEs: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These are harmful compounds that form when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream. Too many AGEs lead to oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Increased gut permeability: Bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles can more easily move out of the gut and into the bloodstream, potentially leading to inflammation.

Opted roughage

  • Instead of choosing refined grains, opt for fiber-rich whole grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice, bread, and pasta that list a whole grain as the first ingredient.

Only see red once a week

  • Replace red meat with healthier protein sources, such as lean poultry, fish, soy, beans, and lentils.

Soup for the soul

Therapeutic Bone broth

Mineral and nutrient dense bone broth is comprised of animal bones, which boil for several hours (8-24) in order to create a rich, thick broth that has many medicinal capacities. It nourishes the digestive system, detoxification mechanisms of the body, fills the stomach without weight gain, heals the gut, and is an anti-inflammatory. the bones and ligaments within the broth provide us with vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as glycine, proline, glutamine, collagen, magnesium, calcium, silicon .Bone broth drinkers have reported considerable change in their health because of easy absorption of such mighty minerals and nutrients.

Significantly, this wonder soup has the added benefit of gelatin and collagen for joint health, detoxification of the digestive system and gut nourishment. Broth users claim the collagen and gelatin over time make a lasting and noticeable difference on their overall health.

In a nut shell (couldn’t be more apt)

Choosing a variety of these delicious, antioxidant-rich foods can help curb inflammation in combination with the balance of movement, exercise and a great night's sleep, which may improve life’s inevitable inflammation markers.

So no. Not quite super human. But, yes, the closest we are ever going to get to boosting immunity, ordinarily.

There is hope for us yet.

By Gigi Trozado - European Bikini Champion

Gigi Trozado-Depala

Gigi Trozado-Depala

WBFF Pro, Miami Pro & Pure Elite Champion

https://www.instagram.com/gigi_trozado_wbff_pro

Gigi is a qualified personal trainer and fitness competitor who is a WBFF Pro, Miami Pro & Pure Elite Champion. She has extensive knowledge in fitness and nutrition as well as a passion for helping people to achieve their health and fitness goals. She has also had features in a lot of fashion and fitness magazines over the years.

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