We always think of the winter months as a time when we are going to feel tired and get sick more often. But does it really have to be like that? It is normal to get sick a couple of times per year, it helps us develop certain antibodies that are healthy for us in the long run. The problem is when it takes us a long time to recover or when we get more than two colds per year.
In our clinic we see many patients that suffer from a weakened immune system. Although as Naturopathic Doctors we always try to determine the root cause of the problem (and for this problem there can be many), the 3 more common mistakes that patients make are the following:
1.- Lack of protein – Yes, lack of protein! Most patients don’t even think about this. The importance of adequate protein intake for a proper immune system has been extensively studied. The amount needed is 1 g of daily protein per 2.2 lbs of body weight for non-vegetarians and 0.8 g of daily protein per 2.2 lbs of body weight for vegetarians. Requirements increase with exercise. This amount should ideally be divided in 4 servings per day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Everyone should aim to have a minimum of 15-20 g of protein at breakfast time instead of just having a cup of coffee. Food sources of protein include: beans, lentils, hummus, nuts & seeds, hemp hearts, eggs, good quality meat proteins (such as skinless chicken breast, turkey), fish, organic plain greek yogurt, etc.
2.- Increased Sugar Intake – We are consuming way too much sugar than what we should. Consuming close to 100 grams (roughly 4 oz) of sugar in the form of glucose, fructose, sucrose, orange juice, etc. can significantly reduce the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and viruses. To give you an idea, 1 cup of orange juice has 25 g of sugar, 1 medium muffin has 45 g of sugar, 1 piece of most pies have 45 g of sugar. The negative effects usually start within 30 min after ingestion, and last for over 5 hours and typically include a 50% reduction in the ability of our immune system cells to destroy bacteria and viruses.
3.- Lack of detoxification – There is a direct correlation with high body burden of toxins and a weakened immune system. Increased levels of toxins can be from eating bad foods, not drinking enough water, ingesting foods that you are intolerant to, exposure to chemicals, constipation, etc. It is impossible to get rid of toxins in our environment entirely but we can feel so much better from minimizing our exposure and maximizing our elimination. Our healthiest patients are the ones who routinely do cleanses (liver, colon, skin, etc) once or twice a year. Foods that encourage the liver to detoxify include: beets, lemon/lime, carrots, green leafy vegetables, etc. Other treatments offered at the clinic to help with detoxifications are Vitamin Injection treatments, Colon Hydrotherapy and Ionic Detox Treatments.
Consider speaking with a Naturoapthic Doctor if you think any of these can be a problem for you. We will be happy to assess your current health condition and guide you through the right changes to help you feel better. 10 min Free consultations offered. Call us 905-239-3900