Welcome to the fourth installment in our XY Wellness Diet series. If you have not already done so, before proceeding further, we recommend reviewing the first three installments:
- XY Wellness Diet Overview
- XYW Diet Part 1: Anti-inflammatory Foods
- XYW Diet Part 2: Cancer-fighting Foods
In this series, we explore the following aspects of a highly effective and enjoyable approach to eating:
- Anti-inflammatory: minimizes gluten, dairy, and other inflammatory triggers.
- Cancer-fighting: is abundant in phytonutrients that actively inhibit cancer growth.
- Immune system boosting: is rich in antioxidants and immune system enhancers.
- Low-glycemic: is free of granulated sugar or low in refined flour.
- Pesticide-free: is organic when necessary, yet "conventional" when appropriate.
- Delicious: is fresh, local, top quality, vibrant, enzyme-rich, clean cuisine.
- Doable: for some it may involve a bit of learning, but nothing that you cannot easily master.
The XY Wellness Diet is a component of our integrative approach to helping men reclaim, rebuild, and renew their post-diagnosis lives through diet, exercise, stress management, smart supplementation, and expert support,
Every day presents us with an opportunity to improve our prognosis and quality of life. Let's take full advantage it! Today, we explore how food choices affect our immune system.
How do our food choices affect our immune system?
Life is about choices. We have complete control over what we eat. The reality is that through the choices we make, we are either working for or against our own best interests. The right food choices will boost our immune system, while the wrong choices will tax or compromise it.
Keeping it simple, there are two food groups: crap and not crap. By crap, we don’t just mean "the usual suspects" but also refined sugar, white flour, heavily processed foods, and pesticide-laden produce.
As one example, foods that are high on the glycemic index ("GI") will spike our blood sugar levels and tax the ability of our immune system to properly function. Refined sugar, corn syrup, and white flour are all high on the glycemic index scale. Sorry about that.
How can I boost my immune system through my diet?
- Eat foods that are low on the glycemic index scale.To keep our blood sugar steady in order to avoid needlessly taxing our immune system, we recommend that you eat a low GI diet. The next installment in our series will focus on low glycemic index foods.
Eat antioxidant-rich foods.Our immune system is our primary natural defense against disease. Antioxidants mobilize our immune cells and combat cellular damage by collecting free radicals that fuel cancer, cause lung and heart damage, skin degeneration, muscular soreness, and fatigue. High antioxidant foods include:
- Fruits: especially blueberries, oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries, acai, cranberries, and strawberries. Berries are among the most pesticide laden conventional fruits, so always buy them in organic form.
- Vegetables: especially leafy green vegetables (like spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens), carrots, yellow peppers, and sweet potatoes.
- Nuts: especially almonds.
- Tea: especially Green and Rooibos.
- Blue-green algae: especially spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed. Blend them into a smoothie.
- Eat more garlic and onions. Although not breath-friendly, they are rich in sulfur compounds that boost the activity of natural killer ("NK") cells and T-helper cells, which manage your immune system.
Eat more mushrooms and seaweed.They also boost NK cell activity. Good choices include:
- Mushrooms: Agaricus, Shitake, and Maitake.
- Seaweed: Nori, Wakame, Kombu, Arame, and Dulse.
- Avoid crap whenever possible.Try to avoid beverages that have added sugar. Try to reduce the amount of refined flour in your diet. Always recognize that "convenience" does not require a bad dietary choice.
We have complete control over what we put into your body. There are foods that will boost your body's natural ability to fight disease, just as there are foods that will suppress this ability.
Over the remaining installments in this series, we will continue to explore how to transform your diet into a powerful weapon against disease, and in the process introduce you to the joy of preparing and eating real food. At the end of this series, the installments will be available to you into a single, free download that will include everything from easy shopping lists to simple recipes to straight-forward cooking techniques.
You can do this! We are here to help. Stay tuned, stay committed, and stay hungry.