Mommy's Time Out Magazine September 2018 - Page 7

Staying Healthy This School Year and Beyond

Rebecca Gurski and Linda Tobiassen

School is back in session and that means being exposed to wave after wave of germs. Many people focus on the things they believe will help prevent illness like taking a handful of vitamins, engaging in frequent hand washing, disinfecting everything in sight, and keeping their fingers crossed that they won’t get sick. Those aren’t bad ideas, but did you know that your immune system, our “germ army,” is capable of preventing many diseases and medical conditions all on its own if you give it the proper tools to do so? All of that can be accomplished simply through getting enough sleep, exercise, and most importantly, whole food nutrition.

Our immune system is regulated through our gut, i.e. the G.I. tract. There exists the microbiome, a colony of various bacteria living in tight balance that control our immune system and therefore just about everything that happens with our bodies. That is why the focus on what we eat is so important…our gut is Ground Zero. All of the following have been linked directly to the health of the microbiome: cardiovascular function, asthma and allergies, obesity and related conditions like diabetes, brain health/mental illness, skin health, and about 1/3 of known cancers. When this bacteria gets out of balance, it starts a chain reaction. First, our bodies’ ability to properly absorb nutrients from food becomes less effective. Next, our immune systems are compromised, making us more susceptible to germ invaders, environmental toxins, and the effects of oxidative stress, a natural process that produces damaging free radicals. The final result is chronic systemic inflammation.

Chronic systemic inflammation is a problem because it is “invisible,” meaning its signs are not obvious until it may be too late, and it has a role in nearly every serious health problem that exists. Know someone with an autoimmune disorder? What about cancer? It’s all too common these days. Traditional approaches to combat such conditions focus on treatment with medication, which often has side effects. However, more and more we are learning that many of these illnesses can also be fought successfully with the same plan used to prevent them from occurring at all…good nutrition. Multiple clinical studies have shown that adding whole plant-based food to diets can reduce oxidative stress by up to 75% and effectively re-balance the microbiome, helping the body to heal itself.

As representatives of the Juice PLUS+ Company, we are on a mission to educate others about the importance of whole food nutrition and all of the amazing things it can do for your health. Most of us don’t come close to the 9-13 servings per day of fruit and vegetables recommended to fuel our bodies’ immune system, and certainly eating a variety is challenging. Our products provide an easy and convenient way to “bridge the gap” between what we do and should eat and to take control of our health; food is truly the best medicine! Our families are enjoying the benefits of increased nutrition and fewer sick days, and we want to share this experience with all of you as well. Stay tuned for information on additional topics and future educational events!

References:

Dr. Sally Layne, PhD, Recording “The Microbiome” 2/7/2018

Dr. David Phillips, M.D. Recording “Inflammation-How to Avoid Getting Burned” 8/17/2017