Thursday, August 27, 2009

Upgrade Your Immune System: Individualize your Diet

“What extracts from the 'Vedas' I have read fall on me like the
light of a higher and purer luminary,...It rises on me like the
full moon after the stars have come out, wading through some for summer
stratification of the sky.”
---- Henry David Thoreau
the Journal of 1850

Take your health into your own hands instead of relying on toxic medications or vaccines to safeguard your health. However much you may like your Doctor – you'll be able to impress him/her with the strides you can make by incorporating practical stress-reducing techniques into your lifestyle, avoiding processed foods whenever you can, and individualizing your diet for maximum nutrition.

Kick your dietary status up a few notches to boost your immune system:

. Know Yourself: First, find out what your blood type is, and use it as a guideline to the best foods for your individual metabolic type. For example, Type 'O's are statistically blessed with the hardiest constitution, but are most likely to be gluten sensitive, and lactose intolerant: goat, farmer cheese, and almond, or soy milk are best.. Type 'B's can eat more widely, including most grains (but quinoa is a wise choice) and can include dairy, but need to be especially wary of poultry, especially chicken. They do very well on deep water, oily fish. Type 'A' s can thrive on a largely vegetarian diet, but should follow a similar dietary template to 'B's.

Ayurveda is a profound spiritual science concerned largely with the energetics of food as a means of balancing constitutional humors, which are termed doshas. Knowing your 'Dosha' helps to optimize your diet through harmonizing it with your individual type. Thus there is no standard diet for everyone. The concern is that the energy of the food we take in, and the manner in which we take it, is in harmony with our own nature. Ayurvedic dietary philosophy is based upon the ancient knowledge of the Veda's, which sheds light on the elemental forces, air, fire, and water – contained in all life. It emphasizes specific elements, and when these are out of balance, the causative forces behind disease are set in motion. Ayurveda seeks to balance the doshas through specific foods, spices, herbs, and even remedies including gems, mantra and yoga. A very simplistic overview of the three doshas correlates the Vata Dosha to air, or wind. Vata people are typically the lightest among the three, usually more ectomorphic and 'dry.' Their eliminatory system can be weak. Pitta's are associated with the fire element. They are well proportioned and don't lack for muscle; their digestive 'fire' is strong, but they can most easily erupt into inflammatory conditions. Kapha, are the large-eyed, heaviest, and most languid of the three. A combination of earth and water, they are prone to building excess 'tissue.' and need to overcome the inertia inherent in their psychological and physical constitution. Treatment of dosha imbalances, or excess, is accomplished primarily through the six tastes – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent, which are also classified as heating or cooling in nature. For example, pungent spices like cayenne or ginger are therapeutic for kapha in helping to spark their metabolism, but inadvisable for pita's who need to be calmed, or pacified with cooling energies like those found in bitter herbs like cilantro, turmeric, dandelion ,and saffron.
Alkalize your System: Fruits and Vegetables are alkaline -- while animal protein, processed starches and sugar, alcohol and coffee, acidify your blood. An alkaline system is strong and inhospitable to bugs and viral attacks. Umeboshi plums are an excellent remedy for acidic conditions and also have antibiotic properties. Take one umbeboshi per day dissolved in tea , or consumed in salad or sushi to strengthen and alkalize.

Meditate and Exercise Everyday: Mild exercise stimulates your immune system. Walks in the early morning sun, before 10 -11am, are most beneficial. Meditation and breath awareness especially help to relieve stress, (see Gaia's July article, 'Managing Stress with Desk Pranyama..' ) If you're sitting at a computer for long periods of time, avoid EMF stressors: Stretch and change your focus at least once or twice an hour. Placing plants and crystals near to your computer also helps to counter negative EMF energy. Wear natural fibers whenever possible. Enjoy a lunch break outdoors and ground yourself as often as you can; hug a tree, garden, take a walk in the woods or park.

More Guidelines for Optimal Nutrition
Dine when you are conscious of your food; not stressed or preoccupied with reading or TV.

Begin each meal by giving thanks and maintaining a peaceful attitude. E.g. Arguing while eating turns your food to 'poison.'

Include at least one raw dish in each meal to keep your blood alkaline.

Get in touch with your hunger. Don't overload your stomach.

Avoid foods that are too hot or too cold.

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