Monday, March 9, 2015

6 Tips to prevent against chronic disease

As much as I would love to say otherwise, the rates of chronic disease in the United States (and many other countries in the world) are downright frightening.

When it becomes the norm and not the exception to have a disease, to be on several medications and/or to be overweight or obese, I’d say that’s pretty scary.

Although we’ve had a lot of help creating our sickly existence with things like toxins in our environment, our increased reliance on processed and fast foods, our more sedentary lifestyles, our heavy dependence on medications to create “chemical health” and our steadily rising stress levels, there is also another factor behind our chronic disease explosion that most people aren’t even aware of.

So if they don’t know about, heaven knows they don’t know enough to do anything about it!

What I’m referring to is the inner workings of your lymphatic system.

That’s right.

If you don’t have a properly functioning lymphatic system, it is not a question of IF but merely when will you get sick—seriously sick.

Let’s take a look at why that is so, and we’ll start by seeing all of the lymphatic “players” and all they do for you.

Your internal cleaning crew
Your lymphatic system functions like your circulatory system, and it works in partnership with your circulatory system, but instead of blood the main fluid here is lymph.

Lymph is actually derived from your blood and blood plasma—it’s a clear-to-white liquid made up of white blood cells, nutrients and a fluid called chyle. (Chyle is a milky fluid created in your intestines during your digestion of fats and contains rich levels of fat and proteins.)

Here’s what happens:
When you digest fats, chyle is formed and is absorbed into your bloodstream. In addition, nutrients from all your other foods also join in and get into your blood.

Your blood moves through all your blood vessels—first your bigger main arteries, then as it branches out farther the blood eventually reaches your tiny capillaries.

Then lymph from your blood drips out of the ends of the capillaries. From there the lymph gets to work washing your cells with moisture and delivering nutrients to all your cells.

At the same time your lymph also mops up waste-loaded fluids from around your cells and then heads to your lymph vessels. Then your lymph vessels start pumping this “dirty mop water” away from your cells. Most people don’t know this, but you have just as many lymph vessels and capillaries as you have blood vessels and capillaries!

Then the “dirty mop water” eventually reaches one of your lymph nodes. The lymph nodes proceed to filter out the wastes (plus any viruses, harmful bacteria or even cancer cells that might have been picked up along the way) and destroy them.

(Note that when there are a LOT of toxins in your lymph, sometimes the lymph nodes get overwhelmed and swell up. That’s when many people say they have “swollen glands” but they’re really swollen lymph nodes.)

Once the filtering is done, then the “clean” lymph flows back into your bloodstream to rejoin your blood and start its work all over again.

So as you can see, if this cycle isn’t working right, you may be susceptible to a number of serious health problems including:
  1. Lacking nutrients/deficiency diseases
  2. Cancer
  3. Low energy 
  4. Repeated viruses or infections
  5. Fluid swelling in your limbs or other areas of the body (edema)
The other partnership—your immune system
Your lymphatic system also works in close partnership with your immune system, and the main players here (in addition to your lymph nodes) are your bone marrow, your thymus gland and your spleen.

Your bone marrow is where the vast majority of your immune cells are produced from specialized cells called stem cells.

Once the immune cells are produced, they travel to your thymus gland. There they mature and are assigned a specific role to protect you. Then they answer their “call to duty” and move to the specific area of your body that they’re guarding.

The thymus also produces hormones which help to trigger immune responses when you need them, such as when you ingest a dangerous pathogen or get bitten by a bug.

Your spleen also plays a role in your immune health by producing immune cells. It also helps filter and cleanse your blood and it acts as a storage site for additional blood which may be needed if you ever lose a significant amount of blood all at once (such as with a serious injury).

So without these players working like they should, you run the risk of having weak immune functioning and are more susceptible to viruses, infections and diseases of all kinds.

Take care of YOUR lymphatic system!
Now that you know all that your underappreciated lymphatic system does for you, it’s vital to take care of YOURS so it can continue to take care of YOU!

Here are six effective ways to make sure your lymphatic system is working in tip-top shape to cleanse and protect you:

1- Get regular exercise
Unlike your circulatory system which has your heart to pump blood through your body, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a similar pump to move lymph around.

So YOU have be the pump—by engaging in regular exercise!

That’s right—in addition to all of exercise’s other impressive health benefits, it also helps keep the lymph flowing through your body so it can do all of its important work.

No more excuses. Pick an activity, get your doc’s OK (especially if your latest form of exercise has been limited to 12 oz. curls) and GET MOVING.

2- Drink enough water
Water is essential for having proper blood levels and helping to flush wastes out of your cells (so your lymphatic system can pick them up and get rid of them all).

Eight 8-oz. glasses a day should be your minimum.

A good way to tell if you're drinking enough water is to look at your urine. If it's dark yellow and opaque at any time other than first thing in the morning, you likely need more water.

3- Eat for better lymphatic system health
A great way to help your lymphatic system in its role of cleaning your body is to create less garbage to begin with!

That means ditching the processed foods and fast foods and instead having a diet of real foods—especially good choices for lymphatic health are leafy greens, citrus fruits and healthy fats (especially nuts, seeds and avocado).

Plus having better digestion helps more wastes and toxins to be eliminated in the digestive process, so they never even reach your cells and tax your lymphatic system to have to clean them out!

The Great Taste No Pain health system can help you achieve this important goal.

Great Taste No Pain teaches you the few simple principles of food combining--pairing foods together to help encourage smooth digestion and improved nutrient absorption.

Not only can this help encourage more regular bowel movements, but it can also help curb other digestive problems like acid reflux, gas and bloating.

Note that if you’re gluten sensitive, Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead:

4- Give those immune cells a good home
Although your lymphatic system’s bone marrow and spleen produce most of your immune cells, the vast majority of those cells (about 70 percent) take up residence in your GUT.

So it’s crucial to make sure that you provide a healthy gut environment to house these life-saving protectors—and the key to that is having a healthy intestinal flora balance!

Having a good diet certainly helps this cause, but for many people (especially people who are constipated a lot, people who eat a lot of refined carbs and people who use antacids or antibiotics) it's many times not enough.

That's why supplementation with a multi-strain probiotic formula like Super Shield is such a good idea for so many.

Super Shield contains a variety of 13 robust probiotic strains (including both the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species) that will comfortably line your gut wall and help make it less porous, help protect you from toxins and keep your digestion in tip-top shape so you can eliminate harmful substances before they try to eliminate YOU!

5- Practice deep breathing
In addition to exercise, proper movement of air through your lungs also helps move and pump fluid through the lymphatic system while providing it with fresh oxygen. Here’s how you can accomplish this:
  1. Get comfortable in any position (sitting or lying down) and put your hands on your chest and stomach.
  2. Focus on breathing from your abdomen instead of your chest. 
  3. Breathe in through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth. The time it takes to exhale should be about twice what it is to inhale. 
  4. Try to do four 8-breath cycles one to three times every day.  Not only will deep breathing give your lymphatic system a boost, but it’s a great way to de-stress too, and stress is certainly another factor behind our chronic disease explosion!
6- Consider possible iodine deficiency
Most people associate iodine deficiency with thyroid goiter, but it can also cause congestion of the lymphatic system. Iodine helps protect you from the toxic environment we live in (with radiation and other pollutants), and supports your lymphatic system at a cellular level.

And even though iodized salt is a good source of iodine, not all of the table salt sold in the US is iodized, plus many people are avoiding salt like the plague because of high blood pressure concerns. So deficiency is more common than you might think. Current estimates show that at least one out of every seven women in the US has some degree of deficiency.

If you suspect you may be deficient, ask your doctor to do a test.

And if you want some (non-salt) sources of iodine to incorporate into your diet, fish and shellfish are your best bets.

Congratulations! You are now an expert in your lymphatic system and hopefully have an appreciation for how it is keeping you healthy and, well, alive.

Do all you can to keep it strong and efficient so it can help keep YOU going well into your golden years.

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

PS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.

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