Chemical Stress - Stress and Immunity Part 2 - March 2021 Newsletter
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March 2021 Newsletter

Chemical Stress and the
Gut-Brain Axis

Stress and Immunity – Part 2

stress and immunity toxins chemical stressIn our last update, we covered the emotional form of stress and how that impacts your immune system. Today I want to share some insight on the second form of stress: Toxins aka chemical stress.

When you peek on social media or just walk through the grocery store what you’ll likely see is the shelves that are empty are the ones with pre-packaged foods, sugary snacks, canned and processed foods. These are the foods many are stocking up on during a time where we need our immune system functioning at 100%. And, what’s more confusing is that this is not a natural disaster…or a weather storm that’s going to wipe out power and the ability to cook food in your home. This is an infectious disease. Let us dive into the issues in immunity when it comes to these easily accessible and
non-expiring foods.

Sources of Chemical Stress

Chemical stress comes in various forms – from foods, water, medication, cleaning supplies, and the environment to name a few. The MAJORITY of chemical stress that may be introduced into the body is going to come from what we eat and drink.

junk processed foods increases chemical stressStudy after study has shown for many years that foods that are high in sugar, high in trans-fat or hydrogenation like vegetable oils and kinds of margarine, preservatives, additives, and artificial sweeteners negatively impact the function of our immune system.

 

chemical stress like sugar increases insulin response in our bodies

These foods (especially foods high in sugar) increase the insulin response in our bodies. In the short term, this is okay for the immune system. But with too much of these foods and prolonged insulin production over time – it reduces the ability of immune cells like white blood cells and lymphocytes to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation reduces the body’s innate ability to fight off infection.

Foods that are high in additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners like soda, Twinkies, microwavables, and Splenda are known to be neurotoxic. Neurotoxic means they irritate the central nervous system. These foods cause damage to the gut microbiome and the brain. The connection between healthy gut bacteria and the brain creates a super-system that is involved with a massive portion of your immune system capabilities known as the gut-brain axis.

Healthy gut bacteria supports the immune system

When our gut is not healthy – our brain is not healthy – and this has also been linked to chronic diseases and even psychological disorders like depression and anxiety.

To reduce the chemical stress on our bodies so we can protect our immune system we should focus on consuming whole organic foods and nutrients that support a healthier insulin response, that are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, low in preservatives and additives, and that support a healthy gut and brain.

healthy gut microbiome matters

Foods that help us achieve this are colorful cruciferous vegetables. Always aim to have the color green or orange on your plate for every meal. Foods like broccoli, spinach, kale, zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes are great examples. These foods are high in antioxidants like phytonutrients. These antioxidants help remove free radicals in the body which are responsible for cell damage and inflammation.

Instead of vegetable oils and processed fat like trans-fat, cook with coconut oil, olive oil and consume more avocados.
These foods are high in MCT which promotes healthier brain function, and as you all know, the BRAIN is the master control center for the immune system.

Add in foods that increase healthy gut bacteria. These are fermented foods like sauerkraut, whole cottage cheese, sugar-free Greek yogurt, and drinks like kombucha and kefir.

Remember, a healthy gut supports the super system the gut-brain axis, which makes up nearly 70% of your immune system collectively.

Remember to drink plenty of water daily

And finally, drink plenty of water. Optimal hydration helps reduce oxidative stress which is the harmful waste product cells give off that also contributes to inflammation and lowered immunity. I recommend drinking 4-8 12oz water flasks daily to help flush and eliminate excess toxins in the body. This frees up the immune system to focus on serious invaders and fight them effectively.

To reduce the chemical stress in your body, THIS is a good place to start. Remember chemical stress is not much different than mental stress physiologically. If we can reduce the chemical or toxic load on the body, we can stay on the offense instead of the defense with a more optimized immune system.

A more optimized immunity means you are less susceptible to getting ill, and if we do contract a disease like covid19 or any other disease for that matter – we will be more resilient and more likely to recover effectively.

germs virus stress and immunity