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Nutrition & Your Immune System
Nutrition is a critical determinant of immune responses and malnutrition is the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide. Your body requires both macronutrients and micronutrients to do its job of keeping you safe from invading pathogens. Deficiency in protein, and micronutrients zinc, selenium, iron, copper, vitamins A, C, D, E, and B-6, and folate, even mild deficiency, is associated with immune dysfunction and increased infection complications.
Medications save lives and help many people live more full lives. But with all medications there comes risks, and side effects. This is the same with all forms of birth control. It would be naive to think that adding a synthetic hormone to your body would not cause a disruption. This is a non-natural addition to your biochemistry. As such it changes aspects of your biochemistry, some with positive and wanted effects, and others negative. These negative changes cause side effects. Some mild and some severe. Side effects are caused by a number of factors including the diminished ability to properly metabolize the additional hormones, allergic reactions to the medications, the act of disrupting your natural hormonal patterns, and nutrient depletion among others. In this article we will be addressing the nutrient depletion component.
The vast array of available prenatal vitamin options out there are staggering. Whether they are over the counter, or prescription, the quality is broad and often overwhelming. So, where is a pregnant mother to turn? With so many options over the counter, and physicians with mediocre nutritional education, how are they to know what is a good prenatal vitamin and what isn't?
Today I am going to tell you why YOUR PRENATAL VITAMIN SUCKS and what you can do about it.
So, sit back and grab a cup of tea, because this is going to be a one heck of a ride.
Are you Getting Enough Zinc?
In my office, we talk a lot about zinc. Mostly because I work primarily with women's health conditions, and zinc is huge in the women's health world. I like to reference some of the studies done for IFV that show the moment an egg and sperm meet and the amazing fireworks that occur. This is zinc at work.
I've had discussions with many different practitioners about nutrition. I have been told my many conventional doctors and nurses that nutritional deficiencies in the US are rare thanks to food fortification. Sadly, this is NOT the case. In fact the rate of nutritional deficiencies in the US are more rare than we have been let to believe. One of these is zinc.
Zinc deficiency is very common around the world, with 17% of the world population having a deficiency. Here in the US we are not immune to this deficiency, even with food fortification. 12% of the general US population, and up to 40% of the elderly, are deficient in this essential mineral.
First off, I want to thank you for following along on this series. I have been really excited for this one. I am sure there are parts that I missed, or questions that have arisen. Please feel free to email me, or comment below. I love discussion.
To top of this series, I want to simplify it a bit. I want to list my FAVORITE foods for preparing for labor and delivery. Some of these may seem different from what you've been told during pregnancy. That's okay, we are trying to deliver a baby at this point, and some of the nutritional needs change slightly.
It seems to me that there is so much emphasis put on the progression of labor, that we fail to address the many other aspects to the process.
The Amniotic sac and the fluid it contains is as crucial to the initiation of labor as it is a home for the growing infant.
I thought it would help to start with the foods that really work hard at reducing inflammation in the body. These foods are those that you should be having daily. These are the foods that will speed your healing and recovery. These are your new favorite foods!
We are going to be going into quite a few things over the next couple of days that may seem like you can't eat anything. Starting with a strong list of foods to include is a great, positive way to start any new change.
We've spent a lot of time, now, talking about what you should NOT have! I seem to say NO quite a bit in life…maybe that's why my children "lovingly" call me Mommy No-Fun!
I feel I need to redeem myself a bit with you all. I KNOW this sounds like there is just nothing in the world you can eat. I promise you, there is a world of delicious foods out there for you. It may take some experimenting and time to get use to them and how to cook them, but it is worth it.
Here are the TOP TEN foods that I think every women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) should eat regularly.