By Dr. Miranda Fellows

A healthy immune system protects the body from infectious diseases and cancer.

The Caribbean diet of high fat (mostly saturated and trans or hydrogenated fats), overly processed foods, high sugar, and low fiber content can lower immune system function. Population surveys show that 20% never eat fresh vegetables, and 40% rarely consume fruit, another 80% never consume whole grains or high fiber foods. (Whole grains are naturally high in fiber because they still have the husk on the grain, which means they are not refined. Refined grains are damaging to health because they become refined sugar in the body: These are white flour, white bread, white pasta and white rice). All forms of refined sugar can interfere with the abilities of the white blood cells to destroy unfriendly bacteria, which can lead to susceptibility to infection and disease. Good dietary choices enhance immune system functioning.

Many vitamins, high fiber and phytochemicals found in whole foods alone can boost immune system functioning. Phytochemicals are not yet classified as nutrients, but they have been identified as containing properties that aid in disease prevention. Phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are associated in the prevention or treatment of at least four of the leading causes of death: Cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Phytochemicals are involved in many processes that help prevent cell damage, decrease cholesterol levels, and protect against cancer.

Phytochemicals are found abundantly in fruit, vegetables, legumes and herbs, and have been shown to reduce the risk of many degenerative diseases. “These have been identified as dithiolthiones, flavonids, glucosinolates, and allium (found in garlic) compounds, as well as carotenoids, other antioxidants, vitamins, folate and minerals such as selenium and calcium.” (Oliveria SA et a, “The Role of Epidemiology in Cancer in Cancer Prevention,”).

The American Cancer Society tells us to include at least 5 fruits and vegetables daily to reduce our risk of disease. Popular carbonated drinks or sodas are high in sugar, which depletes B Vitamins and leeches minerals such as calcium, lower the immune system and displace healthier choices of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies (especially the bight and darkly colored) are rich in protective phytochemicals and enzymes. The decrease in the presence of crucial food enzymes is correlated with digestive problems e.g. gallbladder function, and other aliments due to malabsorption of precious nutrients.

Oxidizing agents called free radicals can react to healthy cells and tissues causing damage. Free radicals have been linked t over 60 degenerative diseases. Sources of free radicals include cellular respiration, pollutant chemicals from food, water, air, sun exposure, X-rays, heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead, cigarette smoke, and alcohol. Reducing exposure and increasing your intake of protective antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals can lower the risk of free radical health problems.

Because our diets are deficient in necessary phytochemicals and anti-oxidants due to over farming practices that have depleted the nutrient content of the soil, as well as toxic spraying of crops. Specific supplementation is a must. Dr. Miranda Fellows recommends certified organic sprouts in “Total Greens” and “Total Veggie” available only at Carib wellness. All sprouts in Total Greens and Veggie are certified organic and free of toxic residues. Sprouts are one of the richest sources of food enzymes, vitamins, and phytochemicals available to us. As powerful and as protective as the cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Kale) are, the sprouts are even more potent. Researchers at John Hopkins University reported that sprouts from cruciferous veggies can exhibit 10-100 times higher levels of the protective ingredients than consumption of the corresponding mature plants. They also enhance the capacity of the body to detoxify carcinogens.

Make an appointment today at Carib Wellness. Find out if you have any nutritional deficiencies using the latest in laser technology to scan the body. Remember prevention is better than cure.

469 2147 or 469 DTOX, 466 WELL.