Keep Your Food on Track When You're Sick!
By Joan Kent, PhD
Recently, a coaching client who almost never gets sick and is typically vigilant about her food told me she got a respiratory infection. This brief post describes what she learned from not sticking with her nutrition guidelines. It's meant to be a caution for anyone who finds value in it.
Apparently, while the client was feeling under the weather, she stopped paying attention to her usual, healthful diet. One evening, after a day of poor eating – nothing actually junky – she noticed that she felt, in her words, "absolutely terrible." She assumed that her health had taken a turn for the worse. Then she reflected on how her "food day" had gone.
That day, she had eaten almost no protein and lots of starchy carbs. She then remembered how insulin-triggering carbs affect inflammation: they trigger series 2 prostaglandins.
What the Heck Are Prostaglandins?
As I've outlined in previous posts, prostaglandins are short-lived, hormone-like chemicals. They're released by cells and travel through the interstitial fluid to neighboring target cells. Prostaglandins regulate many cell functions. They come in three types, all derived from foods (fatty acids). Their formation depends on enzymes.
What Insulin Does
Insulin changes the enzymes that act on the fats we eat. When we eat large quantities of insulin-triggering foods (usually carbs) – or eat sweet or starchy carbs by themselves – the enzymes shift in the direction that brings on series 2 prostaglandins.
Sugar is a prime example of a carb to avoid, since it's highly insulin-triggering. People who eat lots of sugar may get sick frequently.
Type 2 prostaglandins promote pain and inflammation, while types 1 and 3 work in the opposite direction and can reduce pain, inflammation, and worse. From my client's description, she was experiencing both pain and inflammation after eating wrong all day.
But We Can Fix Things with Food!
Fortunately, the client was pro-active. She went back to her usual diet of mostly vegetables, plus protein and moderate quantities of complex carbs and healthful fats. She said she felt better within several hours.
This advice fits right in with my "No Days Off" message from several months ago. Mainly, I hope it serves to help you, if you ever get sick.
Keeping yourself healthy is simpler with good food daily. Staying with any nutrition plan can be much easier with an accountability coach. Just visit http://www.LastResortNutrition.com and grab your free Empowered Eating Consult. See how just a few simple tweaks can bring huge results!
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.