Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Immune System lesson for a 4-year-old

My 4-year-old (almost 5, actually) learned a good lesson today about how nutrition impacts her immune system - dramatically. LOL As I'm typing this, she's standing here reading what I'm typing saying (with a smirky smile), "Don't blog about me, Mommy!" :) But her experience makes such a fantastic example that I can't help myself.

Over the weekend, she caught some sort of little sniffle. Nothing major, just a slight cough/stuffy nose. We've been letting it run its course, knowing full well her immune system would take care of it. Until hubby decides to bring home leftovers (from a work thing) white-flour cheese ravoli and meatballs covered in sauce (that most likely contained sugar or HFCS). I warned her ahead of time that eating junk would probably make her cold worse. :) But hey, she's FOUR. :)

So she ate it, all the while I'm glaring at hubby for even bringing it home in the first place. Then a few hours later, he gave her some MORE because she was hungry again. I would have protested more, but with this back/neck pain, I am absolutely worn out and it wasn't worth the fight.

She woke up this morning coughing so hard! Her nose is stuffier than ever and she coughed herself silly for over an hour. *sigh* I KNEW that was going to happen! But ya know, I'm not stressing over it. A crummy full-blown cold won't kill her and it was a good lesson for her to experience first-hand. I've pumped her full of good stuff this morning so hopefully she'll recover quickly.

Just two teaspoons of sugar will drop your immune system for HOURS. I've heard various numbers, but the latest said five hours. Sugar or any overprocessed junk (bleached white flour or worse, enriched bleached white flour, bleached white rice, pasteurized, filtered honey or even 100% no-sugar-added fruit juice) lowers your white blood cell activity within TEN MINUTES. And as most of you know, your white blood cells pulverize anything bad that enters your body - which is good for a healthy body so living in an antibacterial, germ-free world doesn't give them any practice. They're your inner military and if you don't keep them strong, they can't keep you healthy. Proper sleep is also extremely important in keeping your immune system strong.

Chewy-Mama emailed me some great articles if you'd like to read more on sugar's impact on the immune system.

And then one of my favorite articles is found on, written by Nancy Appleton, PHD, author of Lick the Sugar Habit. This link includes references too.

TWO TEASPOONS is all it takes.

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