We don’t need more resolutions. We need permanent changes. Maintaining a healthy weight allows our body to reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with being overweight such as COVID-19, cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc. These six changes control weight and allow our body and immune system to work as God intended. How much and what we consume matters.
In Genesis 1:29, God tells Adam and Eve about the foods He’s provided for them to eat—plants with seeds. These plants include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and herbs. They contain phytochemicals and antioxidants which fight disease. They also contain vitamins and minerals which enhance our immune system, regulate body functions, and provide fiber to feed the probiotic bacteria in our gut. Considering that 70 percent of our immune system is contained in our gut, nourishing this lining properly is key to boosting our immune system.
These six changes boost our immune systems while helping us to shed those extra pounds gained during this pandemic.
Eat whole foods from nature.
There’s no better prescription for good health than eating the nutritious foods or plants God created. It’s best to eat them fresh or frozen. Avoid canned and processed foods with diminished nutrients.
Avoid soft drinks, excessive caffeine, and high sugar drinks.
These drinks add numerous calories with no nutritional benefit. They can also increase your appetite and spike blood sugar. When your blood sugar is too high or too low, your immune system weakens. Instead drink caffeine-free herbal teas, water with lemon or lime, and limit caffeine to one cup in the morning hours.
Choose healthy fats.
Fats are essential because they support many of our body’s functions. For example, our brain needs good fats to coat the myelin sheath and nerve cells, and our body needs fats to absorb vitamins and minerals. According to the Mayo Clinic, we need to eat monosaturated fats such as avocados, almonds, cashews, pecans and oils such as olive oil and polyunsaturated fats such as salmon, tuna, eggs, sunflower seeds and walnut oil. Although needed, fats should be used in moderation.
Eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
The average American eats only two to three vegetables and fruits daily. Unfortunately, many of us consider French fries to be a healthy vegetable. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s My Plate, half of your plate each meal should be comprised of vegetables and fruits. For this reason, many nutritionists recommend eating 7 vegetables and 3 fruits each daily. Those with blood sugar issues need to stick with low carb fruits such as blueberries, lemons, limes, and green apples. It’s also best to eat a variety of these gifts of nature.
Practice intermittent fasting occasionally.
Fasting has been practiced since the beginning of time. Intermittent fasting is when you refrain from eating for 12 to 18 hours and only drink water. A 16-hour intermittent fast means you eat dinner at 6 pm and you don’t eat again until 10 am the next day. Intermittent fasting promotes weight loss, enhances blood sugar control, improves cognitive function, strengthens immune response, inhibits cancer cells and aging, and stimulates autophagy—the body’s natural mechanism of repairing and removing damaged cells. Fasting provides amazing benefits with no cost! (Not for diabetics)
Every cell and system in our body requires plentiful water to function properly. The mucus in our respiratory system provides a crucial barrier against infections, viruses and flus and is empowered by water. Half your body weight in fluid ounces daily is your minimal goal. Water is a 100% calorie-free elixir that enhances your immune system, helps you burn more calories, and may suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
When God created plants for us to eat, He created them with healing properties. The scientific evidence is clear that the more plants we eat the less diseases we will have. Daniel fared better when he refused to eat the king’s food and instead ate plants and drank water. When we hydrate properly and eat whole foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, we can manage our weight and keep our immune system armed for battle like Daniel. These six changes must be permanent.
Ginny Dent Brant is a counselor, educator, speaker, and wellness advocate. Her recent book, “Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer,” was written after her journey with an aggressive breast cancer. Written with commentary and a foreword from an oncologist and medical researcher, her book won a Golden Scrolls Award and was featured on many media outlets including CBN News. Ginny has a cancer prevention and wellness blog at www.ginnybrant.com.