eat

Everyone has a lot of experience with eating, but eating right to help improve your immune system is our goal. 

Eating is stressful for your immune system. Experience has taught our immune system that each time we eat, we expose ourselves to potential invaders. Germs, parasites, toxins, poisons and other dangerous stuff most commonly gain access to our bodies in what we eat.  Every meal is a small ‘fire drill’ for our immune system.  It’s the job of our immune system to patrol the border between what’s us and what’s outside us. The largest border in our body is our gut.

The gut, which is really just a tube from our mouth to anus, is just over 30-feet long, but that tube is folded on itself many times to fit inside our bodies, and inside those folds are smaller folds, and inside the smaller folds even tinier folds, and inside the tiny folds are fingerlike projections, inside of which are smaller projections, and eventually even hair-sized projections.  The reason for all of that redundancy is to increase the surface area of the gut for absorption.  If it were completely unfolded, the total surface area of our digestive tract would actually take up the area of a full tennis court!  That’s a large border to patrol.

After every meal, the food we eat is digested—broken down into its components; the building blocks of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates so we can absorb and assimilate the food we eat to use for energy or for the structure of our bodies.

Once the food is digested in the stomach, it’s absorbed in the small intestines. Our bloodstream is flooded with the digested building blocks of food after every meal.  Our poor immune system’s job is to sort through every bit of food we’ve eaten to make sure there’s nothing dangerous in there. Our immune system has to allow tourists to pass through, while stopping terrorists at the border.

As a result, every meal causes a little panic, or at least a little stress to our immune system. The larger the meal, the bigger the stress.  Every meal, especially larger meals, cause mini aging “spurts” by activating our immune system unnecessarily. 

So our strategy for avoiding this stress to the immune system is to change our pattern of eating.  Rather than eating one or two large meals per day, we should adopt an eating strategy of ‘grazing’ – eating smaller, more frequent meals that don’t excessively stress our immunes system.

Of course, there are more important things you should know about how to eat to help your immune system, and there’s much more information in UltraLongevity

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