Preventing illness with diet

illnessanddietDiet selection and maintenance of nutrition also play a role in avoiding illness. Our digestive system is exposed to whatever we choose eat or drink. Overeating and drinking too much of any single substance (esp. Alcohol) will stress our body and cause it to expend extra energy to return to its normal balance.

Early in an illness, people often admit to eating as little as two crackers in an entire day. Poor nutrition only weakens the immune system allowing whatever is causing the illness to linger beyond the normal duration. Always maintain good nutritional when fighting an infection.

Diet, Nutrition and Hydration

To understand the impact of nutrition on our energy, you must be aware of the exposure we receive through foods. We have about 30 feet of intestinal tract from our mouth to our anal opening. Twenty feet is small intestine where our body is basically open to the outside world.

Relative to our effective skin barrier, our digestive tract is an open door to whatever we eat. Much of our daily sense of well-being and energy is related to the foods we consume.

As we age and gain wisdom we become more aware of how things we encounter affect our health, especially foods and drinks. Most middle age people will admit that they avoid certain foods due to avoid side effects, such as heartburn, indigestion or fatigue.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 76 million people each year experience illness from the food they eat. For the maintenance of health, it is to our benefit to learn more about what we put in our bodies.

Our Diet

Just like your car needs the clean fuel to run; our body requires the proper food to run most efficiently and energetically.   Limiting caffeine, avoiding sugar and selecting only complex carbohydrates help maintain a steady energy source for many hours. Skipping meals usually results in poor eating habits later in the day.

Sweets and sugar drinks give a short boost of energy, but hours later they cause a sense of fatigue. Remember to feed your children properly before school or sporting events. Don’t let them experience that blood sugar drop that follows sweet intake while being expected to perform mentally. This goes for adult work performance too!

Dietary and Nutrition science is about energy consumption are calorie counting. Each food provides a quantity of energy to be utilized immediately or stored. Maintaining muscle mass achieved through weight training, requires more calories. It makes our body energy greater and makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Eating breakfast avoids food cravings later in the day and reduces fatigue. Lunch should be a light meal of about 700 calories, consisting of protein and carbohydrate. High fat foods will leave you feeling relaxed and drowsy.

Snacks may be necessary, especially with the lighter, energy maintaining lunches. Choose fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fat-free crackers while avoiding sugary foods or drinks. A full glass of water may satisfy that hunger, and should follow most meals to help our system process our food and other exposures.

Today, medical science continues to confirm how important balance is to health. A key mechanism in our body, called Homeostasis, constantly expends energy to keep all our organ systems in balance with the wide range of exposures we encounter. Most medicine people take on a daily basis is to help our body in this effort to maintain balance.

Foods, a daily exposure our body encounters, are a driving force behind the energy expenditure by Homeostasis. Most middle age adults have learned how certain foods create common side effects. Be attentive to the side effects of foods, a daily exposure we have with our world. A better balance with our environment, that conserves our energy, may be to limit or avoid (provided a nutritionally equivalent substitute) those foods, once identified.

Remember, our body is very exposed to and affected by what we eat!


Many patients with serious infections admit to eating only 20-40% of their usual intake. This is unfortunate because our immune system requires nutrition, especially when fighting an infection or recovering from an illness.

When nutritionally challenged, through whatever form of illness or surgical recovery, remember there are excellent nutrition supplements available in your local drug stores or supermarkets. Ensure and Boost are just two examples of supplements that contain the type of nutritional balance that help boost your immune system.

Remember, when stress, fatigue or illness threaten your body, quality nutrition can be a big help and provide the added energy to get through these challenging times in our lives.


Dehydration often results in symptoms of hunger and is thought to be the most common reason people feel fatigue!

It is estimated that 75% of Americans stay at least mildly dehydrated. Drink four to eight glasses of water each day. Drink even more if you exercise intensely or consume coffee or tea.

However, if you take medication for body fluid balance and blood pressure, you should check with your doctor first. For an extensive discussion of hydration and illness prevention, go to “How Not to Get Sick” (LINK)

Information Links:

The following website is an excellent resource for the most accurate nutritive values of foods.

Check out this USDA website and Food and Nutrition Research Briefs links for resources about nutrition science.

For an excellent resource on general health for anyone, please explore

For an excellent source of information on Food and Nutrition topics, go to


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