Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves. From a simple cut to a broken bone, the body has mechanisms in place to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. Understanding these mechanisms and how to support them can help us maintain optimal health and prevent disease.
William Li, a physician, scientist, and author, has spent his career studying the body’s natural defence systems and how they can be activated to promote healing and prevent disease. In his book, “Eat to Beat Disease,” Li outlines five key defence systems that are critical to maintaining health and preventing disease. He also outlines practical ways we can bolster our defence systems. It’s important to note there may be more defence systems than what Li has outlined. These are the five core systems:
– DNA protection
The angiogenesis defence system is responsible for regulating the growth of blood vessels in the body. Blood vessels are essential for delivering nutrients and oxygen to tissues and organs, but abnormal angiogenesis can lead to diseases such as cancer, diabetic blindness, and arthritis. Eating foods that promote healthy angiogenesis, such as cruciferous vegetables and berries, can help protect against these diseases.
The regeneration defence system is responsible for repairing and regenerating damaged tissue. This system is essential for healing wounds and maintaining healthy tissue. Eating foods that promote cellular regeneration, such as green leafy vegetables, turmeric, and garlic, can help activate this defence system.
“When you look at patients who respond to immunotherapy versus people who don’t respond the only difference is one bacteria in the gut called Akkermansia muciniphila.” | William Li
The microbiome defence system is responsible for maintaining a healthy balance of microorganisms in the body, particularly in the gut. A healthy microbiome is critical for proper digestion, immune function, and even mental health. Eating a diverse range of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, can help promote a healthy microbiome.
The DNA protection defence system is responsible for protecting the body’s DNA from damage, which can lead to cancer and other diseases. Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, dark chocolate, and green tea, can help protect DNA and activate this defence system.
The immunity defence system is responsible for fighting off infections and diseases. Eating foods that contain immune-boosting nutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc, and selenium, can help support this defence system. Examples of such foods include citrus fruits, nuts, and seeds.
In addition to supporting these defence systems with diet, Li also emphasizes the importance of lifestyle factors such as exercise, stress management, and sleep in promoting optimal health and preventing disease.
Li’s research has shown that our bodies have powerful innate defence systems that can be activated and supported through diet and lifestyle choices. By understanding these defence systems and how to promote them, we can take an active role in maintaining our health and preventing disease.
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