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Notice the netted coverings protecting mushrooms and other produce from spilling amongst other bagged items. This novel approach has been occurring at Wengard’s Farm Produce & Deli near Halls Station, Muncy. Fresh fruits and veggies are deemed heathy by Helen Hiserman whose tips for good eating are introduced in this issue. photo by CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary

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No doubt about it we live in a nation riddled with chronic disease. It should not come to you as a surprise that perhaps a friend or relative, not necessarily that old, is dealing with a long-standing health issue such as high blood pressure, diabetes, any number of heart issues, overweight condition and of course some type of arthritis. From a longevity standpoint, at our young age of 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or even 80, these disease entities should not be ailing us.

Our bodies, as intricately designed as they are, were created to be energetic, to move freely, to be lean and fit and to withstand the onslaught of foreign invaders. Unfortunately, chronic disease has settled in, often in those fairly young, and few are addressing core problems that daily undermine our well-being.

When there is immune system dysregulation, “dis – ease” in our bodies occurs. A strong immune system is crucial to address every aspect of our daily challenges in living in our toxic, fear-filled, high stress world. To strengthen our immune system, many areas need to be addressed. First and foremost is nutrition. Others, addressed in future articles, include lifestyle and behavioral factors.

If you spend most of your grocery shopping in the middle aisles, then you are most certainly not helping your immune system. Anything in a package or box has been processed leaving very few vital nutrients left that are essential for strengthening our immune function.

Vital nutrients are found in fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and clean, non-conventional dairy. Vital nutrients are in clean, grass-fed or pastured meats, as well as wild-caught fish. Whole grains, if tolerated, have additional vital nutrients for our bodies that can provide energy sources for improved metabolism. So, on a daily basis one should be consuming fresh foods, that have been grown preferably organic, but are fresh and not canned or processed into a package.

This presents a tremendous challenge when we are not sure what to do with fresh greens besides making a salad or making sure to have fresh fruit instead of a processed dessert.

Can we forgo the drive-thru, where large amounts of unknown ingredients in foods are found, ingredients our bodies may not recognize and will certainly not help strengthen our immune system, but rather weaken it?

Can we make time to simply gather and cook some nutrient dense foods that will nurture us by giving us the energy we need to face the constant threat of dis-ease that surrounds us? Can we make an effort to rid our cabinets of white flour, white sugar, rancid vegetable oils and packages with long named ingredients that we are not sure what exactly they are?

Our immune systems are s begging to be nurtured and supported with real food, real ingredients. Let us step up to the challenge and find ways to do this, find people that share our interest in good, wholesome food and make sure to share our good food with others.

Helen O. Hiserman, MHP, PA-C is a certified Physician Assistant practicing at BNG Aesthetics, Williamsport, PA where she shares her love of nutrition and optimized health to assist in healing chronic digestive, thyroid, and hormonal problems. She has worked with functional, ancestral nutrition concepts for over 20 years and loves to eat good food and grow real food. You can contact her at helen@bngaesthetics.com.

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