We all know that what you put into your body has an immense effect on your health.
Current nutritional education places a significant focus on processed foods and how these relate to chronic illness and obesity.
But did you know that what you eat can also affect your outcome with HPV?
Keep reading for more information about how you can fuel your body in the right way to fight HPV.
Building your Immune System with Food
Although an HPV diagnosis may feel terrible, there are many treatment options available for HPV complications ranging from intensive surgeries to at-home treatments.
Though there are many treatments available, addressing HPV can be as simple as changing your diet, which creates the foundation for our immune system.
Rather than patiently waiting for your doctor to make the call for treatment, you can take responsibility for your health through education, nutrition, and lifestyle changes. With these adjustments, you can set your body on the path to recovery.
Dietary changes can give your immune system a boost to help reduce HPV symptoms. These changes alone can give your body a fighting chance of clearing up the infection naturally! The diet that works for each of us is unique – one size does not fit all. With that said, there are some sensible guidelines we all can follow to improve overall nutrition.
Are you ready to respond to HPV?
Three Golden Nutrition Rules
Three simple must-do’s are:
1. Decrease sugar consumption
Cutting refined sugar may be the best thing you can do for your health.
Sugar in the form of sweet, confectionery treats are practically designed to be addictive. Your body will continue to crave sickly sweet goods until you consciously cut down.
Choosing natural forms of sugar are less toxic and more supportive for your body. Natural sugars include sugars obtained from fruits (fructose) as well as milk products (lactose). Other sugars are called “added sugars”, they include white sugar, brown sugar, honey, and other chemically-manufactured sweeteners.
Natural sugars are better for your health because they include additional nutrients like antioxidants, seen in naturally sweet acerola cherry, raspberries, and goji berries. Citrus fruits, another natural sugar, are also great for high levels of vitamin C to fight HPV, which helps to support your immune system.
Sugars in fruits also contain fibers, allowing for a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream and a smaller spike in insulin. Overproduction of insulin and cellular resistance are now found to be contributing factors to many chronic diseases.
While sugars from fructose are much better for our health, we also have to be mindful not to overdo indulge. These sugars still influence our blood sugar and can contribute to insulin resistance and gut dysbiosis. We opt to aim for 2-3 servings of fruits per day, preferably from low glycemic fruits like berries and apples.
Simple refined carbs include white sugar, white bread, white flour, and white pasta.
Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates like vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. These types of carbohydrates contain longer chains of sugar molecules that slowly release sugar into the bloodstream, leading to a smaller insulin spike as well as a higher concentration of other macro and micronutrients.
Simple switches like white rice to brown rice or quinoa, white bread to multigrain and white flour to sweet potato can make all the difference, and help keep you full and satisfied!
3. Increase your daily intake of vegetables
Try to aim for two handfuls of veggies with every meal, or about 7 to 10 servings per day.
There are easy ways to do this, like a smoothie full of blended veggies, balanced out by some sweet fruit for taste!
Choose your favorite vegetables and eat those in large quantities! Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are great sources of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, calcium, and folate to protect against HPV.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale have several very important compounds, specifically diindolylmethane, or DIM and indole-3-carbinol that play a key role in killing HPV infected cells and cancer cells.
Specific foods that build your immune system include:
- Richly-pigmented vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes
- Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower
- Dark, leafy green vegetables, spinach, and kale
- Citrus fruits, such as lemon and kiwi
- Green tea
- Nuts and seeds, specifically sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds
- Herbs such as Astragalus, Reishi mushroom, Echinacea
How to Build Your Immune System to Fight HPV
A few foods have also been specifically studied for their ability to fight HPV infections:
- Foods rich in carotenoids, like papaya, squash, grapefruit, oranges, and apricots, are associated with decreased risk of persistent HPV infections.
- Vitamin C levels are often low in cervical cancer patients, emphasizing the importance of Vitamin C consumption through food for health.
- In recent years, curcumin found in turmeric has been highlighted for its ability to induce self-destruction of harmful cells and suppress regulatory molecules involved in upregulating cancers and other diseases.
- Incorporating HPV superfoods into your diet can be an easy (and tasty!) way to support your immune system.
Another way to support the immune system is through consuming medicinal mushrooms. Mushrooms contain chemical compounds called glucans that have been found to have an immunomodulatory effect. Beta and alpha glucans help increase the production of natural killer cells, cytokines, and other immune molecules that help detect and fight off pathogenic invaders.
Mushrooms can be incorporated into the diet through supplementation or their whole food form. However, the therapeutic compounds require specific extraction methods to be effective, which is why supplementation is often recommended.
Mushroom powders of Reishi or shiitake can be added to your morning coffee or smoothie. Mushrooms can also be taken in capsule form as a daily supplement. A daily serving of Papillex™ includes a therapeutic dose of Reishi mushroom. Our AHCC™ capsule is another potent immunomodulator that can be taken daily to support and balance your immune health.
Are you ready to respond to HPV?
Finding a balance
Consuming an overall healthy diet, including the foods mentioned above, is the best way to help support your immune system and fight off viral infections such as HPV.
Building up your immune system takes time and consistency. It is more important to adopt healthy lifestyle changes that you will implement throughout your lifetime as opposed to doing a short-term cleanse.
Remember to be gentle on yourself, it is not about eating the perfect diet, but incorporating as many nutritious foods as possible and enjoying what you eat.
How Can I Support My Improved Diet Naturally?
Most HPV infections are easily cleared by a strong, healthy immune system. Besides diet, your immune system can be supported in several other natural ways:
- Quit smoking: Smoking is positively associated with persistent HPV infections and an increased risk of cervical cancers. Quitting smoking is key to preventing future complications.
- Prioritize sleep: sleep is when our immune system steps into action. We need 7-8 hours a day to run optimally. Practice good sleep hygiene; maintain a regular bedtime, avoid caffeine in the evening, turn off your phone and electronics, and find a relaxing way to wind down.
- Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol can cause a burden on the body, spiking inflammation and impairing detoxification. If you choose to drink, aim for one drink three times a week or less to keep inflammation at bay.
- Exercise: prioritize daily activity in a form you enjoy. Even one hour of brisk walking has a positive impact on the immune system.
- Get outdoors: Fresh air and nature have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. We recommend aiming for 20 to 30 minutes outdoors each day.
- Maintaining a positive mindset: Our immune system isn’t only influenced by the things we put it in but also our mental state. Find ways to set a positive mindset each day through journaling, setting daily intentions or mantras, or creating a list of things you are grateful for.
Papillex is a clinically researched supplement designed to increase key nutrient levels often found to be low in those suffering with HPV. That makes it the perfect supplement to help in your ability to respond to HPV naturally.