Curious about your immune health? It determines how many days you be down with the flu and how often you’ll catch a cold, after all. Isn’t it worth a little research?
When you’re ready to learn the basics of your immune system and how to support it, so you can avoid this year’s sniffles and sneezes, read on.
The Immune System and Your Immune Health
If you can remember back to your middle-grade biology courses, you’ll remember that your immune system is composed of cells, tissues, and organs that defend our bodies against foreign invaders. Think bacteria and viruses rather than Martians. Your immune system runs throughout your body:
- Bone marrow
- Thymus gland
- Lymphatic system
- Mucosal tissue
First, it tags foreign invaders with special cells in your blood. Other cells then come along and kill those tagged invaders. Afterward, your body eliminates this waste.
That’s a simplistic explanation but one use for the scope of this article.
What’s the difference between receiving support and receiving a boost? A boost is usually a short-term fix whereas support is a long-term habit. With respect to your immune system, support refers mostly to diet and supplements.
Why are your diet and supplements important? Well, they’re part of Your Ultimate Guide to the Immune Health Basics You Need to Know, for starters. But seriously…
The short answer is that they contain vitamins and nutrients that your body needs for optimal performance. For example, there’s evidence that micronutrient deficiencies (such as selenium, folic acid, and B6) reduce immune responses.
Folks used to get all these nutrients directly from their food sources. Supplements weren’t required. But with the advent of industrial farming, most topsoil is devoid of the minerals we need.
If plants don’t absorb the minerals from their soil and water, folks don’t get the nutrients they need to run at peak efficiency.
If you’re constantly coming down with every cold that crosses your path, chances are that your immune system is operating below average. If you find yourself in that pickle, here’s Harvard’s list of immune boosters:
- Stop smoking
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Exercise regularly
- Drink alcohol only in moderation
- Get plenty of sleep
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Use proper sanitary habits
- Minimize stress
Smoking reduces the overall effectiveness of your immune system. Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, offer essential vitamins and micronutrients that improve that effectiveness. Exercise and sleep revitalize your immune system.
Alcohol, stress, and excess weight slow down your immune system, making it harder to fight foreign invaders.
Build Your Resistance
Eastern Medicine preaches that the goal is not about avoiding illness but rather moving through illness quickly and easily. In other words, it’s not about escaping the cold that’s going around the office. It’s about how your body responds once you catch it.
To recover from an illness, your white blood cells must create cells that effectively combat the invading bodies. Your body keeps a log of these cells should the same foreign bodies ever invade again. When you go through this process, you’ve built a resistance to that type of invader.
Now you better understand immune health. If you want to boost yours, stick to the strict protocol defined in the immune booster list above. If you want to learn more, pop over to our vast library full of other essential health articles.
So long and good luck!