Healthy Ways to Support Our Immune System

How amazing is this picture?

This is a cell from our very own immune system. 

It demonstrates just how beautiful and amazing our immune system can be. It is truly mind blowing to see how intricate and efficient our immune system is at protecting us.

This post is to remind us all, that inside us right now, there is a network of systems in progress which are at work 24/7 dedicated to keeping us as healthy as possible. 

Currently, we are receiving news on a daily basis that can be distressing for many regarding our health.  Yet very little appears to be being discussed about our own immune system and just how powerful it can be in protecting us.

The most powerful chance we have in fighting this current virus right now is our very own immune system.

As we are all aware, there currently is no cure for COVID-19, just as there is no cure for any flu like virus. While there are no guarantees that even those who appear to be fit and healthy won’t be hit badly by this current pandemic, by taking responsibility for our own health as much as we can, we can try to limit the impact not only on us fighting off the virus, but our recovery too.

Our health is not down to waiting for a government daily update. It is not living in fear until a vaccine is discovered. Our health is down to us each and every day.

Taking responsibility means we have to help our immune system to remain strong.  Instead of waiting in long queues to eat junk food from fast food restaurants, now that they have reopened – all of which weakens our immune system by causing inflammatory factors.  We should be eating as much fresh healthy food as possible to help boost our immune system.

Our Wonderful Immune System.

What Exactly Is Our Immune System?  

Our immune system is designed to protect us against the endless bacteria, viruses’ microbes, toxins and parasites that attempt to attack our body on a daily basis.

Our immune system is precisely that — a system. In order to function well, team work is needed, and that team is made up of an intricate cell network.  On the whole, our immune system does a remarkable job of defending us against disease on a daily basis.  However, just like all Superhero’s, sometimes it fails us, especially if we have not built up appropriate immunity. Catching a bug may make us ill, so what makes us better?  Just like the superhero in a film, our wonderful immune system (the team) pulls together and fights off said bug.

  • Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost our immune system?
  • What if we improve our diet?
  • Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations?
  • Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

Attempting to boost the cells of our immune system is a complicated process because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways (remember that team work I mentioned earlier.) Which cells should we boost, and to what number? – So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells to help fight off disease.

Healthy Living

What We Know:

Our first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Possibly the single best step we can take toward naturally keeping our immune system strong and healthy is by following general good-health guidelines.

Every part of our body, including our immune system, functions better when protected from environmental pathogens such as virus, and boosted by a healthy-living style such as:

  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Try to minimise stress.

Aging…

As we age, our immune response capability gradually reduces, which in turn contributes to more infections.

While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and even more importantly, more likely unfortunately to die from them.

A connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly.

A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common is known as “micronutrient malnutrition.” Micronutrient malnutrition, is when we are deficient in essential vitamins and trace minerals that would normally be found from eating a balanced diet. It has been found to be common in the elderly population.

The older we get; we tend to eat less, and often have less variety in our diets. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help the older generation maintain a healthier immune system? Anyone considering this should discuss this with their medical professional, especially if on prescription medications.

Like any fighting force, our immune system’s “army” marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment.

If we suspect our diet is not providing us with all the nutrient we need then taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring health benefits, which in turn have beneficial effects on the immune system.

Walk into a health food shop, and you will see shelves filled with bottles of pills and herbal supplements that claim to “support immunity” or otherwise boost the health of our immune system.  Demonstrating whether these can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. What is known is that taking a mega dose of any single vitamin does not. More is not necessarily better.

Further Reading

Disclaimer:
Please note: no content on this blog should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Dr Laura Nuttall DC

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