The immune system is capable of fighting off viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause diseases. There are more than 500 different types of viruses known to be able to affect our cells. The main function of the immune system is to identify what belongs in the body and what does not belong in order to get rid of things that are foreign like bacteria or virus particles.
Specific components include white blood cells, antibodies, lymphocytes (B-cells and T-cells), mast cells, epithelial cells, cytokines, complement proteins, etc.
The immune system can also react by causing inflammation when tissues are damaged for example by infection or trauma/injury which can result in redness/heat/pain/discomfort at the site of injury.
The immune system is important for recovery (healing process), but can sometimes cause damage to our own bodies which over time results in illness, disease, and/or chronic pain. The main culprits of this are inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. All this makes it important to support the immune system. If you’re worried about supporting your immune system, visit PureRaw Shop to learn more about vitamins.
The following are the best ways to support your immune system:
What can you do to boost your immune system?
There are many things you can do to support your immune system and help it function at its best. Boosting the immune system works in two ways: relieving irritation (reducing pain) and increasing energy/vitality which both give your body the resources it needs to overcome illness, disease, or chronic pain.
Two important things worth mentioning before moving on are allergies and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks cells of the body (e.g., “Hashimoto’s” or hypothyroidism). Allergies occur when there is an overreaction of the immune response (e.g., hay fever, asthma, etc.). It is important to note that allergies are often triggered by food sensitivities and that a poor digestive system contributes to the body’s weakened immunity.
It is important to understand that food sensitivities can cause inflammation which keeps the immune system from working well, keeps organs from functioning optimally, and thus keeps you in pain! In other words, by combating allergies one also combats inflammation and thereby reduces chronic pain. This is where all of this becomes very important to people suffering from autoimmune disease or chronic pain. It is very likely that your allergies could be causing your discomfort – but it’s hard to “see” them in action because they are delayed in their reaction time (e.g., sometimes days).
Anyway, below is a list of things that help support an amazing immune system:
- Eating organic/local/fresh foods
- Eating a low glycemic diet (very important for autoimmune diseases)
- Avoiding allergies to food with an IgG ELISA test (this can be used to identify both ingested and inhaled allergens)
- Avoiding the top 10 offending foods: wheat, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, nuts, egg white, yeast, shellfish, and sesame. In addition, it is also critical that you do not have gluten intolerance since this will cause further inflammation in the body. For more information on this please see our website.
- Eating fermented foods such as organic yogurt or keifer. Fermented foods support beneficial bacteria in your gut which helps fight off bad bacteria so they cannot invade the gut wall and cause further damage. Also, individuals suffering from leaky gut syndrome should be eating fermented foods on a daily basis in order to help heal the lining of the intestines.
- Avoiding pesticides and other environmental toxins which can contribute to weakened immunity.
- Taking supplements such as vitamin D3, Omega-3’s, Vitamin C, Zinc, Probiotics, etc… These are all great immune system boosters!
- Exercise and get moving. Very important for optimal health and wellness. You cannot exercise enough! If you like dancing, yoga, walking, running…anything will do! Even if it’s just by taking regular walks in nature or around your neighborhood. Whatever you enjoy doing is good 🙂
- Managing stress levels or relaxing will bring down high stress levels that weaken the immune system which can result in fatigue, infections, high blood pressure, etc. This means that relaxation is an essential activity anytime anywhere throughout the day. The less stressed we are the better our bodies can handle everything else thrown at them including any kind of illness.
In addition, it is very important that you find a qualified health care practitioner who can guide you through this so they can advise you on the right supplements for your body – because everyone is different!
Once you have an understanding of what affects your immune system (allergies & inflammation) you will be empowered to make better choices for your health.
Immune system and age
As we get older, our immune response capability becomes reduced, this is due to natural cell death (apoptosis) and the reduction in hormones. It has also been shown that after age 25, our immune system becomes less “vigilant” over time. This results in increased chances of catching common viruses, colds, or other illnesses.
If you have a weakened immune system it means that your body is more likely to get sick, stay sick for longer, and with worse symptoms. So what can we do about this?
One thing that helps a lot in making sure that our adrenal glands are in good health. They produce hormones that help the body with stress management and when they are exhausted from chronic stress, they become less effective at doing their job. This has huge ramifications on the functionality of all cells in the body since cells cannot function without cortisol (amongst other hormones).
Another big factor to consider when looking at how age affects immunity is vaccinations. Vaccinations work by tricking the immune system into creating antibodies against a virus or bacteria – and by doing this you get “immunity” to that specific disease.
There are many things that people do to support their immune system. A few examples include: getting enough (good) rest, eating well (balanced diet), staying hydrated, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking & drinking excess alcohol, etc. There are also many supplements/nutrients/herbs on the market with claims to help improve your immune function or strengthen you against colds & influenza etc. Some products have been shown in scientific studies to possibly help while others have not been proven yet to do so.