This time of year sickness is rife among the masses and the power of prevention can't be overstated! It's important to strengthen the immune system now rather than wait until you're already sick. It’s often the case for many people when they get ill to automatically resort to taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs. However, these medicines poison the body, deplete the body of vital nutrients, and are often less effective than natural methods.
The immune system is responsible for identifying foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and defective body cells in our bodies then killing and removing them from the body. There are different components to the immune system, the main three being white cells: B cells, T cells, and macrophages, which are located in the blood.
B cells are also known as B lymphocytes and are responsible for producing an antibody to attack and destroy each individual foreign invader. B cells cannot kill bacteria or viruses, but they can stop them from producing toxins or from entering body cells. This is important because a virus can only reproduce when it's taken over control of a body cell. When a virus has control of a cell, it reprograms the cell to create more viruses.
T cells, or T lymphocytes, are made from the thymus gland in the chest. There are three kinds of T cells: T-helpers, T-suppressors, and natural killer cells (NK). NK cells make toxins that kill the invader, while T-helper cells help “turn on” B cells to start making their antigens, and T-suppressors help to “turn off” these reactions when the battle is over. In a healthily functioning immune system, there should be about two times as many T-helper cells as T-suppressor cells.
Macrophages then come and finish what all the other immune system cells have started by eating and digesting the invader cell in a process called phagocytosis. The cells responsible for this phagocytosis in the blood are called monocytes and in non-blood locations of the body macrophages.
So, how can you boost your immune power? Exercise, diet, and your thoughts all play a big part. When it comes to exercise, the right balance is key. No exercise alone stresses the body and lowers immunity, but overtraining can and it can actually suppress the immune system. Some of the best ways to get exercise for your immune system are running, biking, jumping or bounding (such as jump rope, trampolines, etc), hiking, brisk walks, and even weight lifting. Yoga, pilates, and tai chi are other great immune-boosting activities.
When it comes to your state of mind, stress reduction plays a very important part in maintaining or achieving a strong immune system. Our thoughts have incredible impact on what goes on inside of our bodies! Aside from being optimistic and keeping our thoughts happy, stress-reduction methods such as yoga, sitting in the sauna, meditation, walking, massage, and other forms of stress reduction and relaxation have a significant positive effect on the immune system. In fact, one study found that meditation significantly increased T-cell count while reducing the suppressor cells.
Diet is one of the most important ways to improve or maintain strong immunity. Getting high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients is vital for a healthily functioning immune system. Some particularly good foods for boosting the immune system include:
- raw, dark leafy greens
- lemons and limes
- herbal tea
Fresh, real, whole foods are the key for immune power. Getting enough fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and 100 percent whole grains supports good health and holds off illness! These foods are high in the nutrients that your body needs to stay strong and fight off foreign invaders that we are faced with every day.
There are also some supplements that are helpful when you’re starting to feel like you’re getting sick. Taking a good quality vitamin and mineral is very beneficial, especially when in liquid form for easy digestibility. Enhance the immune boosting effects with colloidal silver and gold for extra effect. Other great supplements to boost your immune system are: echinacea, garlic, supergreens (such as spirulina, chlorella, alfalafa, blue green algae, etc), vitamin C, cat's claw herb, grapefruit seed extract, and elderberry extract. When you’re sick it’s also important to increase your intake of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals from food.
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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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