Immune System Health and Support
Strengthening your immune system can help you fight off the cold and flu throughout the year. Your immune system keeps you healthy and is your body's first line of defense. Protecting yourself from the environment is the key to immunity support. The best way to help ensure your immune system is functioning correctly is by living a healthy lifestyle. Some examples include:
• Consuming a diet rich in vegetables and fruits
• Avoiding infection by thoroughly cooking meat and frequently washing your hands
• Eliminating alcohol or drinking in moderation
• Exercising on a regular basis
• Minimizing stress as much as possible
• Getting enough sleep
• Do not smoke
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Taking high-quality immune supplements
Common Causes and Signs of a Weakened Immune System
If you feel fatigued, become sick often or are experiencing unidentified symptoms, your immune system may have been weakened. There are warnings signs you should be aware of, evidence that your immune system may not be functioning properly, including:
Extremely High Stress Level:
A lot of people get sick after emotional situations, confrontations at home, or after completing large and stressful projects at work. This is because your immune system response becomes weaker with long-term stress. Studies have shown your white blood cells responsible for fighting infection are decreased due to stress. This reduces your lymphocyte levels, increasing the risk for the common cold and viruses.
Slowly Healing Wounds:
When you sustain a scrape, cut, or burn, your skin enters a specific mode to control the damage. Your body works hard to protect your wound through the delivery of nutrient-rich blood to the area. This helps regenerate your new skin. This process is dependent on healthy immune cells. If your immune system is not performing correctly, there is a good chance your skin will be unable to regenerate. The result is a wound that is difficult to heal.
If you work too hard without giving your body a chance to relax, you may begin to feel sluggish. If you are still exhausted despite getting enough sleep, the culprit may be your immune system. You need to listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
Every adult sniffles and sneezes from a cold or two every year. The majority are fully recovered in about seven to ten days. Your immune system requires three or four days for the development of antibodies necessary to fight germs. If you always seem to have a cold or are unable to recover from a cold within this time, your immunity system is having difficulty keeping up.
If you frequently experience constipation, gas or diarrhea, it might be a symptom of a compromised immune system. According to research, approximately 70 percent of the immune system is in your digestive tract. This is where beneficial microorganisms and bacteria live, support your immune system, and defend your body from infections. If the level of these helpful bacteria becomes too low, you are at a greater risk of autoimmune disorders, chronic inflammation, and viruses.
If you experience infections frequently, your immune system may be trying to tell you something important. According to recent studies, there are clear signs that an immune deficiency is present. Adults will often:
• Develop pneumonia more than once a year.
• Experience four or more ear infections within the same year.
• Suffer from chronic sinusitis or experience a minimum of three cases of bacterial sinusitis within the same year.
If your immune system is struggling, your body and energy level will suffer as well. Your body will begin conserving the energy your immune system requires for fighting off germs. You will most likely begin to feel fatigued and sluggish despite getting enough rest.
How Does the Immune System Work?
Your immune system is the natural defense of your body. This is an intricate network consisting of organs, tissues and cells working together to defend your body from attacks. These types of invaders include viruses, bacteria, fungus and parasites. All of this can make you ill. Invaders are found everywhere, including your home, backyard, and office. When your immune system is healthy, a barrier is created to prevent antigens or invaders from entering your body.
When something gets past your barrier, white blood cells, proteins and chemicals are produced by your immune system to attack and destroy the invaders. This is accomplished by locating and removing the antigen before reproduction can occur. If this process is not successful, your immune system will work even harder to destroy invaders and limit multiplication. Millions of different types of antigens can be recognized by your immune system.
Your immune system can produce everything necessary to destroy the majority of antigens, provided it is functioning correctly. Your defense system is so elaborate, it can help defend your body against everything from the common cold to cancer. This means you can avoid numerous health issues.
What Happens When the Immune System Does Not Perform Correctly?
Your immune system is not perfect. Mistakes can be made and safe substances can be identified as harmful such as pet dander and pollen. When your immune system attempts to fight these substances, the result can be an allergic reaction.
Your body is also not capable of winning the battle against every invader. As amazing as your immune system is, it can occasionally break down. There are certain diseases your body will not be able to control.
If you do not consume a healthy diet, exercise regularly, keep stress manageable, or get enough sleep, your immune system can become weakened. Once it becomes depleted, your body can become overwhelmed by viruses, bacteria and toxins. The result is you get sick.
Building Healthy Immunity
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to boost your immune system. You can support and improve your immunity with a healthy lifestyle and supplementation capable of lasting for your entire life. All the options defined below should be incorporated whenever possible.
Take a Walk:
Yes, everyone needs to sit and relax sometimes. However, if you do not get up and move around, your immune system and body can become sluggish. You can boost your immunity with simple exercise such as taking a walk.
Exercise helps to improve your immune function. This does not mean you need to hire a personal trainer or spend a fortune on exercise equipment. Fast walking three times per week for 20 minutes will increase your heart rate and help improve your immune function.
The reason exercise strengthens the immune system remains unknown. The belief is exercising regularly enables the white blood cells to function better. This is what helps fight off colds, bacteria and infections. Exercising also releases endorphins. These hormones are natural and have a positive impact on your brain. Endorphins help you relax and promote well-being. This leads to better sleep, less stress and better immunity.
Consuming a Healthy Diet:
If you want your immune system to work correctly, the proper nutrition of a healthy diet is important. If you consume too many calories, you may begin to gain weight with an increased risk of infections. If you are overweight, not only will your immune system suffer, but you are also at an increased risk for infections. When you have a weakened immune system, you should avoid sugar and alcohol. Microbes love sugar. When your diet is high in antioxidant vitamins, your resistance to infection may improve.
There is a link between antioxidants and color. Red, dark green, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Some of your best options include citrus fruits, apples, kale, spinach, carrots, berries, kiwi, red grapes, onions and sweet potatoes. There are other foods you can eat to support and boost your immune system such as chicken soup and fresh garlic due to the antibiotic and antiviral properties.
Studies have shown consuming a bowl of hot chicken soup when you have the flu or a cold can help decrease inflammation and lead to a faster recovery. Mushrooms are also believed to strongly influence the immune function in addition to boosting chemical production to improve the response of your body to infection. Consider shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms.
Getting Enough Sleep:
Regular insomnia leaves you vulnerable to numerous illnesses including infections, flu and colds. Poor sleep over the long term increases the risk of several different health issues, including diabetes and obesity. Your body requires adequate sleep for healing. When you do not receive enough sleep or sleep deeply enough, your healing process is impaired.
Sleep helps protect your immune system, provides essential support, and can improve your immunity. Sleep has the same effect as antioxidants because it can help decrease oxidative stress. This prevents your cells from being harmed or weakened. The average person requires a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. If you do not receive this, your resistance to infectious diseases is impaired. Make certain you get enough sleep whenever possible.
When your body is consistently placed under stress, you become more vulnerable. This includes the common cold, major diseases and nearly everything in between. If you suffer from stress occasionally, it is normal. If the stress is constant with no relief, your health is going to suffer. This is due to the steady supply of stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones weaken your immune system. There is a proven link between stress, hypertension, and heart disease.
Stress can also adversely impact the function of your white blood cells. Making lifestyle changes is important, including stress management. Many people prefer exercise or meditation for stress management. This can be of a religious or spiritual nature. As long as you manage your stress in a healthy manner the actual method is irrelevant.
High-Quality Immune Supplements:
Diet is important, but it is not easy to get all of the necessary immune boosting nutrients from your diet alone. This is why supplements are so essential.
It is important to understand not every immune supplement is the same. In order to strengthen your immune system, you need high-quality supplements. These types of supplements contain the most popular and beneficial ingredients for immune support. The three supplements below contain a wide range of the most effective immune boosting ingredients.