- Are you hurting or helping your immune system?
- Does immunity fade with age?
- Although our immune system works round the clock, it’s when we sleep that our immunity kicks into full gear.
Take this Immunity Test to check you are doing everything you can to keep your immune system strong.
Our immune system is the gate keeper, without it, the human body could not survive on earth, with its biological environment filled with foreign invaders, parasites, bacteria and multitudes of viruses. On any given day, our system fights off this onslaught, sometimes simultaneously, without our knowing.
Our immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues and proteins that stands between the body and disease. Thankfully our immunity is a well-tuned machine, and deals with most invaders like a champ, but nothing is perfect, and for various reasons it can slip up, become overwhelmed, or is busy doing other things for us, and we become sick. How often this happens depends on how strong the immune system is, how frequently our bodies are exposed to pathogens and what we do on a daily basis to support, or hurt immunity through health and life choices.
We regularly talk about immunity like it’s a singular structure, but actually it’s three. From the minute we are born, our bodies protect us with an in-built, or an innate immunity. The minute our bodies come into contact with an antigen, or any substance that can spark an immune response, we begin to build our own unique adaptive immunity, which continues to take shape through the course of our lives as we are introduced and reintroduced to different pathogens. We can also, in essence, borrow immunity from sources like medicine, or our mothers during breastfeeding, but that is not a permanent protection and fades when the “immunity loan” stops.
As immunity effects the body, the body effects immunity, and how we treat not just our physical selves, but our minds and emotional lives, leaves a powerful impression back on our immune health. How we live, what we eat, where we live, what we do for work, how we play, are all significant to the health of our immunity.
So, the question is, how are you treating your immune system? In other words, have you accrued any annuity with your immunity?
The immune system is precisely that, a system, not a single entity and to function well, it requires balance and harmony. So, there are differing points of view when it comes to quantifying the impact of good health practices have on the system of immunity, but researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans.
In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
IMMUNITY HEALTH CHECK
Don’t smoke. Smoking is more than a dirty habit, it’s an assault on every cell in your body and damages the immune system, often irreparably.
Aside from the damage it does to every other organ in the body because of the over 70 known carcinogens in a single cigarette, there are added elements like tar, oxidizing chemicals, metals and radio-active compounds that the body’s immune system is forced to process, causing greater susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia and influenza with the unwelcomed effects of longer-lasting illnesses.
Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. There is little debate there is a direct connection between the foods we eat and health. It is often so direct, that stomach distress can come immediately after eating a food that doesn’t agree with us.
When we eat a fatty, high sugar, processed food diet manufactured with chemicals, colors and additives, our bodies work hard to eliminate the toxins that are introduced. The more poisons our body have to deal with, the less likely over-time it will effectively be able to eliminate them, causing stress on the systems of the body, particularly the immune system.
Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise seems to have a beneficial effect on the immune function, which could protect against upper respiratory tract infections. Exercise has positive effects on both the humoral and the cellular immune system.
Studies among athletes have surprisingly uncovered that after strenuous exercise, athletes pass through a period of impaired immune resistance. Pointing to any activity that causes stress on the body, mind or emotional state which is the root of the exhaustion. In essence, the body does not distinguish between fatigue from exercise and exhaustion from anywhere else.
Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is at epidemic proportions, and the number one factor behind many diseases today. Food manufacturers over-process with staggering measure to the point where the nutrition we take in is more often than not off-set by the way the food is made. Over the years, advertising influencers have normalized poor diet, resetting what we might consider a ‘healthy’ food. In 2016, the World Health Organization reported 1.9 billion people were overweight; that was the better part of 15 percent of the total population of 7.9 billion people at that time.
Carrying extra weight impacts every system of the body, and as we age the effects are catastrophic. People who carry just 5% extra of their body mass are subject to disproportionate health risks such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arterial disease, stroke, cancer, and depression compromising the body’s immunity.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol impairs mucosal immunity in the gut and lowers respiratory development, and leaves the body open for progression of certain cancers.
The National Library of Medicine reports, clinicians observed an association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia. In recent decades, this association has been expanded to a greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain cancers; a higher incidence of postoperative complications; and slower and less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, including poor wound healing.
Get adequate sleep. Although our immune system works round the clock, it’s when we sleep that our immunity kicks into full gear. When our body rests, our immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Cytokines participate in many physiological processes including the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. In turn, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
Further, researchers in the study of gene expression reported that circadian rhythms govern a large array of metabolic and physiological functions and are generated by an intrinsic cellular mechanism that in-turn controls a large range of physiological and metabolic processes. So, in essence, when we lose sync with our sleep clock, a whole range of health issues can crop up, leaving our conceded immune system to clean up the pieces.
Avoid infection. Not as simple as it sounds as viruses or bacteria are all around us, but there are plenty of measures we can take to reduce our risks.
- Get vaccinated, and make sure your kids are too.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after coughing.
- Stay home if you are sick (so you do not spread the illness to other people).
- Use a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand.
- Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or using tissues.
- Clean children’s toys regularly, especially if they are sharing with friends.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands.
- Do not share cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery.
Supplement immune boosters. Support healthy immune systems with quality and 100% natural, bioactive benefits like the Immune Booster Formula by Herbalmax.
Designed to naturally and powerfully lift the immune system, Immune Booster controls t-helper cells 1 and 2, essentially regulating the body’s immune responses. Regular intake of Immune Booster or a very good immune support supplement sustains the day to day silent battles our immunity confronts.
Consider taking a best in class proprietary blend like Immune Booster as a backup ideal for travelers and people who frequent crowded places.
Powerful ingredients like the Astragalus and Acai Berry plants, both an essential part of the proprietary blend of the Herbalmax Immune Booster, have strong antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being highly effective free-radical scavengers, and works harmoniously with the natural biochemistry of the body to support a healthy immune system.
- Afd. Experimentele Laboratoriumgeneeskunde, Universitair Ziekenhuis Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, België. email@example.com
- Smoking – effects on your body, Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government.
- Winstanley M, et al., 2015, ‘Chapter 3. The health effects of active smoking’, Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues, Cancer Council Victoria.
- Alcohol and the Immune System
- Dipak Sarkar, Ph.D., D.Phil., M. Katherine Jung, Ph.D., and H. Joe Wang, Ph.D.