10 Simple Ways To Boost Your Immune System
Today I want to talk to you a little bit about your immune system. Your immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect your body against infections. The immune system also removes toxins, destroys tumor cells, and maintains overall health.
Our bodies are continually exposed to viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and toxins. A healthy immune system works to prevent these from causing major illnesses. Nevertheless, when the pathogens are stubborn or exposed to toxins and allergens for too long, you may develop chronic inflammation. And chronic inflammation is one of the significant causes of today’s disorders like autoimmune diseases, allergies, heart conditions, diabetes, cancer, and digestive disorders.
An immune deficiency occurs when the immune system is not working correctly. There are two types of immunodeficiencies; primary immunodeficiency is one you are born with (genetic cause). A secondary deficiency happens when an outside source overwhelms your body, like a toxin or an infection. Anything that impairs your immune system can lead to a secondary deficiency and eventually lead to a significant illness like allergies and autoimmune disorders. Believe it or not, your daily habits, positive or negative, have a considerable effect on your immune function. For example, practices that can weaken immunity are:
- A nutrient-poor diet (junk food).
- Eating sugar, processed foods, and pesticides.
- Medication overuse including to anti-inflammatories, steroids, and antibiotics.
- Infections and gut imbalances
- Toxic overload. Including mercury and mold toxins.
- Chronic stress and its best friends’ anxiety, anger, and frustration.
- Sleep disturbances.
Did you know being too clean can also weaken your immune system? See, when you make your environment too clean, you minimize your exposure to many foreign pathogens that lessen the development of the immune system. You may also unintentionally reduce the good bacteria in your environment. Mainly, this is important in the case of young children because if they’re not exposed to harmful microbes at all, their bodies won’t be able to develop the antibodies to fight them off. So Instead of going overboard with disinfecting everything on-site, practice good hygiene. Live a normal life. Clean regularly, but don’t be obsessive about it.
On the other hand, there is plenty you can do to support your immune system, for example:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in vegetables (about 75% of your plate) and a small amount of whole grains, legumes, and lean animal protein. Preferably follow an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Reduce or eliminate refined sugar intake.
- Exercise regularly but not in excess. Studies show that at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week increases immune function. However, excessive exercise regimes can temporarily hinder immune function.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Manage your blood pressure levels.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take probiotics or eat fermented food, like miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. See Good bacteria in our body provides us with nutrients we need and also provides a defense against harmful bacteria and infection. When good bacteria are reduced, harmful bacteria and fungi can take over, making us sick.
- Minimize your caffeine intake
Also, I have found it very effective to use herbs like echinacea, dong quai, astragalus, and elderberries in the fall and winter to boost the immune system or when I have a cold or flu. And that is why I make sure these herbs are part of my herbal immune formulas that you can find on my website. Mushrooms are also great to boost immunity, in particular Shiitake and Reishi. Some studies have shown that shiitake mushrooms even kill the HPV virus! Yet, another reason why they are one of the ingredients in my immune formulas.
Ah, and don’t forget vitamin C and zinc, as they are supplements that also promote immune health.
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