Strengthen Your Immune System Against Infections, Toxins and Cellular Damage
When it comes to our health, we are constantly fighting against infections, environmental toxins and internal damage posed by daily wear and tear. In this internal chaos, our immune system plays an extremely important role in not just fighting infections, protecting against various diseases but also anticipating and removing carcinogenic activity. Believe it or not, the following wrestling match is occurring in our bodies all the time.
Exposure to foreign agents in the form of food, toxins and viruses and bacteria.
Internal damage as a result of day to day wear and tear.
Formation of cancer cells under the instructions of "oncogenes" and their suppression by the "natural killer cells" which are a part of the immune system.
Our state of health is largely determined by how well our bodies balance the above mentioned opposing mechanisms. Since our immune system is a major player in the above mentioned activities, it is important to maintain and strengthen this system.
Below are some of the most powerful ways to boost your immune system.
1. Eat healthy - Supplement if necessary:
A diet rich in anti-oxidants, essential vitamins and minerals and whole foods boosts the immune system. If you are not able to eat a whole foods based diet for any reason, consider supplementation.
Conditions which might lead to nutritional deficiencies and hence need for supplementation are,
a) Co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, liver/kidney disease, cancer or any other chronic condition.
b) Use of multiple medications specially immune-suppressant treatments for cancer and autoimmune conditions, medications which deplete common nutrients such as those used to treat blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux etc. .
c) Young age, age older than 65 or any age with declining health. Below are some common foods and supplements which strengthen our immune system.
2. Pay attention to hygiene:
Common sense measures such as washing hands, routine sanitation, avoiding big crowds, covering mouth when coughing, sneezing, eating organic foods, hygienic food preparation, etc. help prevent entry of harmful foreign agents to our system.
3. Strengthen your social support:
Studies show that people with strong social and community support tend to have strong and robust immune systems as opposed to those suffering from loneliness and social isolation.
4. Stay active - exercise:
Exercise undoubtedly enhance immune system's ability to strengthen itself and initiate a cascade of reactions called "autophagy". This process in turn improves longevity, well being and suppresses oncogenes, thus fighting off cancer cells.
5. Sleep well:
During sleep, cellular debris and by-products from day to day wear and tear are removed from the body thus giving immune system a chance to push the re-set button. Countless studies show that people getting less than optimal duration and quality of sleep tend to have weaker immune system than those getting good quality and duration of sleep.
1. Viruses & Bacteria
3. Cancer cells
Evidence based supplements which support the immune system.
1. Vitamin D
2. Vitamin C
3. Vitamin B (6&12)
5. Ginger & Garlic
6. N acetyl cysteine
10. Elder berry
Exercise strengthens immune system by
1. Improving ability to deliver and use oxygen
2.Decreasing stress hormone levels
3. increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar
4. Increasing T cell activity
5. Improving circulation thereby clearing cellular debris and inducing autophagy
"Sleep undoes the damage that your body does to itself when it is awake".