Immune health can be determined by a number of factors including your genetic makeup, the chemicals you are exposed to and your age. But regular exercise, ensuring you get enough sleep, feeding your body the proper vitamins, minerals and nutrients can give your immune system a boost regardless of these factors. Here we look at what exactly the ‘immune system’ is and secondly learn how to take care of it with our top five immune boosting tips:
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious organisms and other ‘foreign’ invaders and is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. The cells involved are white blood cells, or leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances.
How do I take care of it?
1) Eat enough protein
Protein is a building block for a healthy body, mind, and immune system. Diets low in protein tend to be high in carbs which convert readily to glucose, spiking blood sugar and stressing the pancreas and the immune system, therefore it’s important to get enough protein in your diet.
2) Avoid sugar in your diet
You will see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight distribution, immunity and your ability to think clearly when you break the cravings and stop eating refined sugar. This is so important; many holistic nutritionists consider sugar a drug for its impact on the human body and some practitioners are known to prioritize eliminating sugar from the diet over recommending that people quit smoking.
3) Get plenty of sleep and rest
Quite simply this is the time when your body rejuvenates and recovers the most, so it’s important to get between eight and ten hours a night when possible.
4) Stock up on raw fruits and vegetables
The nutritional content that you receive from raw fruits and veggies is unparalleled, they are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre and enzymes. Many vitamins, including C, are antioxidants and will protect cells – including those of your immune system – from damage by toxins in the environment. Dark coloured produce (berries, kale, broccoli) tends to be higher in flavonoids, polyphenols and other antioxidants. The perfect source of minerals is seaweed, which is sold dried, but can often be found raw (dried at low temperatures to maintain most of the enzymes and nutrients) in health food stores.
Essential to the body’s health and wellbeing is the lymph system. Essentially it’s the body’s sewage system and is responsible for getting rid of all the dead cells and blood proteins in the body. Whilst it continually works without any conscious effort, it can be stimulated through deep, heavy breathing, whether through exercise, yoga or simply consciously breathing deeply when sitting at your desk.