How To Strengthen Your Immune System

How To Strengthen Your Immune System 

Immunity, immune system, natural immunity . . . you can hardly read an article these days without the word “immunity” being mentioned. All because of Covid-19. You’re probably tired of hearing about immunity; there seems to be so much confusion around it. Well, hold on, there’s great news! 

What exactly is the immune system? 

The immune system plays a vital role in your life: it protects your body from harmful substances, germs and cell changes that could make you ill. It is made up of various organs, cells and proteins. 

There are two main parts to your immune system: 

  • The innate (non-specific) immune system. 
  • The adaptive (specific) immune system. 

Both of these subsystems are closely linked and work together whenever a germ or harmful substance triggers an immune response. 

The innate immune system provides a general defence against harmful germs and substances, so it’s also called the non-specific immune system. It mostly fights using immune cells such as natural killer cells and phagocytes (“eating cells”). The main job of the innate immune system is to fight harmful substances and germs that enter the body, for instance through the skin or digestive system. 

The adaptive (specific) immune system makes antibodies and uses them to specifically fight certain germs that the body has previously come into contact with. This is also known as an “acquired” (learned) or specific immune response. 

Because the adaptive immune system is constantly learning and adapting, the body can also fight bacteria or viruses that change over time. 

As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t notice that it’s there. But if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can't fight particularly aggressive germs – you get ill. 

How Can You Strengthen Your Immune System and Keep It Strong There's a lot you can do! Here’s a great graphic from which gives information simply and clearly:

Top 12 Immune Support Strategies

You don’t have to do everything it suggests here all at once, start with what’s easier for you, and move to the next thing. Build, secure your gains, then move to the next level. 

But, if you want a tip on where to begin, start with these three: 

Prioritize Good Sleep - a good night’s sleep (recommended 7-8 hours per night) is essential to maintain a strong immune system. Sleep time is when your brain organizes and files information. Your body uses the time to, among other things, detoxify (clear out the trash) and heal inflammation, reset systems, etc. 

Regular Movement and Exercise - This may seem like a no-brainer, but exercise moves all your organs and systems to do their best work, which keeps your immune system healthy and strong. Not enough can be said or written about all the good things exercise does for your body. Remember the phrase: “move it or lose it”. 

Optimize Vitamin D Levels - You surely have heard about Vitamin D and its benefits. Pages could be written about this vitamin but a few words on why it is important for a strong immune system should suffice: A review paper published by the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research explains that the cells of the immune system contain vitamin D receptors. The particular cells that contain these receptors include antigen- presenting cells, T cells, and B cells. This means that vitamin D is able to assist with the action of the immune system and, according to the review paper, may also help to reduce the risk of getting an infection.

Even with the many medications and remedies out there, strengthening and maintaining your personal immune system is always the best strategy (among many) for a healthy life.

References Cited: 

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