There are billions of germs, bacterium, viruses, parasites, fungi, toxic chemicals, and other organisms that attack us everyday with one objective, to invade our bodies and take up residence. These viral contaminates stalk the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink. They get on our hands, our face, our clothing, and eventually within us. When enough of them succeed in infiltrating our body, we get sick. The resulting illnesses are colds, ulcers, the swine flu, and even cancer. Gratefully, our bodies are designed with natural defenses to protect us from these invaders, unfortunately as you get older, our resistance to these invaders diminishes.
After the age of 40 or so you may begin to notice that it takes longer to fight off these invaders and if you actually become sick, recovery takes a lot longer. It is as if your body’s immune system has forgotten how to do its job. In an effort to re-educate it self, your body slow down (as if it is taking a refresher course in immunity 101) which grants an advantage to the invading contaminate. They grow stronger and their numbers increase. The aging of our immune system (immunosenescence) just happens if you live, it is inevitable. Lifestyle choices, from what you eat to how you handle stress, can accelerate it or decelerate it. Improving these lifestyle choices can result in a dramatic boost in your immune system’s response.
With the cold and flu season upon us and swine flu already affecting millions it is now time to train and strength your immune system so it can effective defend your body against these germs and viruses . The germs and viruses which make you sick enter your body through openings. The eyes, nose, and mouth are the major openings through which they gain access. Your two major immune systems, the innate and the acquired, work together to protect the body. The innate immune systems patrols your body, searching for invading germs and virus and stop them by using built-in defenses, such as mucus which is a type of germ flypaper. The other members of the innate team are immunoglobulin and phagocytes. Immunoglobulin (IgA) is based in your body fluids. It watches out for and immobilizes foreign substances. Phagocytes a sort of white blood cell, which sweeps through your blood and destroys the invading pathogens. Innate immunity is generally all the body needs to protect itself.
Unfortunately there are some pathogens which have devised methods to beat the innate immunity system and slip by it. This is when the acquired immunity system’s defenses come into play. Your acquired immunity system mobilizes its three powerful white blood cell components. These white blood cells not only attack and kill invading germs, they also attacks and destroys your bodies own cells if they become damaged. The acquired system three white blood cells consist of B lymphocytes (from the bone marrow), T lymphocytes (from the thymus), and NK (natural killer). B lymphocytes remember the signature of every germ, virus, and bacteria it has encountered before and reports this information to the T and NK cells so they know how to attack the intruding pathogen.
If either of your immune system is weaken for any reason, your risk of disease and infection increases. There are many ways to beef up your immune system to protect your body from illness. Many experts concur the millions of pounds of pharmaceuticals used to raise the feed lock food we eat has help make a number of bacteria more resistant to the drugs which are suppose to kill them. Reducing consumption of red meat or adding more organically (raised without antibiotics) raised chicken and red meat to your diet is always a good start. Eating right improves the functioning of all of your bodies cells. Including more vegetables, fruits, whole grains and omega-3 rich fish aids your heart and your immune defenses. Vaccine immunization is one of the best lines of defense. Adults should be aware some of the immunizations you received when you were a child may no longer be effective and in some cases newer ones have been developed so you should discuss this with your doctor. Shiitake mushrooms are a powerhouse of germ fighters. The fungi within the Shiitake mushrooms and white buttons are very beneficial. It stimulates the immune system.
The majority of your body’s immune system is housed in the stomach and digestive tract area. Since a lot of the bacteria and germs invade your body through the food you eat and water you drink, supplementation with supplements that strengthen your digestive tract is another means of beefing up your immune system. Probiotics such as acidophilus and bifidophilus (found in yogurt) boost digestion. Prebiotics such as inulin and fructo-oligosacchrides feed the healthy bacteria in your colon which is also good for immunity. Vitamin D is the little recognized wonder vitamin which also boosts immunity and aids the respiratory system.
Adding these immunity boosting practices to the age old, everyone already knows list of immune system builders, which include, reduce and eliminate stressful situations and lifestyles, meditate and relax, exercise regularly, involve more in intimate contact with your significant other, get more sleep, stay away from sick people, and wash your hands often, will add additional support towards strengthening your immune system. Put your immune system on high alert by integrating these strategies for optimum immunity. By following these suggestions your immune response will increase and protect you against attacks by germs, bacteria, and viruses. The enemy is in the air, food, and water. Send your immune system to boot camp and give it a fighting chance.
Resource: The Secret Life of Germs by Philip M. Tierno Jr., PhD
Tags: immune system booster, health and wellness, prevent flu, alternative medicine