Boosting Your Immune System – It’s pretty clear that your immune system is your ultimate safety feature.
It protects you from invading infection, fights the ones that make it through and is also responsible for healing and recovery.
Most people are aware of this simple dynamic, but how the immune system really works, its main components, and what steps you can take to improve it are not so common knowledge.
That’s why We want to help you unravel the mystery of your body’s natural defense system so you can figure out how to boost your immune system for better disease prevention and recovery.
Before we get into that, let’s look at the many vital parts that form the immune system.
Components of the Immune System
The immune system is a complex network of tissues and chemical reactions distributed across the body like a police network.
The first line of defense, although not considered a component of the immune system, is your skin.
Your skin forms a natural physical barrier against unwanted objects and organisms.
In this way, the skin also acts as somewhat of a signal to your body’s internal defenses.
That’s because whenever the skin is compromised in whatever way, an immediate immune response takes place where resources from all centers of the immune system gather to asses and defend against a potential threat.
So what are these centers, these parts of the immune system?
Antibodies are like little tracking devices with very specific settings based on what germs they are targeting.
Antibodies work by recognizing unique biological structures on bad microbes or the chemicals these infections produce.
These structural patterns are called antigens and are the signature that singles out a different infection.
Of course, in order for specific antibodies to be produced for an infection, your immune system needs to have a reference point for what it is marking off.
This typically means being previously exposed to an infection or disease.
That’s what is meant by gaining immunity. You adapt to an unfavorable intruder by learning its biological pattern, then producing antibodies that mark it off if it ever tries to bother you again.
In most cases, developing immunity, which as we explained means creating disease-specific antibodies, happens once you’ve been infected, get sick and recover.
But thanks to advances in medical science over the generations, we now have vaccines.
A vaccine is usually a very weakened version of a virus, fungus or bacteria that is deliberately introduced to your body so your immune system can have the benefit of adapting antibodies for it, while not having to deal with the impact of a full-on disease.
Bone Marrow :-
Bone marrow is the soft spongy tissue found inside our bones.
You might have thought your bones only serve a mechanical benefit, allowing you to move and support your body.
But your bones have a very, very important separate job, and this happens through the marrow.
See, your bone marrow produces all your blood cells. Your red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
We all know that red blood cells are important for transporting oxygen around the body for all metabolic activity. This means red blood cells are inherently necessary for your immune system.
But in a more direct sense, it is your white blood cells and platelets that handle immune functions.
Your platelets are small cells that help your blood clot when your blood vessels are damaged and you begin to bleed.
This happens because your blood vessels have a special signaling ability when they get broken to call in for platelets.
Platelets collect quickly at the damage site and begin forming a barrier that blocks blood from leaving while also preventing foreign objects from entering.
This process is called adhesion and involves the little platelet cells sprouting out sticky tentacles that allow them to stick together and form a strong barrier while your body begins the healing process.
White Blood Cells
White blood cells are responsible for directly fighting off infections. They are also known by the more scientifically correct name, leukocyte.
Just like all other blood cells, white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow.
They are then found in the blood and lymphatic systems where they are on patrol as they travel through the body.
White blood cells have many different variations each with different specializations. These subcategories are rather complicated so let’s stick to the basics in this video.
For your sake, what is important to know is that white blood cells are a good indicator of your current state of health.
When your WBC count spikes, it’s a good indication that there is some sort of disease or infection currently invading your body.
That’s why certain tests for diseases rely on checking your white blood cell count.
The complement system is a resource support system for all your regular immune functions.
If you think of your immune system as an army on the front line, your complement system is essentially a supply drop, making sure your soldiers have weapons, ammo, and provisions to fight the battle.
Your complement system is an intricate system of proteins and enzymes that help immune cells target, kill and clean out harmful germs.
The lymphatic system is your other circulatory network, the other being cardiovascular which pumps blood.
Your lymphatic system contains a clear fluid called lymph, which is made of white blood cells and other substances and cells.
As you know by now, white blood cells are the main immune cells in your body.
Your lymphatic system has little hubs all across your body called lymph nodes. These nodes are like little military bases for your immune cells, ready to have them deployed when the need arises.
The spleen is an organ responsible for filtering blood, helping your body get rid of microbes which could cause infection.
Your spleen also helps produces cells and substances that fight infections such as white blood cells and antibodies.
The thymus is an immune organ responsible for monitoring blood content and detecting threats and deficiencies.
It is also the place where t-lymphocytes, a special type of white blood cells, are produced.
So with that said, the best way to boost your immune system is to boost the function of these components.
We’re going to introduce some of the best-proven methods as well as myths to avoid when it comes to improving your immune system health.
Truths and Myths About Your Immune System
Myth #1: A very strong immune system can make you invincible
The idea that through precise and mindful lifestyle habits you can fine-tune your immune system to the point of invulnerability is a total myth.
Your immune system is an adaptive system. That means it adapts to stress and exposure in order to make it more resilient overall.
Antibodies are produced in response to specific infections. They are not just lying in wait depending on how strong your immune system presumably is.
You will get sick and your immune system will get bypassed through your lifetime, no matter what you think you’ve done to strengthen it.
A strong immune system simply means that disease and infections have less overall impact on your state of wellbeing and your will likely recovery is quicker.
A strong immune system also indicates that it was once much weaker.
Sure, live a healthy life that optimizes your immune response, but never assumes that you are invincible because of it.
Myth #2: Vitamin C is The Ultimate Immune Booster
This myth still has quite a lot of traction, probably owing to the heavy investment of vitamin C supplements in the pharmaceuticals and supplements industry.
It is marketed and considered the most essential immune-boosting nutrient off all.
The truth is, vitamin C is not an immune system super booster after all.
Vitamin C was isolated as important for the immune system during times and circumstances where it was deficient.
This was evident by the prevalence of scurvy amongst sailors in the pre-industrial era.
This illness leads to soft tissue damage such as bleeding gums as well as skin conditions and fatigue.
The deficiency of vitamin C does compromise the immune system for sure, but its excess does not boost the immune system significantly.
With the modern western diet, vitamin C is in abundance. Deficiency has been all but eliminated.
Making sure you have a balanced diet with a good amount of whole fruits and vegetables will allow you to get all the vitamin C you need.
But what does vitamin C even do?
Well, its an antioxidant, which means it helps reduce the death of important cells and tissues while assisting with a reduction of inflammation and speeding up recovery from disease and injury.
Truth #1: Eating Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables Can Boost Your Immune System
This is quite an obvious truth, but one many overlooks.
That’s because people seem to think the concentrated extracts of nutrients found in drugs and supplements are superior to sourcing immune-boosting compounds naturally.
Remember, drugs and supplements are meant to play supporting roles, your main concern should always be the food on your plate.
But why is that? Whi is the food we eat, especially fruits and vegetables, more effective in boosting the immune system and combating the disease.
That’s because natural, whole foods are a very intricate balance of essential and non-essential nutrients designed for maximum bio availability.
Their role in nature is to supply ecosystems with resources.
Fruit, for example, is designed to assist in the reproduction of plants by trading in energy and nutrients with other creatures in an ecosystem.
Because of this, fruits and veg often contain healthy compounds that need to interact with each other for effective uptake and use by the body.
Taking supplements that isolate nutrients and antioxidants can make it harder for your body to absorb and process them.
Truth #2: Sleep and Exercise are Essential Immune Boosters
Just like a good, healthy diet, adequate, good quality sleep and exercise are essential in order to maintain a healthy immune system.
Sleep is still something we have yet to fully understand in terms of its full benefits, but we do know for certain that not getting enough of it has a negative impact on your health.
Consider a good night’s sleep as a system reset.
It allows your body to repair and recover from all the micro strains and traumas daily life brings, including the tissues and organs responsible for your immune system.
As for exercise, it helps create a more resilient and well-adapted body, which generally means it’s better at fighting illness.
Regular exercise also boosts your metabolism, which gives your immune system a good kick in the butt.
Another benefit of moving and working out is that it helps your lymphatic system remain active. Unlike your cardiovascular system which has the heart as a pump.
Your lymph has no active means of circulating. It relies on muscular contractions as you move to make the fluid flow around the body.
That means the simple act of moving supports your immune system.
Both sleep and exercise also have mental health benefits, and your mental state is a huge factor in the quality of your immune system.
It’s important to remember, that when it comes to exercise, too much can have the opposite effect on your immune system.
You must also be mindful of how your train if you do have a preexisting health concern. Exercise puts a strain on your body, and the way your body recovers might borrow resources that would have been used to ward off or fight an infection.
Try not to over-train or train when you’re not feeling well.
Truth #3: Your Gut Health Is Linked To Your Immune Health
Many people don’t know this, but your immune system mainly originates from your gut.
A large portion of your immune system sits in your digestive system.
Just by the simple fact that your gut lining is the gateway between what you put in your mouth and what ends up in your bloodstream already means it has a responsibility to your ability to stay safe from unwanted microbes.
Another important aspect of the gut as it relates to your immune system is how the lining of your gut produces large quantities of antibodies.
This is as the first line of defense against any detected nasties you may have ingested.
So maintaining gut health lines up with maintaining immune health.
You can boost your immune system, but it is important to understand what works and what doesn’t as well as the fact that boosting your immune system does not make you invincible from infection.
Stay safe and be mindful.
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