What is immunity do you ask? Immunity in scientific terms is referred to as ‘the state of being protected from the pathogens-disease causing microbes’ and our body’s immune system has developed ways to defend and destroy the pathogens that enter our immune system.
Our body consists of white and red blood cells. The red blood cells help oxygen travel around our body and the white blood cells are designed to help defend our body from the ‘outside world’. They are a critical component of our immune system. White blood cells consist of further specialized cells like T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, natural killer cells, basophils, neutrophils, and eosinophils, and monocytes. All of these designed to help fight disease-causing pathogens.
As soon as a pathogen enters our body, our immune system sends out an ‘army’ of white blood cells to eliminate any form of threat that could potentially harm our immunity. We have two types of immunity; innate immunity and adaptive immunity.
Found in almost all animals and plants, the innate immunity is the first line of action to defend our body. It is the quick response of our immunity, usually occurring within minutes of a pathogen entering our body.
Adaptive immunity is pathogen-specific. In its archives, it will store information about a pathogen that has previously entered the body. Upon a pathogens second entry, the adaptive immunity will be able to identify how to defend the body from the previous encounter and will kill the disease almost instantly. This is the reason why once you have recovered from an infectious disease, you are very unlikely to suffer from it again thanks to your adaptive immunity.
Immunity, whether innate or adaptive, helps you to stay healthy, but there are some natural ways to help boost and strengthen your immune response. The following are some of the natural ways to support your immunity naturally.
Positive Feeling and Thinking
Stress is known to harm the human immune system. When you are stressed, a hormone called Corticosteroid is released in the body reducing the number of lymphocytes. Due to the lack of lymphocytes, your body’s pathogen recognition ability of the immune system is affected and weakened.
Being overworked and feeling burned out is often an issue that we all experience, especially entrepreneurs. To stay positive you have to find a strong supportive network of other conscious-minded business owners, who will support you and be there to keep you positive. By being in a state of positivity and determination, you improve your emotional levels which boost the immune system. If really believe in your skills and business your positive emotions will increase.
So by staying positive and engaging in constructive activities, you can support your immunity naturally. Meditation is also great at increasing your calm and reducing stress.
With technology constantly adapting and imporving, many of us have become accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. Although that isn’t necessarily a negative, being in the sedentary lifestyle, you are weakening your immunity and a great way to enhance it is by introducing daily exercise.
Regular exercise can strengthen your immunity in a variety of ways. First of all, exercise improves your blood circulation. With improved blood circulation the helper T-cells are in a better position to find out pathogens and foreign microbes. Secondly, when you exercise regularly, your stress levels are lowered and a soothing feeling is conducive for the health of your immune system. Finally, regular exercise keeps the obesity epidemic at bay. Obesity impairs the immune response in a variety of ways and lowers your cell function. A study has shown that regular and moderate exercise lowers the risks of upper respiratory tract infections URTI.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is another great way to naturally boost your immune system. A well-balanced diet contains the essential nutrients your body needs to perform at an optimal level. Your diet should contain a variety of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibres, and of course water.
Carbs are a major source of energy which sustain the vital bodily processes like your metabolism. Without carbohydrates, the metabolism in your white blood cells would not occur and therefore without carbohydrates, your immune system would.
Protein is a secondary source of energy. In the absence of carbohydrates, proteins are used for deriving energy. Besides, proteins are a critical component of various cells and tissues, for example, antibodies-a component of the immune system- is made up of proteins.
Fats also serve as a great energy source in the absence of carbohydrates and proteins and also are part of your body’s cells and tissues. They also serve as a solvent for fat-soluble vitamins and area natural immune boosters.
Vitamins are natural immune boosters. They help your immune system by neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals (almost all vitamins), by facilitating wound healing (vitamin C) and by erecting barriers (vitamin A) against infectious pathogens.
Minerals are a great way to positively affect your immune system. A good example is Zinc and Selenium. Zinc helps control your body’s inflammation, whereas Selenium slows down overactive immune responses.
Although dietary fibres are not directly related to the immune system it impacts our immunity indirectly. Dietary fibres improve digestion and are the reason minerals and vitamins can be distributed in the body. They also help get rid of our metabolic waste.
Finally, water helps keep our immune system in an active state. It helps in the production of the lymphatic fluid, an important component of our immune system. It also flushes out toxins and free radicals out of the body. Water also aids digestion, thus making essential nutrients available to the body.
The immune system is essential for our survival. In the world where there are increasingly powerful microbes, we need a robust immune system to help prevent us from becoming seriously poorly. By trying to incorporate a bit more of the natural ways discussed in this blog post, we can try to help make ourselves a bit safer.
Liam is starting out in the world of entrepreneurship for the second time and this time his mission is to help the UK become healthier. At 18 years old he was weighing in at 20 stone and has been on a lifelong journey to never reach that weight again! He started Herbal Living UK to help make health supplements affordable for everyone as well as share some of the information he learned on his own health and fitness journey. Check out his website Herbal Living UK for more information! I’m super pleased to be teaming up with him!