The immune system is the body’s defense against infectious organisms and other invaders.
This system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body. One of the important cells involved are white blood cells, also called leukocytes, which come in two basic types that combine to seek out and destroy disease-causing organisms or substances. Although we still don’t know everything there is to know about the immune system, because of it’s complexity, there are simple and beneficial steps that can be done.
Don’t put the immune system into overdrive through external stressor – when the body experiences foreign invaders such as high amounts of processed foods, alcohol, cosmetics, and toiletries it will spend the majority of its time ridding the body of those toxins and won’t be readily available for “germ-like” invaders. Set up a defense before it’s too late.
Create a healthy gut environment
– eliminate processed sugars or foods that convert to sugars (chips, pretzels, bread or ‘bread’ like products as they can dramatically weaken the the immune system.
-minimizes processed cheeses
– eliminate unhealthy fats (vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil)
– add foods that will create good bacteria – fermented foods, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, pickles
– non sunscreen sun exposure 10-20mins a day can increase your vitamin D which in turn will increase immunity. Without vitamin D, which is very weak through pill form, the immune system struggles with growth.
Although I’m not a fan of supplements, if it is an emergency case, zinc, selenium and vitamin C are my top picks for production, development and movement of white blood cells for a better immune system. I would reach out to a holistic doctor for a recommendation as most brands are knock-offs. For everyday living, stick with foods that can provide these nutrients.
What about when I’ve become sick? Do I use antibiotics?
From my opinion, I try to avoid all antibiotics, even ibuprofen and Tylenol as these pills cause damage to the good bacteria in the gut and when when the gut is compromised, the immune system drowns. Instead, I would take a holistic approach and load up on foods that will aid in the demands of the immune system.
Below are a list of foods that are my favorites if I know the immune system is in trouble…
Foods to aid immunity
-homemade bone broth
-egg yolk (from pastured chickens)
-apple cider vinegar
-garlic, turmeric, ginger
-lemon and mint infused water
-raw chia and sunflower seeds
-crustaceans and fatty fish (high in omega 3)
Does getting in nature really strengthen the immune system?
Yes. Earthing, also known as grounding, is a “health discovery” that the disconnect of our bare feet/hands from the Earth may make us more vulnerable to inflammation, stress, poor sleep, and a weak immune system. In early human times, we were touching the earths surface at a much greater consistency and consequently were less sick. Ongoing research is demonstrating clearly that reconnecting with the Earth upholds the electrical stability of our bodies and serves as a foundation for vitality, health, and healing. In an age of rampant chronic inflammation and disease, “grounding” ourselves provides a natural, simple and powerful path to health. Getting connected to the earth has a biological meaning to our systems and the brain. There is an electrical energy that the Earth provides that signals to the body that it is secure with nature. Walking in the grass with our bare feet, putting hands in soil (gardening) and sand, and getting in natural bodies of water are simple ways of getting grounded.