What is the Immune System?

A health article about Immune System from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

You might be sabotaging your immune system without even know it.

Many common lifestyle habits can have a negative effect on the health of your immune system.

This can leave you more vulnerable to illnesses like the common cold and the flu, and even contribute to the development of cancer and other serious diseases.

Replacing bad habits with healthy habits can bolster the strength and effectiveness of your immunity to diseases.

Boosting your system is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

It has a significant impact on longevity.

Consider how many people die from the flu and other common ailments, especially as they age and their levels of immunity decreases.

Your immune system has a big job to do fighting off germs, environmental toxins, and other threats.

Wouldn't you like to give it a hand to make its work easier?

Immune System boost

How Does Your Immune System Protect You?

Many people are aware of what your immune system does, because it’s essentially in the name.

It provides the rest of your body with immunity to things like diseases and illnesses.

However, a crucial part of understanding things is not just knowing what they do, but also how they do it.

Many people don’t have a clear idea of how exactly  systems are helping you stave off viruses, but it’s an important part of understanding your own reactions to illness and what your body needs to keep protecting itself.

One of the most common things that you’ll find your immune system doing to protect you is giving you a Fever.

While most people associate fevers with being a bad thing, minor fevers can actually help you.

Your body will raise its temperature in order to kill off the virus in your body, which can’t survive well under higher temperatures.

Higher fevers can be quite dangerous still, so keep track of your temperature in case it gets too high.

Another response your body has to foreign bodies is the use of white blood cells.

White blood cells are sort of the enforcers of your body, taking out any kinds of harmful microorganisms that it finds.

When you get sick, some white blood cells will attach themselves to the organisms to weaken them, while others will attack them directly to try to kill them off.

These cells will then learn about the type of organisms they fought off, and that’s how you build up an immunity in the future.

You might find that one uncomfortable symptom of getting sick is that you might have certain parts of your body get inflamed.

Inflammation is uncomfortable and annoying, and might be a sign of an infection, but it’s also a part of your body’s immune system.

When bacteria enters your body, it will travel through your blood vessels in order to spread.

By inflaming portions of your body, you’re able to constrict the blood vessels in that area, making it more difficult for the infection to spread.

Additionally, the inflammation alerts your white blood cells that there is an infection, making the response much quicker to try to get rid of it.

While many of your body’s reactions to illnesses might be annoying, uncomfortable, and gross, it can certainly benefit you in the long run.

It’s important to keep your immune system well maintained so that it can continue to keep up these functions to prevent a serious illness.

Understanding Your Immune System

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While fully understanding the different systems of your body can be difficult, it’s a bit easier if you break them down into their individual components.

When it comes to your immune system, there are five main parts of it that you need to know about.

All of these parts work together to help your immune system keep you healthy and free of any serious illnesses.

The first part of your immune system to understand, and arguably one of the most important, is your white blood cells.

These cells are the troopers in your body, responding directly to anything that it perceives as a threat in order to take it out and prevent it from doing any additional damage.

There are two main types, each of which has a different function when attacking foreign cells.

One type will attach on to the opposing cell and weaken it, while the other will attack it directly in an attempt to kill it off.

The part of your immune system that helps the white blood cells is the complement system.

This system basically boosts the effectiveness of the white blood cells in a few different ways.

One thing it does is send out signals for the white blood cells to eat the microorganisms that they take out, allowing them to clear them out of the system.

Additionally, it’s the system that causes inflammation, which weakens disease cells.

Finally, when it comes to bacterial threats, it can rupture the membrane protecting it, which allows the cells to easily attack them.

Your lymphatic system is a crucial part of your immune system, but is also a component of your circulatory system.

Throughout various blood vessels, the lymphatic system helps them transport certain things through the blood stream.

Of course this is important for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to your immune system, this is essentially the highway which transports and directs white blood cells through your blood stream so that they can get to the infection site and do their job.

Bone marrow is a very important component of your body because it’s what produces the white blood cells that your body will use.

It additionally creates red blood cells and platelets, which is what hardens and clots up to help stop bleeding.

Finally, there’s the spleen, which helps filter your blood.

This removes any microorganisms found in your blood, and it also helps your immune system by creating things like antibodies, which help in the fight against diseases.

What Diseases Negatively Affect Your Immune System?

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Some of the worst diseases that you can get are those that turn your own immune system against you.

There are diseases out there that will cause your body to betray itself, causing your white blood cells to damage other parts of your body because they get confused on what they’re supposed to be going after.

These diseases, known as autoimmune disorders, can be very serious if not treated, and put your immune system at serious risk.

One autoimmune disease that you’ve likely heard of is type-1 Diabetes.

Type-1 is differentiated from type-2 by the fact that type-2 comes from being unhealthy and eating excessive amounts of sugar, while type-1 is genetic and unavoidable for most people.

Type-1 diabetes causes your immune system to go after the parts of your body that produce insulin, which regulates your blood sugar levels and helps your cells make use of it for energy.

Without insulin, your body will not use the sugar properly, and you can very easily lose consciousness, so those afflicted with this disease need to inject themselves with doses of insulin.

Lupus Erythematosus is a very serious autoimmune disease if it’s not treated.

Essentially, your body will target certain tissues and begin to fight them, causing irritation and rashes to spring up in various places.

It can affect anything from skin and joints to your heart or lungs. Untreated, this disease is very serious, and can certainly be deadly.

However, with treatment, the symptoms can be heavily reduced, though they can never be fully healed.

One autoimmune disease that’s typically experienced by older people is Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA.

This disease causes your immune system to go after the soft lining of your joints, which can be very painful and cause inflammation in that area.

This can make things like walking difficult if it’s in your knees or picking things up hard if it’s in your elbows or wrists.

The reason these diseases are so dangerous is that they’re typically chronic, meaning that they don’t just pop up and go away like the flu does.

Instead, they’re something you have to deal with for prolonged periods of time, and once you get it, your immune system is going to be far less effective, making you more susceptible to things like pneumonia, the flu, and the common cold.

By treating the symptoms, you’re able to relieve this problem somewhat, but many autoimmune diseases are never fully cured.

How Your Gut Health Plays a Role in Your Immune System

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Gut health is something that means keeping the right number of and the right kind of bacteria that you have in your digestive system.

When you do have everything within balance, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll be healthier because the gut bacteria can help to enable your immune system to fight off things such as inflammation.

Though it might seem like a strange concept to some people, you really are what you eat.

Scientists have proven that there is a definite link between your gut health and how well your immune system fares.

When your gut is healthy, your immune system benefits from that. When it’s not, then your immune system just doesn’t work as well.

There have been numerous studies done on the relationship between the bacteria in your gut and the condition of the immune system.

Poor gut health equals a weaker immune response.

These same studies have shown that by improving your gut health, you can increase the bacteria that’s in your gut, which is what your body needs to fight infections off.

Having plenty of this bacteria is what triggers the boost to your immune system, which in return helps your overall health. Plus, it works to help reduce bigger health issues.

For example, by boosting your gut health, you can also keep certain illnesses and diseases from happening to you or, you can improve the degree to which they affect you.

This might be a condition such as diabetes and certain cancers like colon cancer.

Many people don’t really understand gut health, much less how powerful it can be.

But taking care of your gut is one of the most effective health steps you can take to fight back against serious viruses.

You might think that you have a little bacteria in your gut, but the number is actually in the trillions.

These little guys are known as microbiota, but used to be more widely acknowledged as gut flora.

There are good guys and there are bad guys at play.

Some of the microbiota are good for you and help your body while others, the bad kind of bacteria, not so much.

When the good bacteria is depleted, then everything gets kicked out of balance.

Bad bacteria can flourish and this bacteria does not step up to help you fight diseases or viruses.

This out of balance issue is what you might have heard of when someone recommend the “restoring of gut health.”

Gut health isn’t something that can fit into a simple box of having everyone do the same things, such as eating the exact same amount of gut health food - because not everyone is identical with their gut health problems.

You may not have the same type or even the same exact amount of gut bacteria as someone else for several reasons, because there are many things in your life that can influence what your gut bacteria consists of.

These are things such as how old you are or your family’s health history. Your genetics can determine your bacteria levels.

What kind of physical shape you’re in can also play a part in determining your gut health.

Plus, your gut bacteria can also be determined by what kinds of foods that you eat.

A healthier diet strengthens gut health and allows it to boost your immune system. It can also be influenced by whatever prescription drugs that you might take.

Some drugs are known to deplete healthy gut bacteria.

You want to make sure that you practice a good gut bacteria lifestyle because of how the bacteria fights for you.

When you do become sick, having made sure you have good gut health can help you feel better faster as well as help the effects of the illness not be as severe.

When you get your gut health where it needs to be and you catch something, the right bacteria goes to work to destroy whatever it is that’s attacking your body quickly. This way, whatever you catch has a smaller chance of lingering.

Because you can’t go back in time and fix the family health history that was passed down to you from birth, you have to start now to make sure all is well.

While you won’t be able to change the makeup of the bacteria that’s uniquely yours, you can make sure that you increase the bacteria that’s better for you.

There are many steps that you can take to be proactive with your gut health that can improve your immune system.

For example, you can follow the recommended health guidelines for what to take as far as medications, vitamins and so on so that you change the kind of bacteria in your gut.

If you do this, you’ll be able to increase the healthy bacteria you have.

One of the steps you can take right now is to follow a gut diet that increases the number of bacteria you already have.

When you boost the amount of bacteria you have, they settle within your intestines and work to improve how your body recognizes foreign invaders such as viruses and harmful bacteria.

You’ll learn what you should do to get it to boost your immune system, but you’ll also learn what foods or habits you should stay away from.

This will be more effective the longer you implement a system like this.

Prevention of Immune System Deficiencies

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How to Navigate the Role of Antibiotics in Ensuring Your Body Can Stave Off Disease

Antibiotics have a bad reputation for a good reason. More often than not, they’re overprescribed.

They’re prescribed for conditions that they don’t help such as being given to treat a viral infection, which antibiotics don’t assist with.

People don’t always take them according to directions when they do have a condition that antibiotics can help with. Plus, these medications come with some nasty side effects.

While they’re meant to help your body, they can do just the opposite. When used during times that they’re not needed, antibiotics can cause bacteria to strengthen.

This can lead to bacteria not responding to antibiotics when you do need them.

But they also impact your gut health, which is what influences your immune system. The impact stems from the damage that the medication does to your system.

Your body can often fight things off on its own - even serious health problems such as the flu.

When you introduce antibiotics, that’s when things get dicey. Antibiotics don’t kill viruses. But they will kill your body’s defense system.

These are your white blood cells, which rush to your aid when you get sick.

Your body is always on the go to manufacture white blood cells because your body uses them to fight off health invaders.

So when your count is high, it means that your body is battling something in order to either keep you from getting ill or to help you get over whatever made you ill.

Raised levels of white blood cells can also mean that you’re under stress. This is all part of a normal response from your immune system.

It’s working just like it should. However, when you introduce antibiotics, especially if they’re not needed, the antibiotic doesn’t come with a decision making ability.

It doesn’t know how to protect the bacteria in your gut that helps you. It doesn’t know to target bad bacteria without harming the good bacteria. So what antibiotics do is they wipe them both out.

Not only can this cause damage to your cells but to your immune system, too. Antibiotics weaken your system.

This happens all because the medicine kills the good bacteria, which is responsible for producing and helping white blood cells to thrive.

It only takes a couple of days for an antibiotic to lessen the number of bacteria your gut has.

If you’re someone who doesn’t eat in a way that can replenish the bacteria, you could end up not having a good gut bacteria balance for months on end.

When you use antibiotics often, your immune system’s defense screen can go down, and it can no longer keep you safe from the bacterial germs that will make you very sick.

One problem is that antibiotics don’t just work against your system’s ability to fight back against bacterial infections.

They prevent the immune system from rebounding in time to keep viral infections from occurring.

So what can you do in order to make sure the role of antibiotics is the right one to protect your gut health and keep your immune system working well? You must only use an antibiotic when you have to.

If you have a mild infection, see if your body will fight it off on its own first.

Sometimes, though, there’s just no way around taking an antibiotic. If your doctor says you really need one, then take it.

The medication can be useful in fighting things like strep throat. If that’s the case, then doing so can be a good thing.

But just don’t take the antibiotic without using something to protect your gut bacteria.

What you can do is to take probiotics at the same time you’re taking the antibiotic.

Doing this can help to protect the good bacteria in your gut. If you do have to use antibiotics, never take it for longer than you’re instructed.

Never take more than you need and follow the instructions to the letter.

What some people do is they feel better after a few days, so they quit taking the medicine. Then the infection rebounds stronger than ever.

Plus, if you end up not following the directions, when you get sick again, your system could still be under the weather and unable to handle the new thing it’s hit with.

While it is important that you take probiotics when you’re also taking an antibiotic, you don’t want to end there.

You also want to limit the amount of sugar you eat because this can cause bad bacteria to thrive and leave your body vulnerable to an overgrowth. Replenish your body’s stores after you’ve been on an antibiotic.

It’s a good thing to continue to consume a lot of probiotic foods for months or even years after you’ve been sick. This can help to restore your immune system.

You should also take probiotics as well as other vitamin and minerals whenever you’ve had an illness that’s led to diarrhea or vomiting.

Both of these issues can deplete healthy gut bacteria and weaken the immune system.

But something else that you can do is make sure that the foods that you eat offer plenty of antioxidants as well as are known to boost the immune system. Eat some extra servings of fermented foods which contain probiotics.

Immunity Boosters You Can Work on with Your Doctor

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1. Get your shots.

Maybe you think shots are for school kids and exotic travel. Actually, tetanus boosters and flu vaccines are recommended for many patients. Ask your doctor if they're appropriate for you.

2. Schedule screenings.

Screenings help detect cancer and other conditions early on while they're still curable or controllable. Many tests are quick, safe, and painless.

3. Quit smoking.

It's becoming easier to give up tobacco, so keep trying. Your doctor can help you customize a strategy that works for you, like nicotine patches or online support.

4. Discuss your family history.

While you can't change your genes, you can talk with your health team about how they affect your immune response.

That way, you and your physician can better understand your individual risks and how to address them.

Catch fewer colds and protect yourself from more serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes by taking care of your immune system.

A healthy lifestyle and appropriate medical care can extend your life and help you stay active.

How to Test Your Gut for Food Intolerances

Your body will always give you a clue when something’s going on.

This is especially true when you have a food intolerance.

You might eat a certain food and then have a problem with a runny nose - or you might develop a rash.

It could be that your gut will react by bloating up or your stomach starts cramping.

Some people have bowel issues, such as constipation or diarrhea when they eat a food their system can’t tolerate.

If you do have a food intolerance, you’ll want to avoid that food because it can trigger your immune system.

A food intolerance can also acerbate certain conditions such as celiac disease or IBS.

You might know that you have a food intolerance. But many people have them and don’t realize that they do. There are many allergies that are well known such as a nut allergy.

Other allergies such as an allergy to foods that contain MSG aren’t as well known.

The reason that you want to test your gut for food intolerance is because of what an intolerance can do to your body.

Sometimes, you can get an immediate reaction to an intolerance such as your skin might have a breakout. Other times, you won’t. You might find that you’re constantly battling inflammations.

Or, it could be that you start to struggle with your focus. Both of these can be a sign of a food intolerance.

Because it’s something that you might have lived with all your life or for several years, what’s going on with your body might be something that you’ve been shrugging off.

You define it as just part of who you are. Your symptoms can vary from a migraine, which can be caused by foods that contain MSG, or it can be caused by foods that are what’s known as histamine dense.

These are foods or beverages such as processed meats, certain types of seafood, alcohol and more.

When you have a Food Allergy intolerance, you can end up causing your immune system to react to whatever is causing the inflammatory reaction.

The more your immune system is forced to react, the greater the response can sometimes be. A food intolerance can be linked to not having enough of the good bacteria in your gut.

When your gut isn’t healthy, you’ll experience problems with digesting some foods.

If you have an imbalance with bacteria, this can also create what’s known as a histamine intolerance.

This is directly linked to poor digestion due to poor gut health. Your body can’t effectively handle the making of the digestive enzymes your gut needs.

To ensure that your food intolerances aren’t causing problems for your gut, you can get tested so that you can correct any issues.

You can do what’s known as at-home testing. When you do this, you order a kit that is mailed out to you. There are a variety of kits to choose from.

Follow the directions in the kit, which is usually sending them a sample of your blood by using the finger prick or a hair sample.

If you do have a food intolerance, the kit will test for what’s known as immunoglobulin antibodies or IgG. These antibodies are present when your body is fighting something.

Your body’s immune system treats the food intolerance as a foreign pathogen, like a virus or some kind of bacteria and starts to fight against it.

If you do have the presence of these antibodies, then you have an issue with a food.

One of the most common causes of a food intolerance is your gut health because these foods either irritate your digestive system or the environment in your gut isn’t functioning the way that it should.

To get an accurate picture of whether or not you do have a food intolerance that’s affecting your gut, you would need to check both your immunoglobulin A and G.

So when looking for a test, make sure that you get one that’s thorough, otherwise, you might not get all the information that you need.

But you can also figure out your food intolerance by using a process of elimination. Understand that if you do have an intolerance, you might be able to have a little bit of a food and not have an issue.

Then when you have it again or eat more of it, you will. This is common in food intolerances such as with foods that contain MSG. Keep a food log to track your intolerance.

In this log, you would list everything that you eat including how much of it you ate.

If you end up noticing that you experience a problem then make a note of whatever that problem is and how it made you feel such as nauseated, stomach cramps, etc.

Use the log to track everything you eat - including snacks. Use it for at least a month. Then look back over the log to get a picture of how the different foods affected you.

If you notice that you had issues after eating a particular food, don’t eat that food for a week or two but keep tracking everything else.

Then eat the food again and see if the issue you experienced happen again. If so, then you’ll know that you have an intolerance to that item.

It could be that you’re only troubled by an ingredient in a recipe rather than the entire dish.

For example, some people have food intolerances for foods such as onions or celery because they contain sulfites which many people can’t eat without having some type of physical reaction.

Keep in mind that one thing that might throw you off when tracking your food intolerance is that the way you eat the food can affect whether or not it bothers you.

A food in its raw state might bother you, but when it’s cooked, it doesn’t.

Therapy to Boost the Immune System:

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Infections, viruses, and autoimmune conditions are things that can wreak havoc on your health.

If your immune system is weak, you’ll have a harder time fighting things off.

This will make it easier for you to catch frequent illnesses or deal with a constant state of inflammation.

There are steps that you can take to prevent this, to show you how to boost your immune system through natural methods.

It helps if you don't take many antibiotics.

Study above the information about how to learn if your gut bacteria is out of balance and how that can cause problems for your body.

Some of the information shared is basic common sense, yet the impact on the immune system can have a big impact.

The key is creating good habits that work with your immune system such as making sure you practice good hand washing.

Along the same lines of healthy habits, learn the importance of knowing about and eating the right kinds of foods.

What you don’t eat may leave you with a vitamin or mineral deficit, so you can’t just let that go.

It’ll hurt your immune system, so make the effort to learn what you need in terms of nutrients for good health.

Learn what you should have and if you don’t get that in your diet, how to take vitamins and supplements so that you do.

Learn about the importance of exercise and the role that this plays in your immune health.

Become an expert at dealing with stress. Because stress reduction is important to keep your immune system healthy.

Another habit to develop is getting enough sleep. You can’t boost your immune system without it.

The Role of Vitamin C in Boosting Your Immune System

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has long been known as the vitamin that people take when they want to stave off illnesses.

There is evidence that taking vitamin C can lower your chances of catching some kinds of viral sicknesses.

The reason behind this is because of the antioxidant properties it has.

Some people take the vitamin when they want to feel better if they already have something like a cold or the flu because it’s known to help.

But this vitamin is also known to be a good way of boosting your immune system all the time not just for when you need help fighting something off. This is one of the reasons why you should have some every day.

Your immune system can affect every bit of your body which is why taking certain vitamins is imperative. When you add Vitamin C to the mix, it improves the way your system can handle everything.

That includes outer body issues as well. Vitamin C can help your immune system handle things like healing your skin when you get injured or get a skin infection.

That’s because the vitamin boosts the amount of collagen the body makes which is effective in healing from a skin issue.

No one likes to get sick. It can cause anxiety as well as stress when it happens. This vitamin can also lower the stress that you can sometimes experience when you do get sick.

It also aids your adrenal glands in being able to bounce back. If you don’t have enough vitamin C it negatively impacts these glands by limiting their ability to deal with stress.

The way that vitamin C works to boost your immune health is found in its relationship to the white blood cells.

It causes your body to ramp up the number of white blood cells that your body has.

White blood cells are what rush to your aid when you get sick, get an infection, or whatever.

When get enough vitamin C it works with the white blood cells to make sure they have the power to fight off whatever is attacking your system. When you do get sick, your body attempts to rely on vitamin C.

There’s a good reason that your body does this. What you may not realize is that your immune system draws from the antibodies that vitamin C has.

When your body’s system needs help, it’ll seek to get it first from the cells containing this antioxidant.

When there’s enough vitamin C, all is well, and your immune system can handle the illness.

But when there’s not, then you’ll find that not only will you remain sicker for a longer period of time, but you also seem to catch every little bug that comes along.

Because there are times that your body has enough vitamin C for fighting off whatever comes, you may not necessarily notice at first when you don’t.

What you need to remember is that every single time you do get sick, you need to add the vitamin C back into your system because your body is using it.

If you don’t make sure that you add more, then you can have a deficit. Then you won’t have enough vitamin C to fight off anything.

You can add vitamin C through the foods that you eat that are rich in this antioxidant.

That means you’ll need to make sure that you eat the right amount of servings of fruits and vegetables that are rich in this. But keep in mind that the serving sizes were suggested as a daily value.

When you get sick, your daily value needs to be increased to meet the demand on your immune system.

Something that you should keep in mind is that although there are some vitamins and minerals that the body can make on its own, vitamin C isn’t one of them.

That means you have to get it from the foods that you eat. If you don’t eat a lot of foods that contain this valuable vitamin, your immune system can be deficient.

You can tell it doesn’t have enough vitamin C if you experience issues such as wounds that take too long to heal or your skin gets noticeably dry.

You might also develop problems with your teeth and hair as well. To get enough vitamin C make sure you eat plenty of citrus fruits and the vegetables that contain the vitamin.

You’ll find this in fruits like oranges or mangos. But vitamin C is also plentiful in berry fruits like blueberries and strawberries. Pineapples and grapefruit are also a good source.

Vegetables that contain the vitamin are ones like sweet potatoes or cabbage. You can also find it in spinach, green peppers, broccoli and more.

The amount of vitamin C that you need daily will depend on whether you’re a man or woman and whether or not you’ve recently been ill.

If you’re trying to get it from natural foods, then you’ll want to try to eat five servings a day.

Some people who find that they just can’t seem to get enough vitamin C in their diet or those who’ve been struggling to get their immune system to work better may want to consider taking a supplement.

Vitamin C will help you keep a lot of illness away and it will help give your immune system a boost. Plus, it’s one of the key factors in helping your good gut bacteria to thrive.

When your gut is healthier, so is your immune system because your gut makes up the majority portion of your immune system.

The Most Important Mineral That Helps You Create a Healthy Immune System

To create a healthy immune system, especially one that’s strong enough to help you fight viruses like the flu, you need to make sure you’re getting the right kind of vitamins and minerals.

It’s important to get plenty of vitamin C and things like probiotics but one of the most important minerals that you can take is zinc. This mineral is so important that it’s essential for your health.

One of the best ways to make sure that you’re getting plenty of zinc is to eat it in a healthy diet.

When you follow a healthy eating plan, the zinc from the foods travel to the digestive system.

It’s during this process that the body gets to put it to work through the linking of zinc to albumin. This is a protein that your liver produces. Not everyone has the zinc that they need.

If you have health issues, this can cause your body to not get the right amount of zinc. In turn, that can negatively impact your immune system.

A way to tell if you may not be getting enough zinc is if any of your routine blood tests show that you have low albumin.

If you are deficient in zinc, it’s important to bring it up to normal levels quickly because of the protection it offers the body. Zinc is responsible for working in different areas of the body in ways that impact the immune system.

One important thing zinc does is it helps to ensure that your enzymes are working well. You need good enzyme activity because this is what you need for good gut function.

Since your gut health is tied to your immune health, you boost both when you have the right amount of zinc.

A healthy gut can equal a healthy immune system. Another way that Zinc helps your body is that it encourages the production of insulin.

You may think that insulin is related to simply turning the foods you eat into energy and may not realize that your body’s immune system is impacted by insulin, but it is.

Insulin production is what sends signals that cause the release of cytokines which are issued by cells in your body’s immune system. What these cells do is cause the immune system to kick into gear.

They cause it to be healthier and to be strong enough to fight against foreign invaders. Zinc is also what’s needed for the production and use of vitamin A. This vitamin boosts immune ability because of its antioxidant properties.

Without enough zinc in your body, it’s forced to take certain action. Your body will begin to prioritize where zinc goes. It’ll make sure that your vital organs get what they need to keep your body going.

But as your body takes this step, other parts of your body won’t get the zinc they need, including your immune system. You don’t suddenly wake up one day and not have enough of this mineral.

It’s something that happens over time. Before you reach the state of not having enough zinc to create a healthy immune system, you will get some warning signs. One of these is that you won’t be as hungry as you normally are.

You’ll lose interest in food. As a by-product of this lack of interest, you’ll start to lose weight. You may experience bouts of nausea. Some people deal with gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea.

You might start to lose some of your hair. It’ll be enough so that you notice the difference. You might also experience slow healing whenever you get injured or get a cut.

This is why low zinc levels are sometimes mistakenly attributed to diabetes. A lack of energy can also be a sign of the body not having enough zinc. If it goes on long enough, it can become fatigue.

You might also have trouble thinking or difficulty concentrating. Low levels can affect your mood and cause issues such as depression.

Because your immune system can be affected, you’ll start to notice that it seems like you get over one virus or illness then turn around and catch something else.

Though you can get plenty of zinc through the foods that you eat, if your level is low, you want to get that boosted back up quickly so that you can create a strong immune system.

It’s easy to find sources of zinc. You can find it in meats such as chicken or beef. It’s also in seafood such as fish and oysters.

Oysters are high in zinc. You can find zinc in certain types of cereal as well as foods like cashews or almonds.

You can also get it from some dairy foods as well as legumes and whole grains. If you do have a deficiency, you can take a zinc supplement, but talk to your doctor first to make sure that you’re taking the correct amount.

Sometimes what people think is that if something is good in small doses, then a lot of it would be even better. But you only want to take zinc in amounts that are beneficial.

When building a strong immune system, make sure that you get your zinc source from a variety of foods to take advantage of all the additional vitamins and minerals.

Self Care strategies for a Healthy Immune System   

healthy food immune system booster
  1. Know the signs. How can you tell if your immune system may be weak? Monitor yourself for common signs such as frequent infections, fatigue, and wounds that are slow to heal.

  2. Quit smoking. Using tobacco lowers your levels of antioxidants and makes you more prone to respiratory infections and other illnesses. Studies show that your chances of quitting successfully increase if you combine methods, such as nicotine replacement devices and counseling.

  3. Limit alcohol. Similarly, heavy drinking suppresses the immune system. If you feel like your drinking is out of control, talk with your doctor about services that may help.

  4. Stay social. Your mental and physical health depend on mutually supportive relationships. Make it a priority to spend time with family and friends. If you can’t physically be with them, take advantage of technology like FaceTime, Slack, Zoom, and other video chats. Even phone calls and texts can benefit you.

  5. Lose weight. Being obese or overweight puts an extra burden on your immune system. Shed pounds safely with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

  6. Work out. Slimming down is just one of the benefits of physical activity. Find a variety of sports and classes that you enjoy, so you’ll want to stick with your program. For more fun and greater accountability, invite a friend to join you. Many places even offer virtual classes if you wish to participate at home.
  7. Manage stress. Chronic tension increases hormones that interfere with your immune system. In addition to exercise, relax with meditation and music.
  8. Sleep well. One study found that adults who slept for at least 7 hours each night were 4 times less likely to get a cold compared to those who slept for 6 hours or less. Set a consistent bedtime and stick to it.

Antioxidants Will Contribute to a Strong Immune System

People talk about antioxidants, but you might not understand exactly how important they are for your body.

These compounds do a lot for you and it can sometimes show. They can give you great looking skin and help fight the signs of aging.

But they’re especially important for what they can do inside the body.

Antioxidants are what you need to for good gut health but also to build a strong immune system and they work hand in hand.

A healthy gut can equal a healthy immune system. When you get plenty of antioxidants, they work to fight against the things that would make you sick.

They act like a first line of defense for your body to root out the gunk that can make you sick.

That means that if you get something like a cold, antioxidants can make you feel better and make the side effects of the illness not as severe.

Which is good news because if you get a condition such as the flu, then antioxidants can boost your immune system even against the severity of that.

They can also work to fight infections such as those that are caused by bacteria.

If you’re at risk for a more serious condition such as cancer, antioxidants work to attack the free radicals which is what can lead to cancer.

So where can you get your hands on this wonder compound? Everywhere. Antioxidants are in certain types of the foods that you eat.

The healthier that your meal plan is, the more antioxidants you’re likely to consume.

While many people do strive to eat healthy, they may not seek out foods that are especially rich in antioxidants. But they should. It’s not something to take lightly.

Because you need a strong immune system to fight off conditions at all times, but even more so when there’s something like a flu outbreak.

When your immune system is already in good standing, you lessen your odds of catching it. 

If you’re not sure what that kinds of foods to eat, you can begin by increasing the amount of fruit servings that you have.

At the same time, add more vegetables to the meals that you eat. The specific kinds of fruits that contain antioxidants that strengthens your immune system are ones like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.

But purple grapes are a good source of this as well. With vegetables, you’ll want to eat items like carrots or red cabbage. Sweet potatoes and beets are a good choice. So are butternut squash and spinach.

One vegetable that’s high in antioxidants is the artichoke. You’ll want to be sure and use the steam method when cooking these. That’s because this way of preparing them causes a great antioxidant impact for you.

Be sure to choose foods that are as close to the way that they’re grown in nature as possible.

The more natural the food, the more of the antioxidant that’s preserved. Processing can destroy some or all of the antioxidants.

So can the way that you cook the food. Boiling foods can destroy antioxidants.

Foods that contain Vitamin C are especially helpful for contributing to a strong immune system. So is Vitamin E.

But not everything that contains antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Green Tea is rich in antioxidants.

This beverage contains antioxidants ranging from 60 to 80 percent of the phenolic compounds.

They’re also antimicrobial which can kill fungal and bacteria that’s harmful for the immune system.

Besides green tea, coffee is an antioxidant too. It might surprise you to know that the number of antioxidants in this beverage is greater than what’s in green tea.

If you happen to have a sweet tooth and enjoy eating chocolate, then you’re in luck because the right type of chocolate can also pack an antioxidant punch.

Dark chocolate, the kind with over 70% cocoa in it contains plenty of antioxidants.

You can also get antioxidants in foods such as some types of meat.

Though it’s often touted as bad for the body, red meat is a good source of antioxidants. Plus, it’s loaded with the B vitamins as well as iron.

When you’re considering what foods to eat, look for foods that are high in Vitamin C and E. Both of these are rich sources of antioxidants.

You may wonder how much antioxidants you should consume. The answer is that there’s no definitive guideline.

Instead, health professionals suggest that everyone eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to get a helpful amount. 

Consuming foods with antioxidants is a way to boost gut health because this compound works to protect your digestive system.

It can keep your gut lining healthy because it actively works against bad bacteria while boosting good bacteria.

Using Probiotics to Fortify Your Gut Against an Immune System Deficiency

Certain kinds of foods that you put into your body are what nourish the bacteria in your gut.

When you do eat what the bacteria need to thrive, all is well within that system.

But when you don’t get the kinds of foods that promote healthy gut bacteria, everything gets out of balance and the bacteria doesn’t work well for you.

This means your health can end up not being so great. You may not even know if your gut bacteria is balanced or not and it can then be easy to get concerned about various illnesses.

That’s a legitimate reason to worry because if you’re not exactly sure what kind of shape your immune system is in, the odds are that you may not be giving it what it needs to thrive.

But there are many ways that you can change the unknown to a known by being proactive with the kinds of things you include in a healthy eating plan. That includes making sure your immune system isn’t deficient.

Your immune system can be protected by your digestive system thanks to the gut bacteria your body contains even if you start right now to change things. These bacteria are on your side even before you become ill.

Your body, if you have good gut health, works to keep germs at bay. The second that germs do enter your body, the bacteria immediately begins to attack the foreign invaders to get you well again.

Of course, to be effective, you do have to have a healthy gut bacteria balance. It’s a lot easier to do this than you might think. The main way to get that is through your diet.

There are specific foods that you can eat that can make a difference in keeping you healthy even during times of outbreaks such as the flu.

One of the number one foods that give you this protection against immune system deficiency are those that contain probiotics. These also have other health benefits as well.

The reason probiotics are helpful is because they increase the number of microbes that you have.

When you consume foods containing probiotics, you give your gut a better foundation on which to keep you healthy.

Probiotics are known as the good for you bacteria. They’re the star of the show when it comes to giving your immune system a boost. The key factor that you’re looking for is called acidophilus.

Most people know that this is found in yogurt. However, you might be surprised to learn that not all yogurts can give you the same gut health benefit.

That’s because although there are live and active cultures present across the many brands, not each type of yogurt is going to have probiotics that are known to boost gut bacteria.

So when you buy yogurt to get probiotics, make sure that the label specifically states that the product contains lactic acid. When you consume the probiotics found in foods, it stimulates the immune system.

When your eating plan contains these foods, the probiotics will seek out the germs in your body that don’t belong and fight them. You may not know how to easily recognize foods that have probiotics.

What you’re looking for are foods that are fermented. It might surprise you to learn that yogurt is one of the fermented foods. It’s made from fermented milk and it’s something that you should have daily servings of.

But since not all yogurt is the same, when you read the labels, look for the phrase stating that it contains live or active cultures. If it doesn’t say this, then it’s not going to be helpful at fortifying your immune system by aiding your gut bacteria.

Also in the dairy section for foods that are rich in probiotics, there’s buttermilk. When you’re picking up some of this, make sure that you choose the one that doesn’t have a “cultured” label on it.

That kind doesn’t have probiotics. Always choose plain buttermilk and read the label to ensure it contains what you’re looking for.

If you’re someone who enjoys eating cheese, then you’re in luck because there are some brands and kinds of cheese that do contain probiotics.

Remember that fermentation is the key to choosing the right types. You’ll want to look for ones such as cheddar and mozzarella but there are other kinds, too.

Fermented cabbage, known as sauerkraut, is known for containing lactic acid, which can give you the probiotics that you need.

It contains plenty of antioxidants as well. You do want to buy or make sauerkraut that hasn’t been heat treated as this can destroy the bacteria.

By adding pickles to your diet regularly, you can have even more probiotics to help your body.

Pickles are fermented if you get the ones that aren’t pickled in vinegar. Other foods that can help your gut bacteria are tempeh and kefir.

You want to make sure that your diet consists of food that provide a stable background for the gut bacteria.

This means making sure that your gut lining is in good shape. You can improve your lining by eating foods that are known to improve this part of the body.

Foods such as nuts, pumpkin and certain root vegetables such as sweet potatoes can help provide what gut bacteria need to thrive.

Diet change strategies:

Weight-loss-boosts immune system

Excess Fat Hinders Your Immune System

Illnesses happen all the time, but there are ways that you can lessen your symptoms and even lower your odds of catching something.

One of the big things that you can work on immediately is losing weight.

Studies have shown that when you’re at a healthy body weight, your immune system is actually strengthened versus when you’re overweight.

The scientific reason why having excess fat hinders your immune system is pretty simple.

Sickness causes your body’s immune system to kick in to fight off whatever is going on. This could be any type of foreign invader, germ, a cold, the flu or more.

The response to something being in your body that shouldn’t be is instantaneous, as it should be.

What happens is white blood cells work to create an inflammation. You might think this is a bad thing, but it’s your body’s way of raising the red flag to let you know two things.

First, that something is going on and you need to pay attention.

Second, your immune system pushes this inflammation response to let you know that it’s marshalling the white blood cells to attack whatever’s going on. You might wonder how that can possibly be linked to carrying excess fat.

When you have an inflammation related to an illness, or bacteria, that’s a normal thing.

Your immune system does its job and your body and health return to normal when the job is done.

But when you’re carrying excess weight, you’re carrying what can cause long term inflammation.

That’s because your fat cells release proteins. These are known as cytokines.

All the excess weight that you carry is made up of fat, which is a key component in releasing cytokines. When you carry this excess fat around day after day, month after month and you do nothing about it, the fat cells are continually pumping cytokines into your system.

So your immune system keeps having to rise to the task in order to fight the release of cytokines.

Instead of dealing with an inflammation that’s caused every now and then from a virus or bacteria, your body enters a state of continual inflammation and immune system response.

You might think that’s no big deal. It’s the job of the immune system to take out inflammation.

The problem is that your immune system is continually working to fight this off.

Having your immune system working overtime stresses the system. When that happens, you end up with a weakened immune system so it’s more difficult to fight things off like infections when they do occur.

Losing a Small Amount of Weight Does Wonders for Your White Blood Cells

Most people who are overweight imagine losing those excess pounds and improving their health. Yet, those same people who desire to improve their health get a little overwhelmed when thinking about what they need to lose.

It doesn’t matter if you need to lose twenty pounds or if you need to lose a hundred pounds. The entire weight loss isn’t what’s important to boost your immune system. All it takes is a little bit.

Studies have shown that when a person loses even a little bit of weight, it can do wonders for the body. In fact, losing just 5-10 pounds can help lower your risk of having an ongoing inflammation response from your immune system.

When you lose weight, you can take yourself out of the inflammation stage and give your system a break.

This break occurs because the weight loss can calm that inflammatory response that actively causes your white blood cells to react.

Your white blood cells are known as natural killer cells. When you have ongoing inflammation, you tax the ability of these cells to help you fight off whatever hits you.

For people who are struggling with a constant state of Inflammation, losing even a little weight can also reverse the damage caused by carrying too much fat.

This reversal and boosting of the immune system happens because shedding pounds shuts down the demand for a response between the cells and the immune system.

You want to have a solid response from your white blood cells, which you won’t have when you’re overweight.

Studies have shown that when people Lose Weight, they raise the ability of the white blood cells to respond. This is because they’re not taxed from constantly battling inflammation.

They’re able to focus their fight and power on whatever germs or viruses hit instead. The way that you lose weight to cut the excess body fat matters.

You’ll want to stay away from fad diets or yo-yo dieting, because both of these have a negative impact on your white blood cells.

Plus, these kinds of diets also affect your gut health, which further harms your immune system. What you want to do instead is to keep your focus on eating foods that boost your immunity.

Make sure that you include foods that are rich in antioxidants, probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins and minerals.

Following a healthy meal plan will help you to lose weight at a steady pace that’s good for your immune system.

Check Your Gut Health.

One of the best things that you can do to help your body stay health is to make sure that your immune system gets a boost.

To get started, you can check your gut health to ensure that it’s at a level where it needs to be.

Improving your gut health is something that everyone should have an active approach with.

You can’t just eat anything and everything and expect the body to function in a way that protects you from illness.

You’ll feel better once you start assisting your gut with the proper balance of bacteria.

Even when you’re at rest, your immune system is working to protect you day and night.

Taking care of your body will help it to do its job so you can lead a long and active life.

gut health anatomy stomach Immune System

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

You can visit our health food products page here: Herbalife Health Nutrition Supplements and learn more about our core nutrition program, the Cellular Nutrition Advanced Program and also check out these targeted products, Florafiber to replace your healthy flora and Aloe Vera Juice to help cleanse your system.

Also using NouriFusion Skin Essentials will clearly help provide you with excellent skincare support for your ‘outer nutrition’.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

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Using Exercise to Decrease the Harm Done to Your Immune System 
Studies have repeatedly shown that losing weight can help you become healthier. It improves your blood pressure, cholesterol and lowers your risk of developing …

Is Inflammation from Fat Working Against You? 
You might be someone who is health conscious. Maybe you carry some extra weight, but you’ve never considered it an issue. You practice other good health …

Overcoming Autoimmune 
If you have an autoimmune condition, one of the best things that you can do is learn how to eat so that you eliminate the triggers that cause your system …

15 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Immunity 
You’ve probably seen website ads and natural food stores promoting miracle foods and potions that claim to boost your immune system. Are they worth the …

8 Tips to Boost Your Immune System 
You might be sabotaging your immune system without even know it. Many common lifestyle habits can have a negative effect on the health of your immune system. …

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