To be healthy, fit and strong is one of the core pillars of a fulfilling and productive life. Boosting your immune system and strengthening your natural immunity is key in order to help your body defend against "threats" which can negatively affect your health and wellbeing. These include pathogens like bacteria and viruses as well as toxins and irritants that can cause sickness and disease. The immune system acts as a crucial defence mechanism in protecting the body and its many numerous systems and functions from harm.
With a multitude of immune-boosting products on the market, some natural and others more pharmaceutically-based, it can sometimes be confusing to know which are the most effective and provide the best protection. It's also important to take into account any potential side effects or adverse reactions especially if consuming something regularly over the long term.
Before taking any supplements, it's always a good idea to get back to basics to understand exactly how your body's immune system works as well as the best natural ways to support it and boost your immunity...
Immune & Immunity?
In the past, the words immune and immunity were usually only heard in reference to medicine and health but their use in recent times has become far more widespread.
The answer is partly from the computer world, where is ever more growing concern about cyber attacks, computer viruses and hackers, who break into computer systems for all sorts of nefarious purposes. Another reason can be found in the current pandemic the world is experiencing.
This has made us all more aware of immunity, the immune system, and even the concept of "herd immunity". As a result, a lot of focus has now turned to what's known commonly as natural immunity.
What Is Natural Immunity?
This is the ability of living organisms to resist harmful invaders, such as germs, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms and pathogens. It is the natural defence system passed from parents to their young. It varies among species, breeds, and even among different members of a species, such as humans, whales, dogs, etc.
It also depends on other factors including fitness, age, nutrition, environment, etc. Using the human example, infants and the elderly are far more susceptible to disease than other people.
The primary natural defence mechanism is the body's immune system.
How the Immune System Works
The human immune system defends you against the countless millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, poisons, and other nasties that are always seeking to launch an invasion of your body.
The immune system is an amazing combination of body organs, white blood cells, and chemicals (proteins)that defend the body from "attacks".
The part of the immune system that is most obvious is the skin. It is the first line of defence, it functions as a barrier. It is surprisingly rugged and is rarely penetrated by bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. It secretes antibacterial chemicals. Most bacteria and other invaders landing on the skin die swiftly.
Other points of entry for invading threats are the eyes, nose, and mouth. Your eyes produce tears and the nose, mucus that kill bacteria.
What about the mouth?
Saliva is anti-bacterial, which makes it deadly to most invaders.
Any bacteria or microorganism that wants entry into your body has to get past these defences. Few do but once successful, there are other parts of the immune system to defend against invaders.
Some of these are:
- Lymph system
- White blood cells
- Bone marrow
Most importantly, the immune system needs to differentiate between cells and other substances that are part of us and those that are alien and a potential threat:
Foreign substances are called antigens. The immune system can detect antigens and begin the process of defence.
Generally, the immune system recognises our cells and does not attack them, but when it starts to act against them, we have what is called an autoimmune response or reaction. Examples of this are type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Such autoimmune responses can be very serious.
The immune system is not constant. It keeps learning about new invaders and develops appropriate defences.
The Importance of Hydration For Immunity
You probably know that hydration is the replacement of fluids in your body. Hydration is very important in keeping the immune system healthy.
The immune system depends on nutrients in our bloodstream, which is largely water. Without enough water, nutrients are not properly transported through the body. Being properly hydrated is of great importance for the detoxification of pathways, the optimisation of lymphatic draining, and the removal of pathogens and other waste.
The amount of water that should be drunk varies, depending on who you listen to, your weight, and what you're doing. This means, if you weigh more, you need to drink more and if you're very active, such as an athlete in serious training or someone in a very physical job – you will definitely need to drink a lot more water.
The addition of electrolytes helps your body be hydrated. Although many sports, energy and "health" drinks may contain electrolytes, unfortunately their high sugar content can actually do you more harm than good. So, its always best to consume electrolytes in a natural form or sugar-free healthy water additives like Phenoh Superfood-Infused Drink Mix Supplements.
No matter what you do, never forget the importance of proper hydration for all your body's systems and that includes your immune system.
Top Natural Ways To Strengthen Immune System & Boost Immunity
Besides proper hydration, the following can all help in boosting your immune health and helping your body fight illnesses.
Olympic athletes and other professional sports people with their prolonged and very intense training can suppress their immune systems and be quite prone to infection. However moderate exercise is essential for good health and a strong immune system.
Such exercise as energetic walking, sensible weight-training, cycling on bicycle and exercycle, jogging on-road and on a treadmill, swimming, and hiking. Most people should try to get at least 150 minutes of such exercise each week.
Numerous studies have shown that proper sleep is essential for good health. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night, while teenagers and children need more.
If you're one of those with trouble sleeping, avoid screens for about an hour before going to bed, light from TV, computers, tablets, and phones do nothing for your circadian rhythm, which determines the wake-sleep cycle.
There are other things to help improve sleep, such as sleeping in a very dark room, regular times for going to bed, and of course regular, moderate exercise.
This is vital for immune health. Some stress is good, it is essential for those things that need absolute concentration and execution. However, that sort of stress, which is called acute stress, should be short-lived. Long-term stress or chronic stress causes inflammation and disrupts your immune system.
How can you manage your stress?
Methods of stress management include meditation, tai chi, yoga, and other mindfulness activities. If stress is a real problem for you, which you cannot manage yourself then you benefit from the services of a counsellor or therapist.
Diet, Foods & Nutrition
Developing your natural immunity is greatly helped by a good diet and healthy plant-based foods and nutrition.
You may be surprised to learn that not all fats are created equal. "Good fats" that promote health include those in many seeds and olive oil. These help your body’s immune reaction to pathogens by reducing inflammation.
Minimize Processed Sugar
Sugar contributes greatly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Reducing your artificial sugar intake can help decrease inflammation and the consequent risk of the above mentioned conditions.
Eat more fermented foods, as these are a rich source of the good bacteria called probiotics, living in your digestive tract. Fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. There is a lot of research suggesting that healthy gut bacteria assist your immune cells to differentiate between harmful "foreign" organisms and our normal cells. If you prefer not to eat fermented foods then consider probiotic supplements.
Whole Plant Foods
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes (peas, beans, lentils, etc...) are full of the nutrients and antioxidants that help fight harmful pathogens. These gifts from nature are full of antioxidants that decrease inflammation by fighting free radicals, which cause inflammation if they reach high levels in your body. What's more, the plant foods' fiber feeds your gut microbiome (the healthy bacteria in the gut), which can also improve your immunity.
Unlike the three micronutrients listed above, which are chemicals, elderberry is a dark purple berry from the European elder tree. Elderberries are themselves full of micronutrients, which give the immune system a powerful stimulus.
Like elderberry, echinacea is a natural substance, sometimes called the purple coneflower. Echinacea was used by native Americans for centuries as a medicine. The active parts of it stimulate the immune response by interaction with cells of the immune system.
Well known in cooking, garlic is also a frequent addition to supplements. Raw garlic and its associated supplements have been known to boost the workings of the immune system. One study found that daily garlic supplementation could reduce colds by up to 63%.
Top Vitamins & Essential Minerals For Immunity
Despite your best efforts about lifestyle and diet, you may need supplements to maximise your natural immunity. Good supplements, which help, often contain:
Vitamin C: This well-known vitamin supports all functions of the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the removal of oxidants from the skin.
Vitamin D: Another well-known vitamin, often called the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D plays an important role in immune function, and being deficient in it increases the chance of infection.
Zinc: Zinc is a metal used in many industrial situations. It is also a vital micronutrient. Without this mineral, parts of your immune system don't function properly.
Phenoh DEFEND Immunity SuperBooster
Phenoh DEFEND for Immunity helps your immune system remain healthy and recover quicker. DEFEND is our Superblend of natural superfood ingredients, vitamins and essential minerals specially formulated to strengthen immunity.
In addition to Echinacea, we also include Turmeric, which has an active ingredient called curcumin, that greatly helps boost the immune system.
DEFEND Immunity SuperBooster uses Phenoh’s perfect pH delivery system and contains Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Zinc for the body’s natural immune responses.
Healthy Water Additives | Alkaline Flavoring Packets
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