This easy to understand article will show you how to build a strong immune system naturally, with quick and proven results! The ability to fight off disease is one of the most important things your body can do to stay healthy. Without proper immunity, even a single infection can cause significant damage to your physical well-being.
Your Immune System, In A Nut Shell
The immune system is the body’s built-in infection defense network. Some types of immunity are life-long and others only provide time-limited protection. You are born with a basic amount of immunity and you continue to acquire more as your body is progressively exposed to various infections. The acquired immunity for these infections is stored in your body’s defense repository and can be used to fight any recurrence of similar infections.
Antibodies and specialized white blood cells are the primary components of the immune system. They are made and stored in places like the tonsils, bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus. Some hereditary and acquired immunodeficiency disorders can prevent the body from making adequate levels of certain types of immunity.
Why You Need Good Immunity
The immune system gives the body the ability to fight off infection by destroying things like viruses, bacteria, and fungi (mold). These infectious organisms can enter your body from things like the air you breathe, the food you eat, or through an opening in your skin. Without proper immunity, even the most seemingly small infection, like the “common cold”, could make you seriously ill.
Certain areas of your body like the mucous membranes that line your nose, lungs, stomach, and intestines can be particularly vulnerable as points of entry for infection. Antibodies act as sentries at these points of entry to fight infection before it has a chance to spread throughout your body. The immune system also plays a key role in tissue repair and can accelerate the healing process.
Certain types of immunity can help to control or even prevent some types of cancer. Your body’s natural immunity has the ability to identify some individual cancer cells as “foreign” and destroy them. Undetected or very aggressive types of cancer can rapidly divide and overwhelm your body’s immune defenses, especially if your immune system is weak and as you get progressively older.
Boosting Your Immune System
You might be surprised at the number of things you can do to naturally boost your immune system. As we go through life we all tend to acquire bad habits that can make our bodies more susceptible to inflammation, infection, and disease. Here are eight things that can weaken your immune system, especially as you age.
To boost your immune system pay particular attention to items 1 – 7 and work to eliminate each problem area that pertains to your individual situation.
1. Cigarette Smoking – Cigarette smoking can decrease the oxygen in your blood and the smoke contains a variety of harmful toxins. It can also decrease the effectiveness of antioxidants, which work with your immune system to make it more effective. Many autoimmune illnesses (immunity misfires that cause disease in your body) can be worsened by cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoke sets up an inflammatory response in your tissues and organs, which depletes the number of antibodies that are available to fight infection and help heal tissues.
Chronic exposure to second-hand smoke has also been shown to significantly affect the vitality of your immune system. Make your home a smoke-free environment to protect the health of your family and visitors. Cigarette smoke exposure is one of the most frequent causes of avoidable serious disease.
2. Alcohol – Although occasional alcohol consumption in small amounts may have a modest anti-inflammatory effect, avoid drinking alcohol routinely. Alcohol can increase your risk of infection by decreasing your bone marrow’s ability to produce white blood cells and decrease immune function directly.
Alcohol can cause serious damage to the lining of your upper GI tract (esophagus, stomach, and small intestines), which can allow bacteria and other microorganisms to enter your blood and cause serious infection. Heavy drinkers are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized for serious infections as they get older.
Replace alcohol with healthy drinks like non-alcoholic fruit juices, whenever possible.
3. Sedentary lifestyle – A sedentary lifestyle can eventually result in total physical deconditioning. It decreases blood flow to all areas of your body. A routine exercise regimen can lower your overall level of inflammation and make your immune system more responsive. Exercise is also one of the best ways to prevent or treat obesity. See Fast Weight Loss Exercises – 5 Easy Ways To Lose Fat Quickly!
4. Obesity – Obesity (extreme weight gain) can damage your immune system by depositing fat into the bone marrow, liver, and muscles. This excess fat triggers an inflammatory response that decreases the overall effectiveness of your immune system. This is a reversible process, for which weight loss and physical conditioning can gradually restore your immunity to a normal level of function.
5. Sleep Deprivation – Sleep deprivation is definitely tied to decreased immunity. A good night’s sleep allows your body to restore structural and functional balance by repairing damaged tissues and removing toxins. You should get 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. If you are obese and snore then you may have sleep apnea, which causes stage 4 sleep deprivation. See Natural Ways To Help With Sleep – Feeling Refreshed Every Morning!
6. Poor Diet – A poor diet can compromise your immune system in a number of ways. Your body requires adequate amounts of specific proteins to build antibodies. Eat a nutritionally-balanced diet and fresh fruits and vegetables, which are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants assist in tissue repair and help decrease inflammation by reducing free radicals.
Processed foods can adversely affect your body’s metabolism. Avoid foods that contain harmful chemicals like pesticides. A low-caloric intake and portion-control will help avoid obesity.
Everyone is so busy these days that we have become a society that is primarily centered around fast food. This food provides “empty calories” and deprives the body of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Eating the right foods is one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system! Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free is absolutely the number one book I recommend to build a super immune system.
7. Stress and Depression – Chronic stress and depression can definitely have a detrimental effect on your immune system by increasing your overall level of inflammation and decreasing the production of key immune factors. Mindfulness and meditative exercises like yoga and Tai Chi are an excellent way to manage psychological issues and improve your overall well-being.
Make time each day to relax and do the things you enjoy. See How To Deal With Depression Alone – A Rejuvenating Self-Help Guide.
8. Inflammation And Infection – Chronic or frequently recurring inflammation and infection are the basic underlying processes that can progressively damage your immune system. They interfere with your body’s ability to adequately produce antibodies and white blood cells.
Inflammation is part of the healing process and occurs when your body tries to defend itself against infections, toxins, and injuries. Inflammation can lower the overall effectiveness of your immunity by diverting precious immune resources away from where they are needed most and depleting vital components of your immune system. Chronic inflammation can make you more susceptible to diseases like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke (cerebrovascular accident).
Infection always triggers the inflammatory process to some degree, which activates your immune defenses. Exposure to some infections can add to your immunity but serious or prolonged infections can quickly overwhelm your immune system, especially if it is weakened. As you continue to age it becomes more difficult to fight infection, even with the help of anti-microbial therapy like antibiotics.
Avoid opportunities for inflammation and infection whenever possible by practicing good hygiene, eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, and washing your hands frequently. See Foods High In Antioxidant – Eating Smart For Better Health. Limit exposure to pollutants and toxic chemicals. Cook all meats thoroughly and buy “organic” preservative-free foods whenever possible.
Here is a video from Living Healthy Chicago that summarizes the basic ways you can boost your immune system:
Immunity And The Aging Process
Even life-long immunity can weaken as you get older, which is called immune senescence. As you continue to age, inflammation and infection can play a progressively larger role in weakening the immune system. A weakened immune system can decrease your body’s ability to recover from many illnesses, even those not caused by infection. The older you get, the more important it becomes to boost your immune system.
If you are elderly then your immune system may be weaker and slower to respond. A serious infection or other illness may overpower your immune system’s defenses. Be prepared to seek assistance from your health care provider if you develop symptoms of illness that do not improve quickly. See 5 Hot Tips On Aging Gracefully – Look 5 Years Younger Today!
A strong immune system is an essential component for living a long and healthy life. As you get older it is imperative to maintain good immunity to avoid age-related illness. Keeping your immune system robust is an on-going process that requires a strong commitment. Taking the natural approach outlined above will usually give you the best results. Your health care provider may recommend specific treatment for a hereditary or acquired immunodeficiency disorder.
Tell Us What You Think
Please let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section, or if I can help you with anything.
- Do you have any additional tips or suggestions?
- What are you currently doing to build up your immunity?
- How has improving your immune system helped you?