Updated: Aug 11
Doesn't it make sense that the best way to maintain your overall well-being is to get to the core of your body? Your cells are the foundation of your health. They work tirelessly to keep you resilient. Cellular care doesn’t just revitalize one part of you. Cellular care nourishes every cell, supporting all of you.
Cold and flu season starts as early as October and lasts as late as May, with its peak being between December and February. But since the circumstances of COVID-19, we’ve learned viruses can hit us at any time - and it’s our job to be prepared.
Every year we hear the same thing. We’re told to wash our hands, disinfect surfaces, and cover our mouth when coughing or sneezing. Do you know when a virus attacks your body, your cells expend immense energy to fight back by activating powerful immune responders? But viral infections may deplete your natural enzyme levels by up to 80%, leaving your cells vulnerable and open to invaders.
But what can you do to prevent or decrease your chances of getting sick or coming down with the cold or even the flu? The solution isn’t found in a bottle or in a pill. It’s what’s on the inside that counts and that’s a strong healthy immune system. This foundation begins in your inner ecosystem...“The Gut”!
But how does your immune system work? And what’s the best way to boost your immune system naturally? Here’s how you can keep your body healthy and immune system ready for battle.
WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM? AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Think of the immune system as your body’s personal bodyguard! It’s your body’s defense against disease and infections, and it’s vital for your survival. The immune system’s primary role is to protect you against anything that threatens your health, like a virus, bacteria, and other pathogens. It also helps your body recover after it’s been injured.
The immune system is highly complex and made up of multiple cells, organs, and tissues. It also includes skin, bone marrow, the bloodstream, the thymus, the lymphatic system, the spleen, and mucosal tissue.
Humans also have three types of immunity:
Innate immunity: We’re all born with some form of immunity or general protection.
Adaptive immunity: During adulthood, the immune system gets stronger due to being exposed to more pathogens and receiving immunizations or vaccines.
Passive (or borrowed) immunity: This type of immunity is borrowed from another source, like antibodies that pass through the placenta before birth.
So why do elderly people have more fragile immune systems? Science is still trying to understand the effects of aging on immunity. However, as we age, so does our immune system and it slows down its response. Also, elderly people may respond well to viruses they’ve been exposed to, newer ones are more dangerous.
HERE ARE 6 THINGS THAT WEAKEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Everyone’s immune system is different; no two immune systems are the same. We all know at least one person who gets sick at the drop of a hat and another person who never calls in sick.
But research shows there are certain factors that can negatively impact on your body’s immune response. And if your immune system is weak, that makes you more vulnerable to infections, like the flu or common cold.
Too much stress is bad for your immune system. In a study published by the American Psychological Association, long-term stress (also known as chronic stress) weakens the immune system. Even worse, too much stress can cause an abundance of cortisol in your blood, which opens the doors for inflammation and infection.
#2 Lack of Sleep Getting a good night’s sleep is more important than you think! In a German study, researchers found that sleep can actually improve immune cells known as T cells. (T cells play an important role in your immune system; they’re the cells that recognize and kill dangerous bacteria.) When comparing the T cells of healthy volunteers who either got a full night’s sleep or stayed awake all night, the participants who slept had higher levels of integrin activation in their T Cells than those who stayed awake.
#3 Smoking Not only does smoking increase your risk of infections and cancer, it also lessens the response of the immune system. One study found that smoking cigarettes alters the development and function of T cells (the cells that fight off infection)!
#4 Alcohol consumption If you drink frequently, you may be more susceptible to catching the cold or flu. This is because chronic drinking weakens the immune system. Daily alcohol consumption can impair mucosal immunity in the gut and low respiratory system.
#5 Lack of Exercise Multiple studies show a direct relationship between exercise and the immune system. Moderate exercise can have anti-inflammatory effects and improve the function of immune cells. But too little exercise can actually depress white blood cells, leaving an “open window” to bacteria and infection.
#6 Sugar and Processed foods Researchers from the University of Bonn found that eating “junk food” can actually cause your immune system to act as if it’s responding to bacterial infection. An animal study tested the effects of a western diet (high in fat, high in sugar, low in fiber) in mice, and found that this caused them to develop a strong inflammatory response – this drastic increase of inflammation can accelerate the development of certain diseases such as diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and Alzheimer's Disease.
Here at Body in Balance Wellness we provide the education and tools you need to support your Immune System and help it to function at it's best.
Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, Body!