In a time when many things seem to be out of our control, many of us are looking to take control of our health. We’ve learned quite a few things about how to prevent spreading illnesses to others, but what can we do to prevent ourselves from getting sick? We know our immune system is already on auto-pilot ready to step in when the time comes, but how can we give it a little extra boost?
What is your immune system?
The immune system is a complex network of cells, organs, and proteins that work to defend the body against infection. The main components of this system are white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and bone marrow.
Our innate immune system consists of physical barriers such as our skin or mucus that trap pathogens before they enter our body. If bacteria and viruses make it past these physical barriers, our adaptive immune system kicks in, using white blood cells to keep track of germs and create a memory of defense to destroy them before they multiply.
While our immune system sounds like it has things under control, there are a few ways we can strengthen our response to harmful bacteria and viruses.
An enormous portion of our immune system is housed in our gastrointestinal tract. Our gut is full of bacteria, good and bad. Having a healthy gut lining keeps microbes safe where they belong and out of our blood. When harmful microbes escape into our bloodstream, they can end up secreting toxins in our organs causing tissue damage and chronic conditions.
What should you feed your gut?
To keep your gut healthy, you should consume prebiotic and probiotic rich foods that feed helpful bacteria. Essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, and Magnesium also keep our immune cells and antibodies functioning properly.
While many of these micronutrients are available in the form of daily supplements, we suggest adding nutrient-dense whole foods to your diet as the best strategy for maintaining a strong immune system and whole-body wellness.
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