We can link the immune system to so many aspects of our life….
and it can be very helpful to understand how it works.
NOTE: Recipes and links at the bottom of this post for more comprehensive help at strengthening our immune system..
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The Immune System Is the Body’s Army. The role of our immune system is to protect us from any foreign substance that could harm the body. These foreign substances are also known as antigens. Antigens include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. When those organisms are found in the body, they trigger the immune system, which, in return, try to destroy the antigen with various mechanisms.
Our immune system is divided into two categories
The two are innate and adaptive. Our innate immune system is the first responder of our body, which includes our skin, immune system cells, and certain chemicals in our blood. On the other hand, the adaptive immune system is the system that remembers past attacks from antigens and is triggered to combat the same antigen more effectively.
Our skin is the first line of defense, which serves as a surface barrier to stop a virus or bacteria from getting into our body.
The Lymphatic System Is Vital. The lymphatic system works to get rid of toxins, and any waste that can be harmful to the body.
Your immune systems and the lymphatic system are incapable of operating as intended if you don’t take care of your body. That is why it is imperative to adopt a healthy lifestyle with daily exercises, reduce stress, and eat foods that are rich in nutrients, add supplements. All of these things will help you avoid sickness. Not only do you stand more chances of staying healthy, but it also helps you recover faster if you do find yourself ill.
Negative Impacts on Our Immune System
Here are six things you might be doing that will have a negative impact on your immune system.
A sedentary lifestyle will likely increase the cholesterol in your body. It is also connected with higher blood pressure. Since the heart and the immune system work together as a strong team against disease, it is crucial to keep the heart healthy. Daily exercise is very important.
Alcohol is a toxin that can cause a lot of inflammation in the body. To prevent that defense mechanism from being activated. When you drink to much, you decrease your immune system’s ability to fight off the harmful bacteria and put yourself at more risk of getting sick.
Smoking puts you at higher susceptibility to all kinds of lung issues. Do we need to remind anyone that they need to quit smoking? Gently maybe, but most smokers know this better than anyone. We must try harder to give up this nasty habit.
Processed Foods are full of chemicals that are harmful to the immune system. Anything that comes in a box, bag, package or can is, generally, full of chemicals, additives, sugars, sodium and preservatives. By cutting the processed food, we reduce the chances of inflammation in the body. We can strive for a diet that is more “whole” foods and avoid the processed stuff.
Sleep is more important than you might realize. People who don’t get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours per night) tend to get sicker. To ensure that your immune system is functioning optimally, you need to strive for adequate sleep.
Stress is a significant contributor to illnesses. One person out of three reports feeling very stressed in their daily life. This raises our chances of catching something considerably because our immune system is suppressed and that leaves us more vulnerable to illness such as a virus.
The more stress reduction activities you can bring in your life, the stronger your immune system will become. Here are 2 tips to help you reduce your stress and increase your immunity to viruses.
1.Change Your Mindset
You can change your mindset by being more positive and live in the present moment.
According to studies across the world, positivism is a trait that increases your health and reduces your chances of being sick. Not only is the immune system of optimistic people more robust, but they also show signs of being healthier in general. Whatever happens around you, you always have a choice of how you respond to that situation. You either see it with half-full glass or half-empty glass.
An excellent way to start improving your attitude is to focus on gratitude. Finding things that you are grateful for will help you see the best in everything. You can do so by writing in a journal the daily gratitude that you want to express.
Practicing mindfulness will help you to manage your tensions. Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the present moment and stop worrying about the past or the future. Less mental stress also means less physical stress and give more power to your immune system.
2. Tap Into The Power of Aroma
the Power of Aromas from essential oils can help you boost your immune system while bringing a sense of calmness.
One of the most effective essential oils is Lavender. Lavender is a powerful oil in which antioxidants help the body protect the cells from toxins. You can use it in a diffuser to help kill allergen and bring a fresh scent to your home and help you relax. Place a drop of lavender oil on your pillow to improve your sleep. Another great way to use lavender oil is by adding two to four drops to your bathwater. Lavender oil will help you release the toxins from your body while finding a deep sense of relaxation.
But Lavender is not the only one.
Essential Nutrients Can Strengthen Our Body’s Ability to Fight Viruses
We cannot ignore the importance of a healthy diet to strengthen our immune system. A diet rich in nutrients makes a big difference. A few that we need to help boost our immunity are selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc.
While it is great to eat as many healing foods, it is not always possible to provide all the nutrients and antioxidants that our body needs to stay healthy. That’s when supplements become a great option.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and is one of the essential minerals for our health and immunity. Brazil nuts are excellent source of Selenium because one nut can provide up to 96 micro-grams. Fish and lentils are also good sources of selenium.
Spinach, carrots and sunflower seeds are some good sources of Vitamin E.
Berries, in general, are packed with antioxidants. Blueberries are at the top of the list for the number of antioxidants it contains. Not only does research show the power of blueberries on our immune system, and linked to a lower risk of high cholesterol, heart diseases, and cancer.
Vitamin C is critical to the immune system. Not only does it support the production of antibodies, but it also supports the activity of natural killer cells, which is essential to the immune system.
More Ways To Boost your Immune system
Exercise is important. Daily activity can strengthen the immune. Not only does frequent exercise boost our immunity, but it also seems to delay aging. Daily exercise can be as simple as a 20 to 30-minute walk.
Attitude effects us more than we might think. It is important to cultivate a positive attitude and develop more gratitude.
Sleep deprivation is very prevalent in our society. Sleep is crucial for the body’s production of cytokines. Cytokine is a protein that reduces inflammation and infection in the body. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to get sicker. To ensure that your immune system is functioning optimally, you need to make sure that you implement a sleep routine that allows you to get 7 to 9 hours of adequate sleep.
Here are a days worth of immune boosting recipes
Breakfast – Berry Parfait
- 1/2 Cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamom
- 1/2 Cup Blueberries
- 1/2 Cup Strawberries
- 1 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds whole or ground
- In a bowl, start with a layer of plain yogurt
- Add a layer of berries and a few sunflower seeds
- Another layer of yogurt
- Another layer of berries with a few more sunflower seeds
- Top with the honey, cinnamon and any left over berries and seeds
Sunflower Seed Salad
- 1 Cup Brocoli – chopped
- 1/2 Cup Sunflower seeds
- 1 Whole Tomato — diced
- 1 whole Cucumber — diced
- 4 Cups Spinach
- 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 clove garlic — minced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- Salad: Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl
- Dressing: Mix all the ingredients in a mason jar, close the jar, and shake for about 1 minute. Serve on the salad.
Lemon Baked Chicken
- Baking sheet
- 6 to 8 pieces Chicken Thighs or breasts boneless and skinless
- 1 Lemon — sliced
- 1 Lemon (juiced)
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp pepper Lemon pepper optional
- 2 tsp pink sea salt
- 4 sprigs Fresh Rosemary or 1 tsp ground or chopped
- Preheat the oven at 350 F.
- Slice one Lemon and juice the other one.
- In large bowl mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric and lemon juice
- Dip the Chicken peices in the mixture
- Place chicken pieces on a lighty oiled bakin sheet
- Pour the rest of the mixture over the chicken
- Lay the Rosemary sprigs alongside or on top the chicken pieces. (NOTE: if using ground rosemary.. sprinkle it on top)
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Suggestion: Serve with favorite vegetable and wild rice