I am continuing the series on learning how to improve your immune system for the fall months, if you have not read part one you can do so here. The second part of this series is to discuss different ways in which you can boost your immune system, and the many natural ways to boost your immune system.
In part one I told you that the human body produces its own cells to fight diseases like cancer and many viruses. But the human body is susceptible to sickness if it is not up for the fight, against free radicals.
Let’s go back to the beginning. The body continually replenishes its cells. Through a process called cellular metabolism, the body produces energy, more cells and repairs any damage. One by-product of cellular metabolism is unstable molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that damage your body. They are unstable because they are missing an electron. To get another one and become stable, free radicals will steal electrons from cells. That theft damages the cells in a variety of ways.
The results are visible and invisible changes to our bodies. The development of diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and neurological deficiencies may begin to affect you as you age. Also, thinner skin wrinkles and brittle bones are a problem. Free radicals enter our body from outside sources as well: cigarette smoke, radiation and the sun’s UV rays. The more free radicals we encounter, the greater the damage that can be done.
The one great helper is Antioxidants; antioxidants have been shown and proven in many studies to help the free radical problem. This is the main thing that can cause us to have a compromised immune system.
Antioxidant substances combine with free radicals and neutralize them. Once they are neutralized, they can no longer do any damage. Scientists don’t have any idea of a recommended daily dose of antioxidants to correct free radical damage and the diseases that come with age, but they do know that eating foods rich in antioxidants makes a huge difference in how we live.
So you might ask what are the best foods containing antioxidants to boost your immune system. Check the Farmers market and natural or organic health stores for fresh fruits and vegetables. The sooner you eat food that is taken from the earth to your mouth. The higher amount of nutrient density it holds and the better chance you have of fighting off free radicals. Many don’t know this but each day after a fruits and vegetables are harvested they continue to lose nutrient value as each days goes by. So They are all around us. Look no further than your local farmer’s market or produce aisle in the grocery store. Fruits and vegetables contain the principle sources of antioxidants.
Examples of antioxidants include:
* Vitamin C
* Vitamin A
* Vitamin E
Antioxidants are also found in nuts, legumes, cold water fish, seafood and red meat. So, eating a varied diet of fruits, vegetables and the foods just named will increase the amount of antioxidants in your system and help reduce the incidence of disease. Eating fruits and vegetables in their natural form instead of juices brings the benefit of other nutrients found in the foods. Juices also contain a lot of sugar that is not needed by your body.
Food does more than stave off hunger. Natural substances found there can cause us to live longer and stay free of disease as we age.
There are many other natural ways to boost the immune system. Many studies have shown that incorporating stress reducing exercises into your life can go a long way. Practice things like relaxation techniques and mediation. I have found mediation to be critical for me in regards to balancing mind body and soul.
Exercise also plays a role in helping the body to have a stronger immune system.
No reputable researcher will claim that exercise will repair a weakened or diseased immune system. Nonetheless, a broad spectrum of studies confirms that moderate exercise can help sustain and strengthen it, even when the effects are indirect.
Regular exercise helps relieve stress. It does so directly, by providing an outlet for, and consuming much of, the nervous energy produced by stress. It also helps indirectly by shifting one’s focus away from the external factors producing the stress.
Exercise can help the cardiovascular system, by improving blood flow which carries away all that yucky toxic stuff out the body. It gets it away from the main muscle, organs and keeps the endocrine system working well!
This is a plus!
Exercising on a regular basis also helps to raise the body temperature, when you have a cold your body’s natural response is to kill of infection germs by raising your internal body temperature which is a fever.
Whether the effects are direct or indirect, exercising can help you support and enhance your immune system. That leads directly to better overall health.
To read part one on How to improve your immune system by click here.