We often talk about boosting our immune system, but just as many other biological systems, this one is extremely complicated as well.
From time to time, immune cells must make important decisions, like is it a friend or foe? Is this a cell that must be kept or a pathogen that need to be removed? And in case it’s such pathogen, how should we fight against it?
The way our immune cells react is crucial for our health. If they fail to identify a harmful pathogen they can cause serious infection.
On the other hand, if they misidentify a person’s own cells, organs, or tissues as a potential foe, it’ll cause destructive autoimmune response.
Our immune system neither overreact nor under-react when it’s healthy, so it’s in perfect balance. There are various ways to naturally achieve this balance.
1. Food and Immunity
The first thing to do to keep our immune system in balance is to supply it with the right fuel.
Keep in mind that our immune system is interconnected with basically every other system in our body: cardiovascular, hormonal, gastrointestinal, neurological; they all function together.
As a result of the significant immune activity that happens in our digestive system, it can be referred to as “the second immune system” (as well as the brain). This is the reason why healthy eating is crucial for strong immune system. We need to ensure that our defense mechanisms are well supplied with the right fuel, and that our digestion is efficient and strong.
Processed food additives, and unhealthy ingredients like trans fats and refined sugar are proved to drastically impair the function of our immune system, and sometimes even immediately after we consume them.
Can you imagine of the possible long-term damage they can cause?
We should begin with the basics of healthy eating: sprouted whole grains, lean protein, lots of organic fruit and vegetable, nuts and legumes, and healthy fats like coconut, olive and omega-3 oils.
Phytonutrient compounds found in the brightly colored fruits and vegetables give incredible nutritional value in the form of anti-inflammatory support, antioxidant activity, sustenance for immunity etc. We suggest carrots, beets, mangoes, squash, blueberries, although there are many options to choose from.
For this purpose, cruciferous veggies are as well important. Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage have beneficial glucosinates in their content.
These molecules have been proved to support immunity and prevent cancer, and they combine nitrogen, glucose, and sulfur.
Miso, yogurt, sauerkraut and other cultured foods contain high amounts of probiotics-beneficial bacteria which has significant role in the regulation of immune activity, especially in digestive system.
The work of these beneficial microbes have just started to be understood. They train our immune system for improved responsiveness by affecting gene expression.
Always remember to drink plenty of water. Our immune cells travel through the lymphatic and circulatory systems, so the syndrome which limits blood blow in the arteries- hyperviscosity- is the foe. That’s why you should stay hydrated.
2. Immune-Enhancing Supplements
To boost your immune system, besides unprocessed and nutritious diet, you can use many supplements, such as the basic vitamins A, E, C, and D3. Vitamin D3 has significant role in activating the T-cells and similar immune components.
Although vitamin D3 has various important roles in our body, a lot of people have deficiency of it as its production requires sunlight. These are mostly people who work indoors, and those in northern climates.
Another nutrient supporting the immune system is zinc- a key compound in B-cells, T-cells, antibodies, macrophages, and other cells.
A person deficient with zinc can have reduced immunity. Some food sources of zinc are whole grains, poultry, raw nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, liver, wild seafood, and beans.
The traditional Asian medicine used astragalus root for supporting human’s immune system, and protection against stress. It provides antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activity besides other beneficial properties. We also suggest the nutrient selenium.
3. Modified Citrus Pectin
The complex carbohydrate, pectin, is an ingredient in jam sugar and its function is that of a thickening agent.
Moreover, it has been promoted as a soluble fiber due to its health benefits for the digestive system. Nevertheless, since the molecules of pectin are too big to be absorbed in the circulation, their effectiveness in the entire body is limited.
Fortunately, this problem is resolved by enzymatically decomposing these big pectin molecules in smaller ones with size that is much more bioavailable.
The resulting ingredient is MCP (modified citrus pectin), which provides various benefits once in the blood stream, one of which is supporting the immune system.
Moreover, modified citrus pectin is beneficial since it controls galectin-3, an inflammatory protein which fuels chronic inflammation, cardiovascular disease, metastatic cancer, and fibrosis of tissues and organs.
When galectin-3 is overexpressed in our body, it increases the blood viscosity and causes inflammation, which can result in weaken immune response. MCP has proven to be the best studied galectin-3 inhibitor, according to published scientific literature.
Not only that MCP binds and blocks the dangerous effects of excess galectin-3, but it also supports T-cells and natural killer cells, as well as safely eliminates heavy metals from our circulation with no effect on the essential minerals.
4. Nature’s Smart Drugs- Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms are another great way to boost the immune system. They function as potent immune modulators, which means they moderate overactive immune response and energize a weak one.
Mushrooms possess the complex carbohydrates beta-glucans which provide energy to macrophages as well as other immune cells.
Moreover, they help in the important immune function of cell signaling. The first responders warn the rest of the body about a harmful pathogen and organize proper response.
The number of the health benefits from medicinal mushrooms is countless.
You can add mushrooms in your diet in various ways. Culinary medicinal varieties like oyster, shiitake, and maitake are especially good in sauces and soups.
Although there are over 270 medicinal species, the MycoPhyto Complex formula is the best one.
It includes Ganoderma, Cordyceps, Coriolus, Agaricus, and many more for maintenance of strong immune system when needed.
The mushrooms from this formula are grown on a combination of herbs that support immunity, thus boosting their effectiveness.
5. Moving Meditations
It is very bad for our immune system to sit for hours, especially during winter when we are not so happy going outside except when needed. But boosting your immune system and metabolism doesn’t require much time. A short walk, about 30 minutes a day, is enough to do the trick.
If you can’t make yourself go out every day, you can as well practice yoga, qigong, t’ai chi and other similar moving meditations.
According to a study, one yoga session managed to activate a lot of genes connected to immunity.
These moving meditations lower the levels of adrenaline, cortisol and other inflammatory hormones, thus calming us and preventing weakened immune system which is caused by increased amounts of these hormones.
Moreover, a solid night’s sleep is essential for proper function of many systems, including the immune system.
The last but not the least thing you can do is to do something that cheers you up. According to many studies positive feelings are directly linked to strong immune system. So one of the best ways and medicines to maintain the balance in your life is happiness.
The immune system does a lot about our overall health, so we can return the favor if we try to adopt some of the mentioned practices which will help the immune cells to work more effectively, fight long-term diseases and various infections, and support our overall well-being.
We will constantly learn more about this complex system as researchers try to discover more insights about it, in order to keep our youthful energy and good health into old age.
As for now, we can follow these natural measures about immunity-support to improve our immune system and overall wellness.
Via Harvard Health