It seems that now more than we need to know about our immunity, what it is and how to keep it strong.
What does your immune system do?
Your immune system protects your body from outside invaders like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins. It also helps to keep you healthy and reduces your chances of getting sick.
Where is your immune system located?
Your immune system is made up of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together to protect your body. Your skin is the first line of defence against germs entering your body. Other parts of the immune system include your lymphoid organs. To make a complicated science lesson easy to understand, here’s what you need to know:
Organs like bone marrow and your thymus create special immune system cells called Lymphocytes.
These immune system cells are what “fight” the germs in organs like the lymph nodes, the spleen, tonsils, and mucous membranes (your gut!).
How to support your immune system to make it strong?
Now you know your immune system is compromised of different factors that all contribute to one another. Supporting your immune system is still being studied to prove direct links between lifestyle and immune function.
There are multiple factors that can play a role in proper function of immune system life diet, exercise, age, and stress.
- Choosing a healthy lifestyle is your first line of defence.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercise daily
- Get adequate sleep
- Personal hygiene (washing hands frequently)
- Minimize stress and develop coping mechanisms
What foods to eat to support a strong immune system?
- include foods in your diet that are high in Vitamin C.
- Bell Peppers
- Citrus Fruit
- Vitamin E: a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection.
- sunflower seeds
- Peanut Butter
- Vitamin A helps to fight infection
- sweet potato
- butternut squash
- other dark leafy greens
- Vitamin D – aka The Sunshine Vitamin. One of the most powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system.
- Get out in the sun for at least 15-20 minutes per day. Most North Americans need a Vitamin D3 supplement to ensure they are receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin D.
- Iron: helps your body carry oxygen to the cells in your body. plays a very important role in immune system processes.
- red meat
- Other foods to include in your diet: Ginger, turmeric, garlic, fish oils and probiotics.
We hope this helps with some information on immunity. Stay safe, and stay healthy!