“Immunity boost”—a popular buzz-phrase being tossed around during this time of uncertainty. We all want our body’s natural defenses to be able to fight off illness and disease. But what is the immune system exactly—and how can it be improved?
Your immune system is just that—a system that protects your body from viruses, parasites, bacteria, and more. It’s an extensive network of cells, proteins, white blood cells, and antibodies. The organs and body parts that play a role in the system include bone marrow, spleen, lymphatic system, appendix, tonsils, adenoid and thymus. The key to having a strong immune system is balancing the system. There is no one specific way to strengthen it. The scientific and medical community admit that they don’t have all of the answers to the immune response. What they do know is that it’s your immune system that keeps you healthy.
Disorders of the immune system include inflammatory diseases, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and Hashimoto’s, affecting the thyroid.
In general, your immune system does an incredible job in defending you from harmful pathogens. However, there are times when a microorganism outsmarts the system, thus, making you sick. According to Harvard Medical School, the best thing you can do to keep your immune system balanced and in good working order is to implement a wellness strategy that includes the following:
• Don’t smoke
• Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
• Exercise most days
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Only drink alcohol in moderation
• Minimize stress
• Get adequate sleep
• Wash hands frequently
Your body is continuously generating immune cells so it’s a good idea to support the system by heeding these recommendations on a daily basis. Be sure to stay hydrated with water or unsweetened teas. If your diet is falling short, there is some evidence that taking a multi-vitamin may have a positive effect on the immune system.