Getting sick is not fun. A sore throat, runny nose, and irritating cough are all symptoms that everyone could live without. If you are someone that tends to get sick frequently, it could be due to a weakened immune system. Some of the indicators that your immune system is not working up to speed are:
- Your stress level is through the roof
- You always have a cold
- You have digestive issues like constipation
- Your wounds are slow to heal
- You feel tired all the time
- You have frequent infections
- You have sugar cravings
- You are dehydrated
What is the immune system?
Think of your immune system as your very own personal military. When your body encounters bad bacteria, infection, disease, and parasites, it works to immediately eliminate the threat to keep you safe. However, your immune system is really quite complex. It is a fascinating interconnected network that is made up of proteins and cells to protect you from the millions of harmful substances you come in contact with daily.
You have two basic types of immunity that both play an important role within your body known as innate and adaptive immunity.
First line of defense: innate immunity
Your innate immunity is your immune system’s first line of defense and is made up of the following:
- Natural killer (NK) cells – Natural killer cells recognize and destroy harmful substances that are found within the body
- Macrophages – Macrophages engulf and ingest foreign particles and cellular debris
- Dendritic cells – Dendritic cells provide defense in tissues that are exposed to the exterior environment
- Cytokines – Cytokines act as tiny chemical messengers that help white blood cells to communicate and coordinate an immune response
Second line of defense: adaptive immunity
Your adaptive immunity is your immune systems second line of defense and is made up of:
- T cells – T cells provide backup to NK cells and comes from the thymus
- B cells – B cells also provide backup to NK cells but comes from bone marrow
How can I give my immune system a boost?
Great question! While strengthening your immunity is easier said than done, several dietary and lifestyle changes can help to give your immune system the boost you need to feel your best. Here are a few tips!
- Get enough sleep
- Consume more whole plant-based foods
- Eat more healthy fats
- Reduce sugar intake
- Engage in moderate exercise
- Stay hydrated
Another great option to boost your immune system is to try incorporating a great immunity boosting supplement into your diet! For example, vitamin C is a powerful supplement that works to protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. It can also help to improve your immune system response when you need it most.
Another great supplement is vitamin D. Believe it or not, but many people are actually vitamin D deficient which can lead to a weakened immune system. Like vitamin C, vitamin D can help to improve your immune system response to attack and destroy harmful pathogens on the spot.
Lastly, rising in popularity as the world’s most researched immunity boosting supplement is AHCC®. Considered a supplement in Japan, this medicinal mushroom extract that comes from the mycelia of the shiitake mushroom works with your body naturally to help strengthen your immune system. With over 30 successful human clinical studies, it is no wonder why AHCC is quickly rising to the top.
Your immune system is important and works very hard to keep you safe. If you are looking to give it a little boost, try one of our great tips and kick your cold to the curb!