The Immune System | A Deep Dive
Every time Fall approached we invariably receive questions about immune health and ways to boost it. This year we are taking a deep dive to help our community feel empowered when it comes to supporting one of our vital health systems by understanding it deeper.
What is our Immune System?
The immune system is a complete network of organic, cells, and protein that defend against infections. The organs and tissues that are involved are bone marrow, spleen, thymus, tonsils, mucous membranes, and skin.
What does the immune system do?
The main tasks of our immune system is to fight disease-causing pathogens and remove them from the body, neutralize harmful substances from the environment, and fight disease causing changes in the body.
White blood cells, made in your bone marrow, search for harmful microbes (such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, and harmful fungi). The immune system is then activated when antigens (toxins or other foreign substances) are found.
This triggers production of antibodies (blood proteins) specifically to fight the harmful microbes and mark them for destruction. Many cells and chemicals are involved in this process.
“70% of the immune system is located in the gut. One of the best ways to support your immune health is to ensure that your gut is full of diverse beneficial bacteria. This bacteria creates the stability of the gut ecosystem, which in turn, helps stabilize the immune system.”
Ways to support the immune system:
The interesting thing about our immune system is that we can actually train it to do its job correctly. We can build resilience in our immune response just like we build muscle. There are four main pillars to focus on when wanting to build up a resilient immune system.
#1 - Sleep
Studies indicate that sleep plays a crucial role in the robustness of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. The interaction of immune system components during sleep reinforces its ability to remember how to recognize and react to dangerous antigens. Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to support your immune system.
#2 - Exercise
Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells. It allows them to circulate more rapidly so that they can detest illnesses earlier than they would have without exercise. The type of exercise can vary from going for a long walk, a bike ride, or visits to the gym. Aim to get 30 minutes of exercise a day.
#3 - Stress Management
The stress hormone cortisol suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system by lowering the number of white blood cells. There are many ways to combat stress such as dancing, walking outside, spending time in nature, and practicing activities such as meditation and breathing that quiet the negative talk in our minds. Aim to practice 10 to 20 minutes daily.
#4 - Nutrition
We learned earlier that 70% of our immune system is located in the gut. When we are deficient in nutrients it impairs the production and activity of immune cells and antibodies. A diver plant-forward diet made with whole foods is best equipped to fill in deficiencies and support our gut health.
Nutrients to support the immune system:
The main key nutrients for immune health are vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, copper, selenium, and vitamin A.
Some of our favourite immune supporting products are:
Immune Broth || Ginger Shot || Green Beast || Immunity Shot || Coconut Carrot Soup
We love them so much that we bundled them together into an Immunity Kit. Click here to learn more.