The Immune System

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The immune system is an amazing thing. Millions of bacteria, viruses, microbes, toxins and parasites are constantly trying to invade our bodies, while our immune system works around the clock to fight them off and keep us healthy. Yet because it is so good at what it does, the immune system’s work goes largely unnoticed. that is, until it fails us and some invading body slips through the net. The likelihood of this occurrence – and the severity of its impact depends on the strength of an individual’s immune system. A weak immune system not only leaves the individual susceptible to colds and flu, but it can also be at the root of more severe illness.

It takes just a little bit of well directed effort to make a big difference when it comes to strengthening and supporting your immune system.

So How Can I Strengthen My Immune System?

• Avoid sugary foods and drinks and processed foods. They harm your body in a number of ways and suppress the immune system. Once you start eating more fresh food – fruit, vegetables, quality meats, oily fish and raw nuts – and kick the sugar addiction, you will notice a big difference in your mood and energy levels. These foods
are packed full of vitamins and minerals that support your body naturally.

• Get plenty of exercise! As well as lowering your risk of long-term health conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis, exercising for 30 minutes three to five times a week will improve your mood, boost circulation and keep your body’s defenses on top form. The exercise you do doesn’t have to be too taxing – any activity where you have some trouble holding a conversation will count towards your 30 minutes.

• Get the right amount of sleep. Sleeping is your body’s way of repairing your defenses. Aim for around 7-8 hours every night, and try to stick to a regular bedtime, even at weekends. It is possible to sleep too much!

• Avoid stress! When you are stressed, your heart beats faster and your immune system slows down. Take time to relax whenever you feel the pressure.

• Avoid drugs. This includes cigarettes, alcohol and medication (when it can be
avoided). These things not only damage the immune system, but they can also lead to other serious health conditions.

• Cut down on caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and cola. Instead, drink water, unsweetened fruit juices and herbal teas. Water will flush out your system, and fruit juice is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Herbal teas make a refreshing alternative to tea and coffee.

These are the basic steps you can take to help your body function on top form. There are, of course, a number of other steps that can be taken to fortify immune function further, or to boost the immune system when a cold or flu has already taken hold. These include the use of medicinal herbs and foods, and supplements. Useful supplements for the immune system are : Echinacea, Acidophilis & Vitamin C

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