Immunity Booster

Immunity boosters can keep one healthy and full of energy. A run down immune system leaves the body vulnerable to all manner of diseases and illnesses. There are ways to boost your own immunity and stay healthy.

Keeping the body's immune system active and at maximum efficiency is one of the keys to good health. A fairly self-evident statement perhaps and yet many people have life styles that, far from sustaining the immune system, actually damage it.

Your immune system's first line of defence is right on the surface of the skin (oils) and in the mouth (saliva), eyes (tears) and nasal orifices. Here, the system tries to repel foreign and threatening organisms. Any getting past the defence mechanisms of the mouth are attacked by stomach acid and intestinal bacteria.

The strongest "invaders", that get past the first line of defence, trigger special cells whose function is to literally eat up the bacteria. These, in turn, signal other cells to seek out and destroy the "invaders". Some cells are even genetically built to handle only specific attacks and will hunt out and destroy any foreign bodies or cells that the body does not recognise.

There are some very specific sites for the production of infection fighting cells:

Bone marrow - makes white blood cells

Thymus gland - produces T-lymphocytes for virus protection

Lymph nodes - produce white blood cells

Spleen - its white blood cells clean the blood of infection

If any of the defense centres are damaged or not functioning properly, the effectiveness of the whole immune system is compromised and the body is made more vulnerable to invasion by dangerous organisms.

A fully working and maintained immune system will mean fewer illnesses, protection from cancer, slower aging, reduced stress, increased energy and quicker recovery.

The route to boosting your immune system is not a difficult one and it is not surprising that diet and exercise form key parts of the process.

Your diet should be well balanced and avoid all saturated fats and as much polyunsaturates as possible with the exception of some fish oil such as tuna, mackerel etc whose oils can actually improve immune activity.

It will be no surprise that fruits and vegetables form an important part of a well balanced, immune system boosting, diet. These contain Vitamin C and beta carotene both of which increase the potency of white blood cells. Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, dark leafy greens, broccoli, spinach, red and orange sweet peppers are all good sources of Vitamin C and/or beta carotene.

Two vital ingredients in your balanced diet are garlic and yoghurt both of which stimulate the macrophages (the cells that eat the invaders) and other cells targeting such things as viruses and cancer cells.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking supplements in moderation. These should include Vitamins A, C and E (the antioxidants) and B6 Zinc and iron are also useful in helping to boost immunity. Always retain a balance with supplements as very large doses can actually have an opposite effect and suppress the immune function. Make sure you inform your doctor about all the supplements you are taking.

Regular, but moderate, exercise is vital in boosting the immune function as this will increase blood-flow and, thereby, accelerate the movement of immune cells around the body. This, in turn, will increase the production of endorphins which create an all round feeling of well-being.

Another spin off, from exercise, is to raise body heat and stimulate reaction from the immune system.

Avoid strenuous exercise which, like excess supplements, can actually have a suppressing affect. Stress is also an immune system depressant and time should be taken each day to relax and meditate.

The consumption of alcohol and smoking are extremely toxic to the immune system though it is said that a little wine can boost resistance. Both should be avoided.

The road to a strong immune system, good health and the ability to fight of the infections taking out everyone else, is a simple one. Follow it and you will immediately start to feel the positive effects and to know that you are also reducing your real age and, therefore, increasing your life expectancy.

Sleep is another important factor in bringing your immune system to its maximum efficiency for, in the deepest sleep, the pituitary gland increases production of the growth hormone which then stimulates the thymus gland. This gland has a key role in the immune system it that it "ňúprograms' the thymus mediated killer cells (T cells ) which are the very root of the immune system.

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