Your immune system is an amazing thing. Sure, when you’re home sick with giant puffy red eyes and an entire box of Kleenex shoved up your nose, it probably seems like your immune system has completely failed you. Well, maybe it has; but it might be your fault.
Our immune systems are the key to fighting everything from a tiny paper cut to a deadly virus, and so many things are a factor in whether we have a strong one or not. Things like poor diet, daily stress, exposure to toxins in food, water, and the environment will all contribute to a weakened immune system.
How do you know if you have a sucky immune system?
(Notice my use of the technical term: sucky)
You might have things like:
- Repeated colds and infections
- Allergic reactions
- Slow wound healing
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Listlessness (In constant ‘meh’ mode)
Why you might have a sucky immune system
(Or why your awesome immune system hates you right now)
- Your liver might be stressed out (from ingesting too many sweets, refined foods, alcohol, etc.)
- Occasional or regular use of drugs strains your body’s ability to detoxify
- Lack of exercise or movement. This can impair lymph drainage and decrease immune cell function
- Antibiotics, which can lead to toxins accumulating in the gut
- Toxins in food and the environment can strain your body’s detoxification system
- Being under stress; this releases excess cortisol (the stress hormone), which suppresses the immune system
- If your digestion is impaired you’re straining your gastrointestinal tract, which can not only cause inflammation, but can cause you to miss out on getting some much needed nutrients from your food
- Lack of protein due to a poor diet will deprive the immune system of the building blocks it needs
- Poor sleep quality or amount will weaken the body’s ability to protect and heal itself
How you can help your immune system
(So you can save money on kleenex and cough syrup)
You’ve got to ditch the excessive sweets, refined carbs, drugs, caffeine, alcohol, etc. to get your body back to a point where it is able to function properly; meaning it is able to fight off infections and colds, and is able to heal itself quicker. Eat mostly plant-based foods, drink purified water, exercise, get enough sleep, and stay away from toxins in your food, beauty products, water, etc.
Want specifics? Here are some handy immune boosters
- Foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E, selenium, and zinc help to maintain a powerful immune response
- All fresh fruits and berries, especially apricots, kiwis, avocados, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries
- Vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, watercress, turnip greens, collards, carrots, squash, sweet potatos, red and orange sweet peppers, onions, and garlic
- Plain yogurt labeled ‘live culture’, which contains the friendly bacteria your body needs (non-dairy is ideal)
- Chlorella and pearl barley, which contain germanium, a trace element that benefits the immune system
- Kelp, which contains nutrients like carotene, calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin B & C, which are necessary for the functional integrity of the immune system
I think the biggest strain on my immune system is chocolate. I like chocolate. A little bit every so often is fine; but everyday will eventually take its toll. So…
What do you think is the biggest strain on your immune system?
Nutritional Pathology: Third Edition
Brenda Lessard-Rhead – Stephney Whillier – CSNN Pubishing – 2013
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and should not be considered any type of medical advice. The information provided in this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease, and should not be substituted for professional care. Every human is biochemically different and what works for one person may not work for another. If you suspect or have a medical condition, consult an appropriate health care provider.