Immunity seems to be the "it word" in marketing, at present. The immune system is NOT a single entity, it is called System precisely for a reason!
I find it amusing how everyone, from fitness and yoga trainers, dieticians to health-food brands, seem to be selling their services and products as Immunity boosters, lately.
As an advocate for health and wellness, I am so done seeing ads and social media posts claiming to boost immunity and protecting people from Covid-19. So, I am writing this piece with an intention to bring about awareness to What is an Immune System and How you can improve your Immune Response, while doing my best to keep it simple and brief.
What is Immune System?
Think of a bio-computer, a matrix of complex networks of cells and proteins. This system is trained to identify and destroy any foreign body that it comes in contact with, such as viruses and germs; and even remember each microbe it has ever defeated in order to recognise and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again.
The immune system is not a single organ but a network of cells and chemicals, of which the main parts are - white blood cells, #antibodies, the complement system, the #lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus and the bone marrow. You don't necessarily need to know or understand all these components but I hope by now you get the idea that your #immunity is a function of various other systems and organs in the body.
Other factors that massively influence the Immune System is your Gut Microbiome - the 35,000 different kinds of microorganisms that live in our #gut along with your overall lifestyle and the part of the world you live in.
Brining balance and harmony to your diet, exercise, sleep, and an overall healthy lifestyle is the first step to boosting your Immunity
Concept of Boosting Immunity
Every part of your body, including the immune system, functions better when it is protected from environmental toxins, chemicals in the food and reinforced by a healthy lifestyle. Several people and products claim to promote immunity, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, but in reality the concept of "boosting immunity" makes little sense scientifically. Rather, it is not a good idea to increase the number of immune cells - or any other type of cells - in the body. Also, it is a technically impossible task - which cells would you boost? ..and to what number? Our bodies are continuously generating immune cells and maintaining a healthy balance in an ideal state.
Sustainable ways to enhance Immune response
Eating a lemon, or exercising as an isolated act can never help you "boost" your immunity, whatever that means. It all starts primarily with a Healthy Lifestyle! Broad guidelines to which are -
Eating a plant based diet rich in fruits & vegetables
Sleeping adequately and soundly
Maintaining a healthy weight
Managing stress well
Consuming alcohol only in moderation
Practicing personal hygiene
Diet, Gut Health and your Immunity
70% of your immune response originates in the gut. A healthy balance of the gut microbiome is essential to keep healthy and fight viruses/ pathogens. What you feed these microbes decides how your food will be digested, nutrient absorption, core strength, inflammation, allergies, chronic diseases and of course immunity. Deficiencies of micronutrients such as - zinc, selenium, iron, folic acid, vitamin A, B6, C and E, drastically alter your immune response.
Chase a healthy Gut like the Holy Grail of your health and vitality!
Additionally, I would end with highlighting the relationship between stress and immune function. Your vagus nerve, that connects the brain with the gut, activates a sympathetic nervous response, also known as fight-or-flight response, in high-stress situation which slows down or rather stops digestion and nutrient absorption, messing with the overall balance and harmony of the ecosystem that is the human body.
To heal your gut and learn about building optimum immunity, work with me in a 1:1 consultation. Here's the details of my Programs. Leave me a message.
Based on research by Harvard Medical School