The immune system works 24/7 to protect us from infectious bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites that can cause disease. It is the body’s primary defense against infections and diseases. A weak immune system can expose you to various illnesses and ailments. Boosting the immune system is crucial for protecting our bodies from infectious bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites that can cause disease.
Every day we are exposed to potentially harmful microbes. While there are medications to improve immunity, there are natural ways to boost your immune system function.
What Is An Immune System
The body’s immune system is a complex network of steps and pathways that protects us from those harmful microbes. Humans have two types of immunity: innate and adaptive.
Innate immunity is our first line of defense. This includes barriers in our body that stop harmful pathogens from entering. Our skin blocks a majority of the pathogens that try to enter. Then, mucus works to trap any bacteria that may have made its way through before stomach acid works to destroy them.
Our bodies also contain enzymes in our sweat and tears that act as an anti-microbial and immune system cells that fight off foreign cells.
Regulated by cells and organs like the spleen, bone marrow, thymus, and lymph nodes, adaptive immunity is a system that learns how to identify harmful pathogens. When a foreign substance enters the body, this system creates antibodies and begins multiplying. These new immune cells, including white blood cells, are made to attack and destroy pesky pathogens.
Our immune system then adapts by remembering the foreign substance. If it enters again, these antibodies and cells can move more efficiently to destroy it. Now, let’s talk about maintaining a healthy and balanced diet essential to keep your immune system functioning optimally.
Boost Your Immune System with a Healthy & Balanced Diet
While there isn’t one super food that can make you feel better when sick, a healthy and balanced diet is essential to keep your immune system working optimally. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune system. Here are a few:
- Fatty fish contain omega-3s, which are anti-inflammatory fats. Herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, and trout are great examples of where to obtain these omega-3s.
- Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits contain vitamin C, which can prevent or shorten infections by promoting immune cell functions. But it’s not just citrus foods that contain this essential vitamin. You can also reach for foods like broccoli, ginger, or bell peppers.
- Garlic has been shown to improve heart health, but did you know it can also aid in immune function? This is because it contains allicin. Allicin is a compound that may reduce inflammation by supporting the release of white blood cells to fight infection. Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, which can also help boost the immune system.
How to Start With Healthy Foods
One of the best ways to get healthy foods into your diet is to plan your meals ahead of time. Planning can ensure you have healthy options and reduce the temptation of eating unhealthy snacks or fast food. Here are four tips:
- Consider creating a meal plan for the week and grocery shopping accordingly.
- Try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals and snacks.
- Experiment with new recipes that use whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Limit your consumption of processed and sugary foods, as these can harm your overall health and immune function.
Incorporate the tips above, and you are well on your way to having a more robust immune system.
Immunity-Boosting Sample Diet
Here is a sample diet for boosting the immune system:
- Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a sprinkle of chia seeds
- Gluten-free toast with avocado and a fried egg
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Spinach salad with grilled chicken, sliced almonds, and a vinaigrette dressing
- Lentil soup with a side of gluten-free bread
- Carrots and cucumber slices with hummus
- Grilled salmon with roasted vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
- Quinoa stir-fry with mixed vegetables and tofu
- Dark chocolate-covered almonds
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your immune system.
The Powerful Connection Between Your Nervous System and Immune System
The nervous and immune systems are two of the most important systems in the human body. The immune system protects the body from harmful foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, that can cause diseases and infections. On the other hand, the nervous system is responsible for transmitting signals throughout the body and coordinating its functions.
The two systems are closely connected and work together to keep the body healthy. When the immune system detects a foreign invader, it sends signals to the nervous system to alert it to the threat. The nervous system responds by releasing chemicals that activate the immune system, which then works to destroy the invader.
Maximizing Immunity with Chiropractic
Misalignments in the spine, known as subluxations, can interfere with the nervous system’s communication with the immune system. This can lead to a weakened immune response, making it harder for the body to fight infections and diseases.
Chiropractic care can help ensure that the nervous system is functioning optimally, which can help boost the immune system’s performance to its best. By realigning the spine, chiropractors can remove subluxations and help restore proper communication between the nervous and immune systems. By caring for our bodies and working to keep our immune systems strong, we can help protect ourselves from harmful diseases and infections.
To learn more about the science behind chiropractic and the immune system, check out this article- What Does Science Say About Chiropractic and Immune System Function?
Conclusion on Boosting Your Immune System
In conclusion, taking care of your immune system through proper diet, exercise, and chiropractic care can help you stay healthy and prevent illnesses. By eating a balanced diet rich in immune-boosting foods, planning your meals ahead of time, and limiting processed foods and sugar, you can give your immune system the support it needs to function at its best. Additionally, regular chiropractic care can help ensure that your nervous system is functioning optimally, enhancing your immune system function.
With over 20 years in the field, Dr. Dody is a seasoned chiropractor specializing in Functional Nutrition, Neurofeedback, and the Koren Specific Technique (KST). His unique ‘whole person approach’ identifies the root causes of health issues, offering patients not just relief but lasting wellness. Recognized for his expertise, Dr. Dody’s treatments often yield dramatic improvements from the very first visit.