My family thinks it’s crazy how I’ve been exposed to COVID many times but never got sick! I can’t say I had a walk in the park when allergy season came around, though. Whether, it’s COVID, colds, flu, stomach bugs, etc.- I manage to escape the germs. How?
The immune system is complex. We have three main lines of defense to help protect us from invaders. The lines of defense are:
- Physical barriers: removes foreign substances from the body via the skin, sweat, mucus, saliva, coughing, sneezing, urinating, crying, etc.
- Innate Immunity: white blood cells and other substances that provide a quick response toward common invaders.
- Adaptive Immunity: unique white blood cells that target specific invaders that escaped physical barriers and innate immunity.
Furthermore, the immune system has three sub-systems that play a role in our wellness. The sub-systems are:
- Integumentary System: includes the hair, skin, nails, sweat and oil glands. Helps regulates body temperature, eliminates waste, helps make vitamin D, and detects senses.
- Digestive System: when we have a functional digestive system – this helps prime the immune system and eliminate bacteria. Most of the immune system is stored in the gut. The first line of defense in digestion is stomach acid (HCL). HCL breaks down food and protects us from foreign invaders. Insufficient amounts of HCL in the body can expose us to an increased risk of pathogens and decrease our absorption of nutrients. This will lead to the build-up of parasites and bacteria.
- Lymphatic System: this system is crucial to all 3 phases of the immune system. Immune cells can be created here and migrate elsewhere. Not just made of organs but also includes the spleen, thymus, and lymphatic vessels.
2020 Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc.
There are daily things I do to help keep my immune system strong and protected. I’ll give you some of my favorite tips and tricks to include in your daily routine.
- Manage Stress: when our stress bucket gets full, our immunity bucket starts to overflow. As a result, inflammation and undesirable symptoms are natural consequences. We may feel fatigue, digestive upset, weight loss/gain, frequent colds may arise, etc. Practice mindfulness, self-care, and increase your movement throughout the day to ensure your body is well-kept.
- Eat a variety of colors: berries, veggies, cherries, and more! A well-rounded diet with many different fruits and veggies is essential for a proper immune response. When we give our bodies fresh, whole foods- we are rewarded with a supportive immune response.
- Hydrate Properly: Water is essential for all the body systems to stay moist and protect immunity. I add herbs, fruit, electrolytes, and minerals to my water each day for proper absorption. My most recent favorite is adding turmeric, ginger, elderberry, black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon to a tall glass of cool water.