What Does Our Immune System Do?
Our Immune System, What is it and What Does it do?
Our immune system, what is it and what does it do?
Our immune system is a process within the body, that protects us against disease and other potentially damaging foreign bodies; basically it is our defence against pathogens (infectious agents that cause disease) such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa.
Imagine our immune as a built-in army, as a military base on permanent guard, which is constantly scanning for the arrival of foreign invaders within the body.
Our body’s defence includes our skin, mucus membranes, cilia, stomach acid, friendly/good bacteria and urine flow; white blood cells; lymph nodes and organs also assist in our immune system.
Most of the time our immune system is able to protect the body from infection, however for some of us, our immune is weakened, making us prone to frequent infections. A few of the telltale signs that your immune is low would be:
- Recurrent chest infections
- Sinus infections
- Skin infections
- Inflammation and infection of internal organs
- Blood disorders such as anaemia and low platelet count
- Delayed growth and development
- Autoimmune disorder such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes
Consult your GP if you have recurrent infections or symptoms of:
- Recurring chest infections
- Aching joints
How do we support and strengthen our immune system?
For most of us, our immune system can quite easily be boosted by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle. These choices can be made almost immediately, by gently introducing appropriate exercise (according to your age and health), you will promote oxygen and blood flow, all of which assists in boosting your immune.
There is evidence that lifestyle and dietary changes will influence our immune strength (I) as well as our susceptibility to infectious diseases. Some recommendations to boost your immune include:
- Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Try to exercise 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Managing your stress levels
- Wash your hands frequently
- Monitor weight management and keep your weight under control
- Cut down on alcohol
- Don’t smoke
Supporting your immune system with the aid of supplements may boost a weakened immune and help you if you are suffering from any of the symptoms discussed here. Nutrition To Go has a full range of therapeutics/ supplements to support a healthy immune.
The role of white blood cells is to travel to the site of an infection. Together, they prevent infections by warding off, disabling or ingesting invading microorganisms; they will also communicate with other cells to help repair cells to promote an adequate immune response. Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells, helping protect the body from infection.
- Assists in white blood cell formation and supports the immune
- Helps provide resistance to infections
- Food source: Citrus fruits, guavas, blackberries, parsley, green peppers, strawberries, watercress, brussels sprouts, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, alfalfa seeds, rosehips, raw cabbage
Superfoods, which are high in antioxidants and flavanoids, helps improve immune health and decreases inflammation. Professionals go as far as saying that superfoods help prevent cancers(II). Organic Supergreens with Vitamins, has a naturally high food form vitamin C content, providing support for your immune.
- 11 green foods
- 8 fruits and berries
- 7 vegetables
- 7 plant derived bio-active enzymes
- With vitamin C
- 14 food-based ingredients of fruit, vegetable and herbal combination
- Most important trace mineral
- Supports immune
- Supports the integrity of the respiratory tract
- Assists the thymus gland in making T cells
- Food source, oysters, seafood, red meat, pumpkin seeds
Krill oil is well known for heart and brain health; however, it is hardly recognised for immune health. Naturally rich in Astaxanthin, Pure Krill Oil provides potent antioxidant protection (iii) protecting cell membranes from free-radical damage and inflammation.
- Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), which the body cannot make itself.
- Thought to be more effective as an immune support than either fish oil or astaxanthin on their own.
- EFA’s help transport important nutrients into cells and keep harmful toxins out.
- Omega-3’s are important components of the cell membranes which surround each cell in the body.
- Critical for cell membrane structure
- Improves the function of cellular membranes to protect cells from free radicals.
- Thought to have greater bioavailability
- Efficiently absorbed
We want you to make your own informed decisions on your health. If you are not sure whether you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, or whether you are absorbing them, please speak with one of our consultants here at Nutrition to Go.
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Da Boit, M. Mastalurova, I. Brazaite, G. McGovern, N. Thompson, K. and Gray, S, R., 2015.The Effect of Krill Oil Supplementation on Exercise Performance and Markers of Immune Function. [online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4583249/[Accessed 18th March 2020].
Ware, M. What are superfoods and why should you eat them? [online]. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303079#what_are_superfoods[Accessed 18th March 2020].