The most beautiful house cannot stand for long without a solid foundation. Your immune system is your foundation for good health. Its protective network wards off harmful microbes and dismantles toxins. Its also acts as a surveillance system against abnormal cells.
Its defenses include:
- Physical barriers such as skin
- Inflammatory responses to injury
- Specific immune responses to pathogens or infection
Like a crumbling house on a poor foundation, constant “insults” to the immune system work over time to harm health. Constant stress, poor diet, lack of exercise or sleep, and smoking are just a few ways immune health is damaged. Positive lifestyle choices over time boost, build, and balance immune health to promote healing and recovery.
Applying these three practical steps can help you restore healthy immune function and maintain good health.
Boost - with antioxidants - Antioxidants are powerful immune boosters. They “mop up” toxins and free radicals that can cause damage and promote disease.
You can increase the effectiveness of antioxidants and reduce free radical damage by eating more brightly colored fruits and vegetables, especially berries, beans,
and greens. Eliminating or greatly reducing red meat, fried foods, high fat dairy, and processed refined products.
- Build - with exercise - Exercise not only protects the immune system but also builds it, especially antibody and natural killer “T” cell response. 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking at least 5 days a week helps maintain a healthy immune response. Adding aerobic exercise helps relieve depression and anxiety, which confers additional immune benefits.
3. Balance - with stress management - Chronic stress is a hit to immune health. It can cause mental and physical symptoms and increase vulnerability to sickness and disease. Take time to identify, internalize, and act upon your most important priorities.
Pare down, or you’ll wear down. A healthy lifestyle is the foundation of immune health.