The immune system is our hero, equipped with a series of defensive mechanisms that provides us with constant surveillance against invaders. Its primary function is to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, infection, and the subsequent development of illness and disease. Our immune system and other related systems of the body become depressed through nutrient deficiencies.
As with optimizing our health, strengthening the immune system is achieved through diet, lifestyle, exercise, rest, and attitude. Symptoms of immune weakness include fatigue, recurring colds, lingering illness, weakness, and weight loss. Relaxation will enhance your immune system, whereas negative thinking, anger, and resentments, are toxic to the mind. We may be poor in spirit as in health.
How to Create a Healthy Immune System Naturally
Learn what suppresses this all-important system as well as what will bring it back to a state of optimum function. View natural easy solutions that are guaranteed to turn your health around. Raising the integrity of this system will ensure the future health of those already well, lessen the frequency of infections, speed up recovery times from illness, and improve chronic diseases.
Common Immune Suppressants
As with optimizing our health, strengthening the immune system is achieved through diet, lifestyle, exercise, rest, and attitude. Symptoms of the immune system having a clink in its armor include feeling in a weakened state, fatigue, recurring colds, lingering illness and slow recovery time, skin disorders, gut dysbiosis, appetite change, and weight loss, to name a few. Relaxation and picking up deficiencies in your diet will greatly enhance your immune system, while sugar will depress this system for six hours after ingesting it.
Avoid Immune Lowering Substances
The current reality in today’s industrialized world shows that we may not have control over the vast number of pollutants in our environment, but we can avoid many other chemicals over which we do have control.
- Toxic substances including alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, heavy metals, medications, and unnecessary drugs weaken this defense system.
- Also avoid chemical-laden food that is high in preservatives, fungicides, and pesticides.
- Reduce or eliminate all processed food: Buy fresh and cook your food.
- Some substances like alcohol deplete antioxidants and destroy enzymes, along with B vitamins, C, and zinc.
- Antibiotics impair white blood cell function and disrupt bowel flora by destroying the good flora (Probiotics) which is 85 % of our immune system, plus they leave behind a foreign bacteria that now inhabits and proliferates in our intestinal tract.
- Too much caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic which leaches vital nutrients from our bodies.
Coffee is far too acidic and destroys our friendly gut flora (Probiotics) and precipitates stomach ulcers.
All Systems Work as a Team
A fact that may not be evident to the general public is how interlaced our immune responses are with the other major systems in our body. For instance, without this quietly working system, our cardiovascular system would cease working and in turn, our immune system would become irrecoverable. Our defense system’s main interrelationship is with the circulatory system (cardiovascular and lymphatic) and indirectly with all the other systems of the body.
The blood provides a route for the circulation of immune elements to the different parts of the body. Although different but similar, our detoxification system has a direct correlation with our defense system whereby assisting the immune function in the excretion of toxins. This process enhances our overall health by reducing the burden on the immune system.
Our genes control the ability of the immune system to recognize foreign substances and yet the nervous system can play an important role in the immune response through the sheer power of the mind which can affect the body as a whole. For example, scientists have confirmed that by a so-called “witch doctor” telling a person they are going to die can actually cause death.
Conversely, the placebo method has proven particularly interesting. There are numerous documented cases, even those involving surgery when no surgery took place and the patients completely recovered and resumed a normal healthy lifestyle. On a similar note, the late publisher Norman Cousins maintained that by using humor as a therapeutic tool, the mind can sometimes cure what the doctor cannot. This highly complex interaction between the brain and immune responses leaves much room for exploration.
Supporting and enhancing the immune system is a vital step to maintain resistance to serious diseases and reducing one’s vulnerability to colds and flu. Fortunately, planet earth has provided us with a huge array of substances to choose from to fortify, nourish, and heal ourselves. There is an endless list of elements and compounds that assist and boost our immune and other related systems throughout the body. The following lists a few tried and true suggestions.
Nutrition is one of our most powerful allies. Being our primary nutrient source, it impacts how we think, how susceptible we are to disease, and how well we recover from illness. A balanced diet consists of a full range of nutrients necessary to nourish all our cells and tissues. When the diet is deficient in a particular chemical element required by a specific organ or gland, our bodies will be vulnerable to disease. The immune system responds quickly when given the essential nutrients needed to keep this complex system strong.
How to Quickly Pick-up the Immune System
The immune system responds quickly when given the essential nutrients needed to keep this complex system strong.
Numerous studies show antioxidants to be preventive and therapeutic for health problems from diabetes and cancer to the general deterioration of the body. We are constantly exposed to free radicals, with every breath we take and every chemical we eat. Scientists estimate that each cell takes about 10,000 free radical hits per day from air and car pollution, alcohol, cigarettes, food additives, caffeine, heavy metals, medications, and unnecessary drugs. Antioxidants are our best friends. They keep free radicals in check before they can impair our immune system and damage our cells.
Proclaimed as the Near Perfect Antioxidant – Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid, a vitamin-like substance was first discovered in the 1930’s but wasn’t until 1988 when research saw its potential. This unique antioxidant has a number of benefits from extending the life of other antioxidants to being at home in both water and lipid environments where it devours free radicals. Alpha-lipoic acid easily crosses cell membranes and once inside the cell becomes an even stronger antioxidant. Also, plays a key role in many enzyme systems.
For the past thirty years throughout Europe, it has been used to stabilize blood sugar in treating diabetes. Dr. James B. Lavalle, R.Ph., CCN, ND, and author of Cracking the Metabolic Code, recommends six hundred to nine hundred milligrams daily as an antioxidant. Other conditions that can benefit from alpha-lipoic acid are cataract prevention and neuropathy where by improves nerve blood flow and regenerates nerve fibers. It also increases Glutamate, an important liver enzyme. Alpha-lipoic acid can even help convert the food we eat into energy.
Other Potent Antioxidants
Selenium, vitamin E, and C are other antioxidant heavyweights. When taken together become synergistic, enhancing their ability to remove heavy metals and detox the body. These work wonderfully as a team to destroy free radicals, protect the heart, and improve circulation. Free radicals work to damage cells, fueling the aging process through cell mutation and cell death.
Selenium and vitamin E bind to toxic metals, such as cadmium, mercury, silver, and thallium and removes them out of the body.
Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene are powerful antioxidants. All of these and more stimulate the natural killer cell activity and antibody response, whereby reportedly protecting against different forms of cancer. Beta-carotene, for example, is found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. One molecule of this voracious phyto-chemical can destroy up to a thousand free radicals.
Beta-carotene is synonymous with carrots and other sources like pumpkin, sweet potato, apricot, sweet peppers, and greens. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and a precursor used to make vitamin A. This potent compound is well recognized for enhancing many immune system processes and duly noted to help reduce a wide range of cancers
Essential Fatty Acids Including Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The essential fatty acids (EFA’s) found in cold-pressed oils like flaxseed oil, walnut oil, evening primrose oil and fish oils such as salmon oil, contain linoleic acids, vital everywhere in the body and necessary for many metabolic functions. Immune response requires an omega 3 fatty acid, as does our inflammation response.
Probiotics, “lactobacillus acidophilus” known as friendly flora play an essential role in our defense system. Supplement your diet with fresh, plain yogurt, kefir, or the freeze-dried capsule form.
- To lighten up the load on the lymph system and boost immunity, decrease dairy, protein, starches, and sugars.
- Increase your daily intake of whole grains – consider all colors of the rainbow when buying fruits and vegetables. Eat more raw foods.
Fabulous Flavonoids in Berries
It is hard to beat the phytochemical and antioxidant power of berries. Along with their abundant antioxidant quality, they offer tens of thousands of phytochemicals that readily boost and defend our bodies. Berries are high in key nutrients that build a healthy immune system. These powerhouses of nutrition also scavenge free radicals from our tissues protecting us from aging and many chronic diseases such as cancer.
Exotic Berries are Unique
Berries native to the Amazon and other faraway regions of the world offer unique qualities unavailable to the Northern hemisphere. Berries like the Acai, Aronia, Wolfberry, and Goji have a greater abundance of antioxidants along with a much more complete nutritional profile encompassing amino acids, essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, with a wider array of phytochemicals.
The Acai berry to date contains the highest levels of antioxidants of which contain the prized anthocyanins. Processing is crucial if these incredible benefits are to remain available to the consumers. Most processing involves heat which then drastically decreases the ORAC value of the food. Flash freeze-dried methods are the best for retaining these valuable nutrients. Investigate before you buy these berries to ensure you are getting what you are expecting from the product as well as getting what you are paying for.
Aronia also is known as chokeberry is a small blackberry grown in North America. Early European settlers and Native Americans used Aronia as a food source – it is closely related (botanically) to the bilberry and the cranberry. Aronia also contains high levels of anthocyanins and flavonoids – extremely potent antioxidants.
Vitamin A is a Major Player – retinyl acetate
Vitamin A is a key player in the task of maintaining a healthy immune status in individuals as well as plays a major role in brain development, cellular growth, skin health, nervous system, and digestive functioning, It is important to note that the body needs adequate protein, vitamin E and zinc in order to fully metabolize and utilize vitamin A in this form.
Zinc is abundant in nuts and seeds, particularly raw pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. The essential fatty acids (EFA’s) found in cold-pressed oils like flaxseed oil, walnut oil, evening primrose oil, and salmon oil contain linoleic acids, vital in many metabolic functions.
Zinc is the second most important element in our bodies performing a hundred or more functions. This crucial trace mineral is a necessary component of our immune response and healing processes.
Commonly associated with tomatoes, lycopene is another antioxidant known for attacking free radicals and fighting several forms of cancer. Studies indicate that some form of oil accompanying lycopene may benefit its absorption.
Allium (dialyl sulfides)
Garlic contains immune-enhancing allium. This compound appears to increase the activity of immune cells that fight cancer and indirectly assist in the breakdown of cancer-causing substances.
Glutamine Guards the Body
The amino acid glutamine plays an essential role in being the first line of defense in our intestines and the body as a whole. Deficiencies occur following a trauma, major illness, poor diet, and even excessive exercise. When deficient, glutamine is implicated in immune dysfunction. Among other processes, glutamine serves as an energy source for rapidly dividing cells, such as immune cells following a bacteria invasion, the gastrointestinal tract, or other immune threats. Glutamine is abundant in high protein foods such as meat and two high vegetable sources are uncooked cabbage and beets.
New Champion in the Mushroom Grove
Native to Brazil, Agaricus Blazei Murrill (ABM) is a medicinal mushroom that now ranks top of the list for its potent immune-boosting and disease-fighting properties. Studies conducted by Dr. Shoji Shibata at Tokyo University, where Reishi and Shiitake – other well-known cancer-fighting mushrooms were compared to Agaricus Blazei Murrill, demonstrating that the ABM mushroom to have the highest concentration of beta-glucan of any mushroom. Beta-glucans are the most potent immune-enhancing substances yet discovered. The ABM mushroom contains Beta (1-3) D-glucan, Beta (1-4) D-glucan, and Beta-(1-6) D-glucan.
Major Advantages of Sulforaphane in Cruciferous Vegetables
A sulphur compound, sulforaphane is an all-star among antioxidants, generously available in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and related vegetables. It is a powerful anticarcinogen demonstrating strong potential in cancer prevention; delay and as a reversal agent of preneoplastic lesions (preceding the formation of tumors). Other credits include anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, and can induce the release of Phase 11 detoxification enzymes such as glutathione. (Clarke JD et al. Cancer Letter 2008 Oct8; 269(2):291-304)
Indole-3-carbinol found in Cruciferous Vegetables
Another well hailed phytochemical known for converting a breast cancer-promoting estrogen into a more benign variety. Indole-3-carbinol helps regulate the rate at which cells develop and replicate.
Falcarinol, Protective to Plants and People
Falcarinol found in carrots is the plants’ natural pesticide and an antioxidant to consumers. Studies indicate that regular ingestion of falcarinol reduces one’s cancer risk by up to 40%. Dr. Kirsten Brandt head of the research department at Newcastle University explains, “Isolated cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to falcarinol.” For the maximum amount of falcarinol to remain in carrots, preparation is key. Juicing is highly recommended and during the cooking process, do not slice carrots but cook them whole to retain their anti-cancer properties.
Iodine – Essential on Many Levels
Does iodine kill virus?
Iodine exhibits activity against bacteria, molds, yeasts, protozoa, and many viruses; indeed, of all antiseptic preparations suitable for direct use on humans and animals and upon tissues, only iodine is capable of killing all classes of pathogens: gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, yeasts, …May 10, 2017
Iodine Replaces Vaccines and Antibiotics
How Safe is Iodine Supplementation?
The mineral iodine is water-soluble, which indicates that it cannot be absorbed into tissues and held there like our fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K2. The FDA recommends 130 mg of iodine for safety purposes and suggests this amount of iodine can serve as protection against thyroid cancer due to radiation poisoning (even though the RDA is much lower at 150 mcg). In fact, iodine has shown to be the only trace element that can be safely ingested in amounts up to 100,000 times that of the RDA value. Add to that, potassium iodide is being prescribed safely in dosages of up to 6 grams per day for patients suffering from chronic obstructive disease (COPD). High dosages of this amount have been taken for years by individuals due to its therapeutic value in activating lung secretions. 21
Note: Our bodies cannot produce Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) without iodine – daily! Read more about it in my Blog at http://michelle-honda-blog.renewyou.ca/reverse-thyroid-disease-naturally/
Iodine Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Germs
Many of us as children were familiar with an iodine solution being topically applied on a scrape or cut. It works to enhance wound healing because it kills most pathogens on the skin within 90 seconds. As a general reference for what iodine may combat, the following list can provide guidance:
- Antibiotic activity
- Antiviral (many viruses)
- Antifungal (molds, yeasts)
- Anti-parasite activity (protozoa)
- Antibacterial (gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and mycobacterium*)
- Actinomyces (Gram +) Filamentous
- Bacillus (Gram +) Endospore
- Clostridium (Gram +) Obligate Anaerobe Endospore
- Corynebacterium (Gram +) Pleiomorphic
- Enterococcus (Gram +)
- Gardnerella (Gram +) Rods
- Lactobacillus (Gram +)
- Listeria (Gram +) Rods
- Escherichia coli (E. coli)
I wish to inspire you to think of iodine for a wide range of disorders. It is clear that the thyroid gland requires iodine, and the immune system requires a healthy functioning thyroid for optimum performance.
Other Properties to Keep the Immune System Strong
Natural ingredients have demonstrated the ability to support our immune system and overall health. My shortlist above and below is not to impugn the benefit of other excellent substances capable of reducing the susceptibility to infection and disease therefore in no particular order the following have also gained notoriety for stimulating the cornerstone of our health.
For example: Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms, Herbs, multi-minerals, vitamins such as E, B6, 12, D3, K, multi antioxidants, acidophilus, grape seed extract, quercetin, resveratrol, N-acetyl-cysteine, turmeric, folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, ellagic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, molybdenum, manganese, and vanadium.
How and What We Think Greatly Impacts our Immune System
Stress inducing thoughts can develop mental habits. The way we think will affect how we feel, even look, and also affects our future. Whatever we think about most of the time transmits like circumstances and events to match the energy that is being sent out most often. Happy thoughts and feelings of gratitude will transmit and attract luck, success, happiness, and contentment.
Exercise and sunshine will strengthen your immune system. Get out and enjoy any form of recreational activity that brightens your mood.
Detoxify the Body
For additional support to a healthier defense system, stimulate the elimination channels with detoxifying therapies. Keep the colon clean and moving well on a daily basis. Drink liquid chlorophyll in water and green juice to clean out the lymph system and assist the liver. Also, drink fresh raw vegetable juice that includes carrots and beets. This will build resistance to disease and slow the aging process while cleansing on a cellular level.
Health is not found in a miracle pill, it is a way of life. Nutrition rebuilds and regenerates tissue without poisoning some other part of the body. The right biochemical elements accelerate health and the reversal process.
Article produced on May 4, 2020.
For more information and consultation access Michelle Honda‘s website at www.michellehonda.com.