By nourishing your body and making changes to your daily routine, you can retune your immune system. So it recognizes threats and combats any invaders.
Exposure to pathogens is par for the course in day-to-day life and they may have the ability to harm us. By understanding the ‘in-built shield’ that protects us from these – the immune system – we can take measures to safeguard ourselves for a healthier life.
If you’re finding yourself suffering from allergies very often or falling prey to the flu or the common cold frequently, you might have a weak immune system. A major sign of a weak immune system is susceptibility to infections.
Infections or pregnancy can suppress the immune system. People who smoke and those with nutrient deficiencies may also have compromised immunity. Not to forget, our genetic make-up may also be one of the reasons for a weak immune system.
A weak immune system puts the health and longevity of the person at risk. A person with inadequate immunity is defenceless against pathogens; the quality of life of this person is reduced as well, because of increased susceptibility to infections.
The gut microbiota and immune system functions are interlinked; immunity is our defence against foreign microbes and the microbes in our gut regulate our immune system. Understanding this co-relation better can help prevent infections and allergies.
Genes are responsible for the growth and development of a living organism, including the immune system. Immunity against an infection is influenced by several genetic and environmental factors; adaptive immunity traits are influenced by genetics.
Our immune system’s response to an intrusion by an irritant – which could be a pathogen, or just a thorn – is inflammation. Interestingly, research suggests that inflammation may play a role in non-infectious diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders.
Some components called allergens in food elicit abnormal responses in certain people. An overactive immune system is also an indication of a weak or dysfunctional immune system; this hypersensitive reaction is because of genetic characteristics.
A healthy lifestyle boosts our immune system. A balanced diet includes elements that boost immunity such as protein, dietary antioxidants, probiotics and prebiotics. Regular physical activity also goes a long way in building one’s resistance to infections.
The delicate balance of free radicals and antioxidants in immune cells is crucial for the efficient functioning of immune system. An adequate amount of dietary antioxidants would help in correcting or preventing any imbalance in the immune cells.
A balanced diet helps in building a robust immune system. Protein plays an important role in the immune system, such as in the formation of antibodies. Antioxidants, micronutrients and adaptogens in the diet contribute towards increasing immunity.
Adaptogens are biologically-active substances from herbs which have a therapeutically beneficial effect on the body, including the immune system. Adaptogens should not in any way affect the normal functions; they should not have any side effects.
9 July 2020
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