Posted on Leave a comment

Benefits of a Healthy Diet and Exercise on the Immune System

Benefits of a Healthy Diet and Exercise on the Immune System

When it comes to staying healthy, your immune system is your body’s powerhouse. Keeping it strong and healthy through diet and exercise can help you avoid getting sick and feeling tired and rundown all the time. It can even help you prevent getting sick in the first place.

How Your Immune System Works

Your immune system operates as a network and runs throughout your body. It works hard at all times to identify and fight foreign invaders, known as pathogens. When it spots a pathogen, it triggers a response that boosts the number of white blood cells in your body. These are the cells that fight off invaders and keep us healthy.

There are two primary types of immune responses: Innate and adaptive. We’re born with innate immunity. The innate immune system recognizes foreign pathogens and tries to fight them using a generic response and includes our skin, hair, tears, sweat, and other physical barriers. (1)

Your adaptive immune system evolves as you age. It is made up of cellular and chemical responses that recognize familiar pathogens that you have been exposed to either through having an illness or having a vaccine.

How Your Diet Impacts Your Immune System

When your body is sick, it needs energy to fight off infections. Proper nutrition for the immune system includes eating foods that will provide the energy that the immune system needs to fight pathogens and prevent chronic inflammation, which can trigger immune responses. (2)

Here are a few specific things you can do to improve your diet and boost your immune system.

  1. Cut down on sugar

Sugar can do a lot of harm to our bodies, including causing us to become overweight. Additionally, sugar can prevent immune cells from attacking bacteria as they should. (3) When you have too much sugar, your immune system starts to effectively shut down, which can make you more susceptible to illnesses and less capable of fighting pathogens.

  1. Eat garlic

People have been eating garlic for medicinal purposes for centuries. It turns out, garlic can improve your immune function and is particularly useful in fighting the common cold or flu. (4) You can add garlic to your meals or take a garlic supplement when you start feeling a cold coming on.

  1. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet

The majority of the nutrients our bodies need can be found in fruits and vegetables. Eating a lot of just one type of food won’t be as beneficial as getting multiple vitamins from a variety of sources.

Some specific vitamins and minerals that you should add to your diet to get a boost of for your immune system include the following:

  • Zinc: Boosts white blood cell count. Sources include lentils, beans, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Vitamin C: Antioxidant that destroys free radicals. Sources include citrus fruits, red peppers, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin D: Can reduce your risk of contracting viral infections. Sources include sunlight and fortified foods.
  • Vitamin E: Antioxidant that destroys free radicals and improves immune function. Sources include spinach, broccoli, seeds, and nuts.
  • Beta-carotene: Antioxidant that reduces inflammation and increases the number of your body’s disease-fighting cells. Sources include sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and carrots.

How Exercise Benefits Your Immune System

In addition to eating well and getting a variety of nutrients into your diet, you should be regularly exercising to keep your immune system strong. Research has shown that inactivity, aging, and obesity can all be detrimental to your immune system. (5)

A simple solution is to add more activity to your lifestyle. You don’t need to worry about intensity, especially if you are new to working out. Starting small with light exercises can be enough to make a difference and help you stay healthy.

When to Exercise

Regular exercise can prevent illness, but sometimes you still get sick. If you have a mild illness, you might be able to exercise through it and feel better. Exercising is thought to be able to flush fluids from your lungs and help you feel better if you have a minor cold. (6) It may also raise your body temperature enough to more effectively fight off infections (similar to what happens when you get a fever). (6)

Don’t Overdo It

There is such a thing as getting too much exercise. In order to improve your immune system, you want to make sure you don’t cross the line of overdoing it. Overtraining has been shown to lead to fatigue and worsened performance, which can negatively impact your immune function. (7)

Similarly, don’t try to exercise if you are feeling extremely ill. If you have anything more severe than a minor cold, you’re probably better off resting than you would be trying to get through a light workout.

How Much to Exercise to Get the Benefits

A good rule of thumb is to get 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. This can include running, walking, swimming, or cycling for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This amount of exercise has been shown to improve immune function without putting too much strain on your body. (8) Find ways to add more steps to your day by parking further away, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or adding an after-dinner walk to your evening routine.

 

Conclusion

Taking care of your body through proper nutrition and regular exercise can help you boost your immune system to prevent illnesses and give your body the tools it needs to fight them off faster.

If you are struggling to get all your nutrients through food, you aren’t alone. Most adults don’t get all the nutrients they need through diet alone.

Fortunately, supplements can help fill the gaps and ensure that you get the right balance of nutrients into your body every day. Taking a supplement like Balanced ECZ Immune Support is an easy way to make sure you are getting enough nutrients to have a healthy immune system, no matter what life throws your way.

 

References:

  1. The innate and adaptive immune systems. (2020, July 30). Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279396/
  2. Childs, C. E., Calder, P. C., & Miles, E. A. (2019, August 16). Diet and Immune Function. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723551/
  3. Sanchez, A., Reeser, J., Lau, H., Yahiku, P., Willard, R., McMillan, P., . . . Magie, A. (1973, November 01). Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/26/11/1180/4732762
  4. Nantz, M. P., Rowe, C. A., Miller, C. E., Creasy, R. A., Stanilka, J. M., & Percival, S. S. (2012, January 24). Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280901/
  5. Nieman, D. (2020, May 8). Coronavirus disease-2019: A tocsin to our aging, unfit, corpulent, and immunodeficient society. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7205734/
  6. Exercise and immunity: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm
  7. Hackney, A. C., & Koltun, K. J. (2012, December). The immune system and overtraining in athletes: Clinical implications. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23540172/
  8. Regular exercise benefits immunity — even in isolation. (2020, March 31). Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200331162314.htm
Cindy Papp

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

Posted on Leave a comment

What is Low Immunity and What Can I do About it?

Low immunity means your immune system, your protection against illness, is not working as well as it should. Also known as a weakened immune system, it may be a result of illness or unhealthy lifestyle factors. Some indications of low immunity include:

  • Frequent colds and flus
  • Frequent infections
  • Constant allergies
  • Bruise easily
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Slow wound healing

The causes of low immunity are often due to a number of factors. Aside from cancer treatments and medications that can lead to suppressed immunity, a weakened immune response may be attributed to unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as:

  • Poor diet that does not include enough fruits and vegetables
  • Frequent alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Too much sugar
  • Lack of stress management skills

How to Support or Enhance a Low Immune System

Luckily, it is possible to enhance a lowered immune system with some lifestyle adjustments, and we all have the power to make these changes to become proactive players in our health. Some easy changes include altering the diet to support immunity, using nutritional supplements, adopting a small amount of daily exercise and curbing bad habits like smoking and alcohol consumption.

Incorporating many smaller changes can add up to an overall improvement in overall health and immune response. The following are just a few health promoting lifestyle changes to incorporate if you feel you are experiencing low immunity.

What to do About Low Immunity

Diet is one area where we enjoy the most control. Diet changes may seem daunting at first, but you don’t have to make all the changes at once. While some people do better with a complete overhaul, many find that incorporating small changes is more manageable. Small changes may help you create good habits without too much effort.

For example, abstain from eating restaurant and fast food for a while. Instead, replace your favorite foods with a healthier, homemade version. This allows you to control the amount of sugar and other ingredients that can inhibit immunity. At the same time, making your own foods allows you to use fresh ingredients, which have a higher nutritional value to support a healthier immune response.

Center your meals and snacks around fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins and whole grains. Whole foods that are less processed will provide more nutrients, aid your digestive system and support overall health. And since many pathogens end up in the gut, a healthy digestive system is imperative for a healthy immune response.

Exercise can help boost immunity. It increases circulation, which transports more oxygen and nutrients to all areas of your body, increasing the ability of your immune system to work. Increased body temperature as a result of exercise can help the body fight infections, and exercise also reduces stress hormones that can suppress immunity. (1) And it also appears that regular exercise helps increase the activity of cells that keep bacteria and other pathogens at bay. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise, four to five days each week.

Nutritional Supplements are common home remedies for many who are proactively taking charge of their health. Many herbs have been used in traditional healing practices around the world for centuries and still hold true today, for good reason. They help many people feel healthier and more resilient during cold and flu season and, for some, even help shorten the amount of time they experience symptoms when they do get sick.

Some of the nutritional supplements that are used include elderberry, echinacea, goldenseal, zinc and vitamin C. They may be sold in a combination supplement or used individually. Most professional nutritional experts agree that a combination of these along with a healthy diet and plenty of rest are the best way to help boost a weakened immune system.

Hydrate your body for peak health, as our bodies are comprised of mainly water and fluids. Waste is carried out of the body through lymphatic fluid while nutrients are transported to all areas of the body through the circulatory system.

Lymph is the fluid that travels through your lymphatic system, which plays a major role in your immune system. Lymph transports oxygen through the body, helps remove waste materials, and transports white blood cells that neutralize or eliminate pathogens. It is mainly composed of water, and so relies on water intake to fully function. But improper hydration can result in a sluggish lymphatic system, which also means a sluggish immune response.

To ensure you are properly hydrated, aim to drink 25-50% of your body weight in ounces of fresh, pure water. Also eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as they contain their own water and help keep you hydrated while providing necessary electrolytes. For an added boost, try daily exercise as it helps hydrate your body while increasing circulation and improving electrolyte levels.

Stress Management is essential for overall health and proper immune function. Stress causes chemical changes in the body, affecting all facets of health including digestion and metabolism. Some stress is completely normal and natural as the body can readily bounce back into proper homeostasis. But prolonged stress can cause prolonged chemical changes that affect your health in a negative way.

Unchecked stress can alter gut bacteria leading to a lack of beneficial bacteria that is necessary for a healthy immune response. It also diverts blood away from your digestive tract and sends more to the brain and limbs for quick thinking and fleeing. But this further weakens digestion, metabolism and immune response. Lastly, stress puts strain on the circulatory system which can result in a greater risk for coronary heart disease.

To counter stress reactions, use active stress reduction techniques like yoga, meditation or biofeedback. Yoga is used by many for stress relief and exercise. It is said the poses used during a session increases blood flow to certain organs while the practice of controlled breathing is a natural stress reliever. Meditation is widely used to reduce stress and even helps reduce anxiety and panic attacks. (2) Biofeedback is a way to become more aware of your physical responses to stress, possibly allowing you more control over them. (3)

Conclusion

Low immunity is a state that can be improved with healthy lifestyle choices. Fortunately, diet, exercise, proper hydration, nutritional supplements and stress management are all lifestyle factors within your control, and using them to your advantage can help you live and enjoy life while supporting a strong immune system.

References:

1 Exercise and immunity: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (2020, February 4). Retrieved February 15, 2020, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm

2 Carmody, James & Baer, Ruth. (2008). Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of behavioral medicine. 31. 23-33. 10.1007/s10865-007-9130-7.

3 Ratanasiripong P, Kaewboonchoo O, Ratanasiripong N, Hanklang S, Chumchai P. Biofeedback Intervention for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression among Graduate Students in Public Health Nursing. Nurs Res Pract. 2015;2015:160746. doi:10.1155/2015/160746

$19.99 $16.76

117 in stock

Elderberry Vitamin C and Zinc ECZ Immune Support Drops

$17.49 $14.74

147 in stock

$18.99 $14.37

36 in stock

Cindy Papp

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy at Any Age

How to keep you immune system health at any age

How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy at Any Age

 

Our bodies function best when we do all we can to take care of ourselves. The heart, brain and even the hormonal system all rely on healthy habits like a wholesome diet and exercise to stay in top shape, and our immune system is no exception.

The immune system is responsible for a number of functions. It is your first defense against those things that look to weaken your body. It can ward off infection, neutralize or kill pathogens that can cause illness and even prevent various types of cancers. But, just like the rest of your body, it will not function well when undernourished or neglected.

Unfortunately, also like the rest of your bodily systems, the immune system is susceptible to the aging process as it undergoes a gradual deterioration called immune senescence.  The good news is that it is possible to keep your immune system healthy at any age. Lifestyle changes are factors that are within your control and can be adjusted to help ward off the aging process, allowing you to enjoy a healthy immune system well into your golden years.

9 Ways to Keep Your Immune System Healthy at Any Age

Stop Smoking

Smoking can weaken your entire body, including your immune system. Most people are aware that smoking creates inflammation of the mouth, throat and lung tissue and it is a source of cancer-causing carcinogens. But smoking can also suppress your body’s ability to fight other infections because immune defenses are being directed at fighting the effects of the smoke.

And to make the situation worse, smoking can affect your DNA. Scientists measure the health of your immune function based on the length of certain molecules called telomeres, which are located on the DNA strands. Bad habits, including smoking, shorten the telomeres and thus use up the “immunologic clock” sooner than the body’s natural lifespan. (1) The only way to combat this is to drop the habit.

Lose Weight

Abdominal fat triggers internal inflammation, which increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. It is no secret that as we age, fat builds up around the mid-section as hormonal changes take place, but fat can also accumulate around the liver and even in bone marrow, further increasing the risk of inflammation.

Additional fat around the organs increases the risk of certain cancers as well as other diseases. Losing weight lessens this effect, thus taking the burden off of a stressed immune system. But it seems there are more benefits to weight loss than curbing inflammation.

Obesity is linked to dysfunction of natural killer cells, decreased production of white blood cells and overall altered or decreased immune function. (2) Scientists point out that those who are overweight generally have a sluggish immune system, so losing weight may aid in a better immune response.

Exercise

Exercise is known to have many health benefits, especially to ward off the signs of aging. But it can also enhance immunity. As you exercise, you bring in more oxygen, which is more easily transported throughout your body as circulation increases. This may help flush out pathogens including bacteria and virus as the extra oxygen supports your body’s ability to fight them at the same time. And as your body temperature rises during exercise, the ability to fight infection may also rise. Generally, 20 to 30 minutes of exercise four or five times each week is beneficial for most people.

Nutrition

Many experts agree that nutrition is the basis for all good health, and a diet based around whole and natural foods is the best way to support your system. Consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables provides your body with a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can support the immune system, so it works better.

At the same time, a diet that is based around fruits and vegetables with complements of lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats is known to slow the aging process. And to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of a healthy diet, cut out foods that can harm or suppress your immune system. This includes processed foods that contain too much unhealthy fat, sugar and sodium as well as junk foods and soda.

Herbs and Nutritional Supplementation

In today’s busy lifestyle, it may be difficult to always eat healthy. In addition, aging and stress suppress immunity and when combined, you have a recipe for a declining immune system. Luckily, scientists today are learning more about the effects that plants have on human health.

Numerous studies have found that some plants may lead to better immune response and a more active defense system. (3) Certain herbs and plants that are found to have a positive impact on immunity include echinacea, garlic, elderberry and black cumin. Using nutritional supplementation of nutrients like vitamin C along with herbs like elderberry may be a powerful combination to support a healthy immune system at any age.

Improve Thymic Function

The thymus is a lymphatic organ that is part of your immune system. It plays a role in training certain cells to destroy pathogens and fight infections. Oddly, it is at its peak when we are young and begins to decline shortly after puberty. Around the age of 60, the thymus begins the process of involution as the immune system begins to deteriorate with the natural aging process.

Some experts believe the best way to protect the thymus is to avoid foods that suppress immunity. This includes unhealthy fats, sugars, genetically modified foods, alcohol and highly processed foods. Taking immune supporting herbs like elderberry and garlic are beneficial additions for extra support, and when used with a whole food diet can help all systems remain in top shape.

Conclusion

Taking care of your body before you get sick is easier than recovering from being sick. But if it’s too late, practices like using nutritional supplements may help shorten the time you are sick. It’s not too late to be proactive with healthy lifestyle choices, so you will enjoy an active and healthy immune system, no matter what age you are.

References:

1 Team, F. H. (2019, February 27). How to Keep Your Body’s Defenses Strong After Age 65. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-tips-make-immune-system-stronger-age/

2 Milner JJ, Beck MA. The impact of obesity on the immune response to infection. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012;71(2):298–306. doi:10.1017/S0029665112000158

3 Sultan MT, Butt MS, Qayyum MM, Suleria HA. Immunity: plants as effective mediators. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(10):1298–1308. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.633249

Elderberry Vitamin C and Zinc ECZ Immune Support Drops

ECZ Immune Support

All natural Elderberry, Vitamin C and Zinc to easily add daily immune support. Liquid drops for fast absorption and more bioavailability.  Naturally sourced Elderberry, Vitamin C and Zinc to easily add daily immune support

  • Liquid drops for fast absorption and more bioavailability
  • Better than pills, capsules or tablets
  • All natural, Vegan and Non-GMO ingredients

147 in stock

$17.49 $14.74

Buy 2 for FREE shipping!

Cindy Papp

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/