The state of your health depends on how your body responds to the world around it. Our bodies are constantly on guard, protecting us from, and processing a barrage of assaults from the external environment. At a cellular level, our immune system is the bodies protection against foreign substances (antigens). When antigens enter the body, the immune system works to recognise the antigens as foreign to our own cells and neutralise them.
Environmental factors such as radiation, contamination, pollution and toxins, viruses and other infections, stress, diet and, inevitably ageing, all impact the integrity of our immune system. These factors have the ability to either strengthen our immune system or compromise it. When the immune system is compromised and out of balance, an illness may develop. An overactive immune system may result in allergies and autoimmune diseases while an under-active immune system may lead to severe infection and immunodeficiency.
So how do we gain some control of the world around us? The short answer is to make diet and lifestyle decisions to support a strong immune system. Our diet affects our immunity in many ways:
Dehydration may make you more susceptible to illness and drinking plenty of clean filtered water every day will help flush toxins. Find water boring? Try Hemp Water by Hemp Oz for a more flavourful hydration.
Eat food that has been grown organically, cleanly, without chemicals to reduce your exposure to harmful substances.
The antioxidants in whole plant foods help combat free radicals, which can cause inflammation. They also contain fibre and Vitamin C which lower your susceptibility to illness.
Reducing processed carbohydrates and cutting sugar intake may decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, reducing your risk of chronic health conditions. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease may all weaken your immune system so limiting sugars is an important part of an immune-boosting diet.
Incorporate herbs and essential oils. Studies have shown that echinacea, elderberry, astragalus root and ginseng all have a beneficial effect on the immune system & inflammation and protect the body.
Add specific foods to your diet. Bone broth, ginger, garlic, chilli, green tea, pepitas, fermented foods & apple cider vinegar, raw honey, rolled oats, turmeric, chia & hemp seeds, healthy fats high in omega 3’s, foods high in Vitamin C and foods high in beta-carotene may all build, promote and support a strong immune system. Not only low in sugar and full of antioxidants, drinking the live cultures in Hemp Oz kombucha may destroy many strains of pathogenic organisms in the gut.
Add supplements to your daily routine, probiotics, vitamin C, vitamin D & zinc promote protective immunity.
Only we can control what we put in and on our body. By maintaining a healthy diet we’re one step of the way to supporting a strong immune system. Check back in next week to see how lifestyle plays a factor in our immunity.