The immune system is an incredibly important part of the body. While many people understand that the immune system plays a vital role, not everyone understands exactly why taking care of your immune system can make a real difference to your health.
Let’s take a look at what your immune system is, how it works, and a few essential tips to keep it in optimum working order.
What is your immune system?
Your immune system is a protective system in your body that defends you against harm. The specific type of harm the immune system defends you against comes from outside the body in the form of harmful substances such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins.
There are two parts to the human immune system: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system is the immune system that operates in the body from birth, while the adaptive immune system develops over time as your body is exposed to microbes or chemicals produced by microbes.
The cells that form both parts of the immune system are produced in a range of organs across the body including the Adenoids, Bone marrow, the lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels, Peyer’s Patches, the Spleen, Thymus and the Tonsils.
How does the immune system work?
The two parts of the immune system - the innate and adaptive - work together to protect your body.
When the innate immune system recognises an invader to the body, it immediately activates. The cells of the innate immune system completely surround the invading cell and kill it. The cells in the innate immune system that perform this function are called Phagocytes.
The acquired immune system is more targeted in its response. With the help of the innate immune system, the acquired immune system produces cells that defend against a specific invader to the body. These cells are called Antibodies.
Antibodies are developed by B lymphocyte cells after the body has identified a harmful invader. Immunisations and vaccines can help your body to create antibodies without being exposed to the actual illness you need to defend yourself against.
How can you help your immune system to perform at its best?
Taking care of your health means taking care of your immune system
Reduce your stress levels.
Stress can be very damaging to the body. It increases your cortisol levels which in the long term can damage your body’s cells and trigger your immune system leading to higher levels of inflammation. Stress may also lower the body’s B Lymphocyte cells which produce the antibodies that are vital for fighting infection.
Need to get your stress levels down? Try to take the time to take care of yourself and find ways to relax that don’t involve alcohol or food. As well as avoiding stressful situations there are a range of techniques like mindfulness, meditation and yoga that are effective ways to manage your stress levels and control your responses to stress.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases the chance of becoming sick after you have become exposed to a virus like the common cold. Scientists believe that this is because of two main factors: lower cytokine production (proteins that are needed to fight infection) and fewer infection fighting antibodies and cells. Both of these can be caused by a lack of sleep.
You can make it easier to maintain a good night’s sleep by creating a routine around this important time of the day. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time helps your body to develop a regular rhythm. In addition, calming hot drinks, removing screens for a period of time before bed, and relaxation tools like aromatherapy and hot baths can help your body prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Protect your immune system with the right diet.
Just like any other part of your body, your immune system needs the right fuel to operate at its best. That means avoiding or moderating bad foods like processed foods, sugar and alcohol, and increasing the good parts of your diet like lots of water, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Choosing a good balance of supplements can also help you to support your immune system when you feel it needs a boost, or if you’re not getting the right vitamins and minerals from your diet. To support your immune system, choose a diet or supplements that will provide a combination of beneficial ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Elderberry, Echinacea and Garlic.
A healthy gut will support your immune system
With 70-80% of your immune system located in the gut, it’s no surprise that good gut health can contribute to a stronger immune system. That’s because while your immune system is pumping beneficial microbes into the gut, the gut is fuelling the immune system with the support it needs to work.
What does your gut need to be healthy? A healthy diet promotes a healthy gut, so depending on your current diet you could focus on the managing the quantities of animal protein, saturated fat, sugar and salt that you are eating and explore adding probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods, as well as beneficial fibre from fruit, oats and nuts.
Support your immune system with High Dose Vitamin C Complex from NZ Scientific
Does your immune system need support?
Taking care of your immune system means taking care of your general health. However if you want to support your immune system further, you could consider adding NZ Scientific’s High Dose Vitamin C Complex to your daily routine.
Vitamin C is a key contributor to the health of your immune system and because the body can not produce it on its own, you need to include it in your diet or you could support your immune system further with supplements.
Vitamin C helps encourage the body to produce lymphocytes and phagocytes, which protect the body against infection. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses by protecting the cells in the immune system from damaging free radicals. In addition, Vitamin C is an important part of the skin’s natural defense system where it can both strengthen the skin’s barriers and act as an antioxidant.
Our High Dose Vitamin C Complex delivers 2960mg of Vitamin C in each dose, with three different types of Vitamin C that have been carefully combined to maximise absorption. The formulation has also been developed to include other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your immune system, including Bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc.
Support your immune system today with NZ Scientific High Dose Vitamin C Complex.