Your Immune System is Your Baseline Defence System
Whether this be against common annoying illnesses such as colds and flu or more serious invaders that may attempt to cause your body harm.
Protecting you against disease. How does this work and How can you best support it.
I will go through this with you now –
How your Immune System Works
To function properly, your immune system must detect a wide variety of invaders, known as pathogens. These arise from viruses to parasitic worms. Your immune system distinguishes these from healthy tissue in order to remove them from your body. In many species, the immune system can be classified into subsystems, such as the innate immune system versus the adaptive immune system, or humoral immunity versus cell-mediated immunity. In humans, the blood–brain barrier, blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier, and similar fluid–brain barriers separate the peripheral immune system from the neuroimmune system which protects the brain. You may well here that with many illicit drugs there main danger lies in the fact that they pass directly through this blood-cerebrospinal fluid. This is why they are so damaging as you can see to the function of your brain and your nervous system.
So whether it be something as simple as staying well and managing to avoid those annoying sniffles and sneezing. To more serious bouts of ill health where you are feeling tired, lethargic and just not your healthy self. By supporting your immune system in helping to prevent and combat these times of ill health is vitally important in the prevention of more serious health problems known as disease.
Your Diet is Your First Line of Defence
Avoiding processed foods, grains, and sugar will go a long way toward strengthening your immune system. However, you can do even more by selecting foods that are loaded with specific immune-boosting nutrients.
Eating a diet rich in the following foods will be far better for your health than loading up on handfuls of supplements, or worse yet, falling victim to vaccines that expose you to health risks far worse than influenza.
Below, I have outlined for you Foods that will support your immune system and foods that will suppress your immune system.
The Australian diet has become largely made up of processed foods, 20% sugars and 37% fat, suppresses immunity. Saturated fats in pastries, fried foods, and red meats are the worst culprits.
- Reduce dairy and sugary foods replace fresh wholefoods such as nuts, vegetables and fruit.
- Have a good breakfast each morning including protein such as an egg, some tofu or a smoothie with fruit such as berries and a banana, yoghurt and skim milk or soya milk
- Eat plenty of fresh foods, fibre foods, whole grains, sea- foods, eggs and two serves of cultured dairy foods, like yoghurt and or probiotics for friendly G.I. flora.
- Food enzymes are basic to immune response. Include a cup of green tea, fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Especially include enzyme-rich sprouts, garlic, papaya and sea greens.
- Eat organically grown foods whenever possible as pesticides, chemical pollutants, lower immunity.
- Add immune-enhancing super-foods such as spirulina, wheat grass, spinach, rocket and other dark green leafy vegetables daily to your diet
The Health Benefits of Lemon
Like all citrus fruits, lemons are a good source of vitamin C that enhances the texture of your skin and has a lot to give both to health and beauty. They are also good for cleansing your digestive system.
The various benefits of lemons are listed below:
- Squeeze some lemon juice into warm water and drink it. It helps by cleansing your body of toxins.
- Cellulite can also benefit from lemons. First of all, start each day with a drink of hot water and squeezed lemons. Water retention is also banished this way. Then use a lemon based cellulite oil to rub onto the affected areas.
- Lemons can be rubbed directly onto skin and left for about 2 hours before rinsing. This is good to reduce wrinkles and treat blemishes. The treatment will work better if followed by olive oil after rinsing. It works by speeding up skin renewal and uncovering a fresh new layer of skin. However, it is important not to do this before going out in the sun as it will have a bleaching effect.
Another beauty treatment that can be done with lemons is a hair tonic. Massage some lemon juice onto hair and leave it for a while before rinsing. Again, do not do this before going in the sun. This treatment is especially good for greasy hair as it will regulate the sebaceous glands that produce oil and make the hair shine and prevent dandruff.
8 Foods that Boost your Immune Function
Adequately feeding your immune system boosts its fighting power. Immune boosters work in many ways. They increase the number of white cells in the immune system army, train them to fight better, and help them form an overall better battle plan. Boosters also help to eliminate the deadwood in the army, substances that drag the body down. Here are the top eight nutrients to add to your family’s diet to cut down on days missed from work and school because of illness.
1. Vitamin C. Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters for many reasons. There has been more research about the immune-boosting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient. Here’s what the research shows about how this mighty vitamin protects your body.
- Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies and increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses. Vitamin C reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering blood pressure and interfering with the process by which fat is converted to plaque in the arteries. As an added perk, persons whose diets are higher in vitamin C have lower rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
- You don’t have to take in massive amounts of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Around 200 milligrams a day seems to be a generally agreed-upon amount and one that can be automatically obtained by eating at least six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Fruit and Vegetables high in Vitamin C include – Broccoli, Capsicum, Spinach, Kale, Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Kiwi Fruit and blueberries. To get the best nutrition of Vitamin C from these it is best when they are eaten raw. If you take vitamin C supplements, it’s best to space them throughout the day rather than take one large dose, most of which may end up being excreted in the urine.
2. Vitamin E. This important antioxidant and immune booster doesn’t get as much press as vitamin C, yet it’s important to a healthy immune system. Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells, those that seek out and destroy germs and cancer cells. Vitamin E enhances the production of B-cells, the immune cells that produce antibodies that destroy bacteria. Vitamin E supplementation may also reverse some of the decline in immune response commonly seen in aging. Vitamin E has been implicated in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. In the Harvard School of Public Health study of 87,000 nurses, Vitamin E supplementation was shown to cut the risk of heart attacks by fifty percent.
- It’s not difficult to get 30 to 60 milligrams every day of Vitamin E from a diet rich in nuts such as dry roasted almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, olive, flaxseed and coconut oils, and grains. 60 grams of Vitamin E is needed each day if you are consistently each 2 – 3 serves of nuts, seeds and oil per day it will not be necessary to have supplements.
- If you seem to be run down and susceptible to reoccurring infections then supplements may be necessary to get enough vitamin E to boost your immune system.
- You may need 100-400 milligrams per day, depending on your how well you are implementing a healthy diet.
3. Carotenoids. Beta carotene increases the number of infection-fighting cells, natural killer cells, and helper T-cells, as well as being a powerful antioxidant that mops up excess free radicals that accelerate aging. Like the other “big three” antioxidants, vitamins C and E, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by interfering with how the fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream oxidize to form arterial plaques. Studies have shown that beta carotene can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially strokes and heart attacks, giving scientific credence to the belief that a carrot a day can keep the heart surgeon away. Beta carotene also protects against cancer by stimulating the immune cells called macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor, which kills cancer cells. It has also been shown that beta carotene supplements can increase the production of T-cell lymphocytes and natural killer cells and can enhance the ability of the natural killer cells to attack cancer cells.
- Beta carotene is the most familiar carotenoid, but it is only one member of a large family. Researchers believe that it is not just beta carotene that produces all these good effects, but all the carotenoids working together. This is why getting carotenoids in food may be more cancer-protective than taking beta carotene supplements.
- The body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, which itself has anticancer properties and immune-boosting functions. But too much vitamin A can be toxic to the body, so it’s better to get extra beta carotene from foods and let the body naturally regulate how much of this precursor is converted to the immune-fighting vitamin A. It’s highly unlikely that a person could take in enough beta carotene to produce a toxic amount of vitamin A, because when the body has enough vitamin A, it stops making it.
- Best Vegetable sources of Beta carotene are carrots, sweet potato and kale.
4. Bioflavonoid. A group of phytonutrients called bioflavonoid aids the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants. Bioflavonoid protects the cell membranes against the pollutants trying to attach to them. Along the membrane of each cell there are microscopic parking spaces, called receptor sites. Pollutants, toxins, or germs can park here and gradually eat their way into the membrane of the cell, but when bioflavonoid fill up these parking spots there is no room for toxins to park. Bioflavonoid also reduces the cholesterol’s ability to form plaques in arteries and lessen the formation of microscopic clots inside arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Studies have shown that people who eat the most bioflavonoid have less cardiovascular disease. A diet that contains a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at least six servings per day, will help you get the bioflavonoid needed to help your immune system work in top form. Bioflavonoids are found in the skin mostly of citrus fruits, these can be grated over porridge, yogurt or even when having a chicken or fish dish.
5. Zinc. This valuable mineral increases the production of white blood cells that fight infection and helps them fight more aggressively. It also increases killer cells that fight against cancer and helps white cells release more antibodies. Zinc supplements have been shown to slow the growth of cancer.
- Zinc increases the number of infection-fighting T-cells, especially in elderly people who are often deficient in zinc, and whose immune system often weakens with age. The anti-infection hype around zinc is controversial. While some studies claim that zinc supplements in the form of lozenges can lower the incidence and severity of infections, other studies have failed to show this correlation. A word of caution: too much zinc in the form of supplements (more than 75 milligrams a day) can inhibit immune function. It’s safest to stick to getting zinc from your diet and aim for 15 to 25 milligrams a day.
- For infants and children, there is some evidence that dietary zinc supplements may reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections, but this is controversial. The best source of zinc for babies is baby oatmeal
Foods that are rich in zinc; oysters, mung beans, crab, beef, turkey, wheat germ, spinach & other green leafy vegetables: pumpkin & squash seeds, mushrooms, alfalfa & chicken breast
#Garlic. This flavourful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulphur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulphides. Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream. Garlic may protect against cancer, though the evidence is controversial. Cultures with a garlic-rich diet have a lower incidence of intestinal cancer. Garlic may also play a part in getting rid of potential carcinogens and other toxic substances. It is also a heart-friendly food since it keeps platelets from sticking together and clogging tiny blood vessels.
# Selenium. This mineral increases natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. Best food sources of selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables (depending on the selenium content of the soil they’re grown in), brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts, and lamb chops.
# Omega-3 fatty acids. A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. (Perhaps this is why grandmothers used to insist on a daily dose of unpalatable cod liver oil.) Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. When taking essential fatty acid supplements, such as flax or fish oils, take additional vitamin E, which acts together with essential fatty acids to boost the immune system. One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothie.
Your Immune Support Eating Plan
Drink 2 – 2 ½ litres of filtered water per day – Water acts as a main messenger for vitamins, minerals and nutrients; secondly it cleanses the toxins that you taking in and these affect the quality of your cells. You loose 1.5 litres of water each day through perspiration and breathing so this also needs to be replaced otherwise dehydration takes place and major organ damage is commencing.
As a fresh start to the day ½ -1 lemon squeezed into a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. Then it is important to clean your teeth, as the lemon will damage the enamel coating on your teeth.
Breakfast: It is necessary to have 4 – 5 pieces of fruit per day, so what better time to have it than breakfast. These can include mango, 4 –5 strawberries, kiwi fruit, banana, rock melon, honey-dew, pineapple, apple and apricots. Add to this a tablespoon of L.S.A. mix, organic muesli or cereal, then a small tub of Organic yoghurt. You may like to begin with a bowl of porridge; oats are very healing for the nervous system.
Another way to have this is to put it all in a blender and you can drink it on the way to work.
A cup of herbal tea such as green, or a cup of plain black tea
Other suggestions for some variation can be:
Two poached, scrambled or boiled eggs. You may like to include some cooked tomato, asparagus, mushrooms and bake beans.
Mid – morning snacks can include: A piece of fruit, tub of yoghurt, a handful of almonds or some homous with water crackers or vegetables sticks such as carrot, celery cucumber, broccoli etc.
Lunch: This can include a variety of foods such as: Lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, celery, grated carrot, onion, alfalfa, chickpeas or soya beans, avocado and may be some cottage cheese or fetta cheese.
If it is cold weather you can include a cup of homemade vegetable soup.
For some variety and not wanting to lose weight include – Pitta bread, a grain roll, or bread that is fortified with Soya and linseed.
Dinner: Fish – this can be eaten two to three times per week, preferably at least one fish meal per day as this reduces the risk of cardio vascular disease and cancer. You then may include one red meat meal per week preferably lamb as this is still the least contaminated meat. Chicken and turkey can be included once or twice per week preferably organic.
If however you are vegetarian it is important to include soya beans, tofu, and bake beans, nuts such as cashews, peanuts or Brazil nuts these can be used whole in the stir fry or made up as a sauce over the vegetables. It is important to include at least 4 – 5 vegetables see below for examples. You may say WHY? Organic it is the hormones given to the chickens and cows that then in turn will bring about hormone disturbances in YOU.
This is why suggestions are becoming very strong to move away from Dairy products because of these issues.
Go for non-genetically modified, Organic Almond milk, Rice Milk or Coconut milk. It is best with all of your food sources to go for non-genetically modified.
- Vegetables to include: Sweet potato, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, swede, spinach, beans, peas, pumpkin, broccoli, brussel sprouts and zucchini. Nori otherwise known as seaweed is available in various forms powder, sheets that are used for sushi, this can be include in soups or made up as sushi.
- Or you could have a Salad such as at lunchtime.
Pasta or Brown rice, hokkein noodles can be included once again if you are not trying to lose weight.
Special Notes: It is better if wanting a spread to use a small amount of butter in preference to margarine and butter is a natural product which is metabolized by the body whereas margarine is man-made and is not easily metabolized or utilized by the body. However spreads such as tahini, almond and other nut or soya bean spreads are much more beneficial for your health
- When storing fatty foods such as butter, peanut butter store in a glass container as when stored in plastic containers the fat content in these products leaches an oestrogenic like substances from the plastic into the food. Therefore have hormonal disturbances within our bodies.
- Go for organic meats where possible and if not keep your meat intake down to a minimum and mainly eat fish and lamb.
Four Habits that will Weaken your Immune System:
Certain foods and environmental influences can keep the immune system army from doing a good job. Watch out for these threats to your body’s defences.
1. Overdosing on sugar. Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.
Excess alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake can harm the body’s immune system in two ways. First, it produces an overall nutritional deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune- boosting nutrients. Second, alcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, inhibit the action of killer white cells on cancer cells, and lessen the ability of macrophages to produce tumour necrosis factors. One drink (the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of hard liquor) does not appear to bother the immune system, but three or more drinks do. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the
1. Quantity of alcohol consumed. Amounts of alcohol that are enough to cause intoxication are also enough to suppress immunity.
2. Food allergens. Due to a genetic quirk, some divisions of the immune army recognize an otherwise harmless substance (such as milk) as a foreign invader and attack it, causing an allergic reaction. Before the battle, the intestinal lining was like a wall impenetrable to foreign invaders. After many encounters with food allergens, the wall is damaged, enabling invaders and other potentially toxic substances in the food to get into the bloodstream and make the body feel miserable. This condition is known as the leaky gut syndrome.
3. Too much fat. Obesity can lead to a depressed immune system. It can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and rush to the site of an infection.
Avoid: Adding salt or sugar to food, processed foods this meaning pre cooked, tinned, frozen, cold meats, caffeine and Alcohol. Dairy Products are also to be avoided as the cows are injected with a hormone called Bovine that is a growth hormone; this in turn has an adverse affect for us for the acceleration of certain cancers and for its toxic effects.
When choosing fruit and vegetables always “Remember that Fresh is BEST”
Implementing New Lifestyle Habits for Optimal Health
- Relaxation techniques are immune-enhancers.
- A positive mental attitude makes a big difference in how the body fights disease.
- Creative visualization establishes belief and optimism. A conscious, free-flowing emotional life is fundamental for inner harmony.
- Regular Massage treatments are a great immune support especially aromatherapy whereby immune oils are included such as like lavender, eucalyptus, orange, lemon and rosemary essential oils Massage also helps to relieve stress so therefore has a double beneficial effect.
- Regular aerobic exercise keeps system oxygen high, and circulation flowing. Disease does not readily overrun a body where oxygen and organic minerals are high in the vital fluids.
- The Early Morning Sunshine: Stimulate immunity by some early morning sunlight. Avoid excessive sun. Sunburn depresses immunity.
- Get quality rest, immune power builds the most during sleep.
- Reduce prescription drugs, especially antibiotics and corticoid-steroids that depress immunity.