Though it’s not always noticeable or evident, your body’s immune system is always hard at work, ensuring the healthy internal balance that enables you to maneuver through day-to-day life. Your immune system removes illness-causing pathogens from your body, works to halt cell anomalies and mutations and signals to your body that it’s time to bring disease-fighting cells to the front lines to keep your body healthy, strong and functional.
While your body does a great job in this regulation on its own, many of the foods, activities and substances we consume can help or hinder its efforts. To support immune function, it’s crucial to make mindful choices and deliberate decisions to give your body nutrients and perform activities, namely exercise and adequate rest, stimulate synthesis and structural repair.
Read on for compelling reasons to start making healthier choices–and give your immune system a significant boost.
It may go without saying that efforts to boost your immune system contribute to better health overall, but health and wellness have many layers to consider. Wellness isn’t only about the absence of illness. Optimal health and wellness are indicated by many factors, including:
- strong hair and nails,
- healthy, consistent sleep habits,
- clean teeth and gums,
- healthy weight,
- balanced mood,
- regular, unobstructed digestion,
- clear, hydrated skin,
- regulated energy
- and more.
While there are many reasons for ailments affecting the aforementioned indicators, many issues can be traced back to immune function. Support your body’s overall health by incorporating exercise into your routine, drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest, supplementing with a nutritious green superfood powder and filling your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables.
The largest organ in your body is also an important part of your immune system. Your skin is one of your body’s frontline defenders, acting as a protective barrier to keep germs and bacteria away. The skin doesn’t only act as a barrier, but it also has mechanisms that ward off harmful pathogens, too.
When your immune system needs to kick into action, your skin may take a hit. Dull, dehydrated or blemished skin could be a result of less-than-stellar efforts to take care of your body. Good skin is the result of both good skin care habits and efforts to take care of what lies beneath, too.
Considering that your gut makes up between 70-80% of your total immune system, a sign of wellness is a well-functioning, balanced microbiome within your digestive system. Many bacteria and viruses enter through your digestive system, which activates your body’s immunity functions. Imbalances in your gut microbiome make it difficult for your body to get rid of illness-causing pathogens, which could have you using up a few of your hard-earned sick days.
Good gut health is also just a lot more comfortable than the inverse. Digestive illnesses, even acute ones, are annoyingly intrusive, and there’s no damper on plans like a stomach bug or painful gas. By limiting, or cutting out entirely, substances that weaken your body’s immune response, your body will be better able to combat the bad microbes that could keep you down for the count.
Fatigue makes for a tough day, and a string of overly tired days can result in unpleasant consequences both at work and at home. When immune cells are activated, they require up to 30% more energy than other cells in your body. When your immune system is functioning well, and when there are fewer pathogens that signal your immune cells to spring into action, your body has more energy to dedicate to the physical and mental processes that occupy your day instead of warding off illness.
An immune system that is in good working condition not only helps your body to stave off common colds and seasonal viruses. Well-functioning immune cells respond to cellular abnormalities by creating an environment in your body that discourages further damage. Healthy immune systems are strong defenders against many long-term illnesses and cellular damage. Habits that encourage strong immune responses keep your body healthy in both the short and long term, so you can do your part to live a longer, healthier life.