Improve Your Immune System Naturally
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Your immune system is a collection of proteins, cells, tissues and organs that help protect your body. It is your body’s system of defending you against infectious diseases and germs and to basically act as an army against these diseases and germs if you ever come into contact with them. They seek out the invaders and call for defenses to lock onto them. The defenses engulf the invaders and kills them.
Unfortunately, there can be times where your immune system just isn’t up to the challenge of forming an army and attacking invaders.
It could be missing an essential nutrient or you might have an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks itself. Stress can even be a cause as to why your immune system isn’t working properly. There are a variety of reasons why your immune system could be “breaking down.”
When your immune system doesn’t work, your body is at risk of acquiring diseases and illnesses much easier. Therefore, it’s beneficial for you to take additional steps in improving your immune system and to do so naturally.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps in aiding cells to reproduce normally and to help maintain healthy cell membranes within cells. “Studies in third-world countries have shown that the administration of Vitamin A to malnourished children confers protection against measles and reduces the death rate associated with this viral infection.”
Foods that are high in vitamin A: squashes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, lettuce and cantaloupe.
Zinc: Zinc helps to repair wounds and protects your body against damage from free radicals. Consuming zinc, in one form or another, is essential for the immune system. One common popular treatment with zinc is the treatment of a common cold. Taking a zinc lozenge at the first sign of a cold symptom has been said to shorten the duration of a cold (Natural Pharmacy, pg. 347).
Foods that are high in zinc: oysters, grass fed beef, crab, lobster, oatmeal, kidney beans and almonds.
Beta-Carotene: Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A. It protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Beta-carotene also increases the amount of cells that act as defenders in your immune system.
Foods that are high in beta-carotene: carrots, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, butternut squash and cantaloupe.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps improve your immune system. Vitamin C plays an important role in helping wounds recover. It can also help shorten the duration of a common cold if it is taken at the first signs of a cold.
Foods that are high in vitamin C: oranges, red bell pepper, chili peppers, kale, broccoli and papaya.
Echinacea: Echinacea helps promote the production and activity of white blood cells. These white blood cells are known as natural killers and they attack the virus or germs that have invaded your body. It also aids in the production of interferon, which is what your body needs in order to respond to infections such as the flu or a cold.
Echinacea can be found in pill form, teas, tincture and dried herb. If you feel yourself coming down with a cold, it is best to begin taking echinacea in one form or the other within 48 hours from the onset of symptoms.
Cat’s Claw: The oxindole alkaloids found in Cat’s Claw is what gives this herb its immune-boosting property. The alkaloids help enhance your white blood cell’s ability to engulf and destroy pathogens that invade your body.
Cat’s claw can be found in capsule or liquid extract forms.
Green Tea: Green tea is another herb that protects the body against oxidative stress. Because of this, it helps improve your immune system and can help prevent your risk of autoimmune disorders.
Green tea is of course found in tea form either in a tea bag or liquid concentrate.
When it comes to trying to keep your body healthy, it is important to make sure that your immune system is healthy and functioning correctly. Your body cannot function properly without the use of a healthy immune system.
Source, Source, Source
Source: Gaby, A. R., MD, Austin, S., ND, Brown, D. J., ND, Wright, J. V., MD, & Duncan, A., DC, CCH. (n.d.). The Natural Pharmacy (2nd ed.) (S. W. Lininger Jr., Ed.). Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing.
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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