Boost That Immune System!
With all the talk about the dangers of a compromised immune system, I thought it would be a great idea to deviate and to talk about how to improve your immune function.
#1 Maintain a Healthy Diet
Just like every other system in the body, our immune system needs energy to function. It also requires certain vitamins and minerals to make the immune cells and enzymes necessary to work properly. According to scientists, we need proper amounts of vitamins C and D, as well as B6, B12, folate, zinc, copper, iron and selenium.
Woah, that sounds like a lot. The good thing is all of the things listed above are found in ample quantities in fruits and vegetables. But, to make sure you're getting them all, be sure to keep the sources diverse.
#2 Exercise Regularly
According to new research, as little as 20 minutes of mild to moderate exercise can have a positive effect on your immune system.
Exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system. This causes a release of epinephrine and norepinephrine which activates necessary cellular functions and decreases overall inflammation.
#3 Get Adequate Sleep
Researchers say that adequate sleep helps T cells in your body fight off infection.
T cells are immune cells that destroy foreign pathogens, for example virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and other coronaviruses.
#4 Minimize Stress
Repetitive stress can have a significant, negative impact on the immune system. When stressed the brain sends "defense" signals to the endocrine (hormore) system. This causes a release of "fight or flight" hormones that get our bodies ready for emergency situations. This is an important reaction when necessary, but when it happens chronically it can severely depress our immune system.
Fun Fact: Some scientists claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illness and disease.
#5 Get Adjusted!
Chiropractic care was first linked to improved immunity during the flu epidemic of 1917 and 1918. Providers noted a significant improvement in symptoms, as well as, death rates as low as .25%. These staggering results lead to further study on the relationship between Chiropractic, our nervous system, and the immune system.
The most notable study was performed by the chief of cancer prevention at New York's Preventative Medicine Institute and professor of medicine at New York University - Ronald Pero, Ph.D.
Over 3 years Dr. Pero found that chiropractic patients had a 200% greater immune competence than people who had not recieved chiropractic care, and a 400% greater immune competence than people who were fighting cancer or over serious diseases.
Specifically the study demonstrated that the cells responsible for engulfing and destroying viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancer cells were between 2 and 4 times more active in people who get regular chiropractic care.
The CDC states in it's publication highlighting tobacco use that "Smoking harms the immune system and can make the body less successful in fighting disease".
Seriously, I thought this was common knowledge right now, smoking is bad.
#2 Drink Alcohol
In recent studies, alcohol has been shown to blunt immune response by reducing something called type-1 interferon by up to 75%. This is important because interferon is the first response to any viral infection. Without interferon, there is no virus destruction. Without virus destruction the body may become so overrun that it may not recover.