The Immune System is the body’s multi-level defense network against potentially harmful bacteria, viruses and other organisms. Although a healthy lifestyle makes it easier for one's Immune System to fight off pathogens, it is preferable to prevent them from ever entering the body in the first place.
The Immune System, the body's line of defense against disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and other creatures that we touch, eat, and breathe every day, has come to the forefront of public discussion thanks to the coronavirus pandemic – for obvious reasons.
But first, let’s get into a bit of details and talk basics. Let’s go over what precisely is the Immune System, and how does it actually work to ward off attacks from ‘invaders of the body?
Consider the Immune System as the body's own personal “security guards” operating at all levels, from the cellular to the macro.
This “security team's” every cell, molecule, tissue, and organ play an incremental part in fighting off external infections and defending against internal dangers like:
• Heart disease
• Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases
• Chronic lower respiratory diseases
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Influenza and pneumonia
• Just to name a few…
In essence, a vast network of organs, white blood cells, proteins (also known as antibodies), and chemicals make up your Immune System. Think of links in a chain - together, these components of your body's defense system guard you against bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus and more that can lead to illness, disease (as mentioned above), and other infections.
The Immune System basically comes in three forms:
• Adaptive Immunity
• Innate or Natural Immunity
• Passive Immunity
The way the Immune System can decipher between good and bad comes down to exposure over time. Our system develops itself through a period of being exposed to viruses, vaccinations, and treatments that aid in the immune system's ability to discriminate between the ‘good the bad and the ugly’. In terms of vaccinations, Our Adaptive Immune Systems are safely taught to fend against a wide spectrum of infections, thereby defending both us and others.
To keep things simple, you can think of Innate Immunity as our defense system that we were born with. In essence, it’s our natural defender against harmful materials that try to infiltrate our bodies.
Now when it comes to Passive Immunity, these are antibodies a person has been administered for a disease presently in their body. When it comes to a women’s pregnancy, their newborn baby also receives Passive Immunity (antibodies) through the placenta. So, in short, think of Passive Immunity as defenders given to you from outside your own system.
Choices. There are always choices in our daily lives we can all make to live a healthy lifestyle.
In general, there are a few things we can do today, to begin strengthening our Immune System. For starters, smoking – cut the habit. If you’re still smoking in today’s world, there is no excuse to continue. It is by far one of the most harmful things you can do to your Immune System and should be the first to be eliminated from your life – if you fall into that category.
Drinking alcohol is another vice that needs to be addressed. Now, we understand, we’re not saying you shouldn’t have a drop of alcohol – we get it. A nice cocktail can hit the spot, but what we are saying is, to consume alcohol in moderation. Just be smart about it and consider how excess can harm and weaken your Immune System.
Aside from the previous two, eating right and exercising will greatly increase the strength of your Immune System. Of course, there is no need to be extreme about what you eat and how often you exercise, it’s all about finding that balance in life. Set a daily/weekly/monthly goal for yourself and remain consistently disciplined in your approach.
In addition to eating right and exercising regularly, sleep also plays a vital role in our Immune System. The body needs to rest. Period – full stop. During sleep, our bodies actually repair themselves, so if we don’t give our bodies enough time to rest, then we run the risk of weakening our Immune System.
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