Why is immune system essential for our health?
It’s a fact immune health is important to your overall wellness. Having a well-functioning immune system will protect your body from infections and diseases. So, how does it all work?
According to Oriflame Global Senior Nutritional Scientist, Isabella Lee, the immune system is, “a complex system made up of various immune cells, each with a unique pathogen fighting ability.” Lee continues discussing how the system functions and busts the myth that you can “boost” the immune system. “It’s your body’s natural defence response. Scientifically speaking, if you were to ‘boost’ your immune system it would result in an abnormal increase of immune cells, which could lead to the system attacking not only pathogens but also your own body,” she explains.
For the immune system to function at its best, it requires balance. Rather than boosting your immunity, Lee recommends strengthening and supporting your immune system. “The key to maintaining good health is to live a healthy lifestyle. And avoid unnecessary aggressors when possible; don’t smoke, cook food thoroughly and drink clean water,” Lee says.
Give your immune system the support it needs to stay healthy, strong and in balance.
It’s never too late to start feeling good. Try Lee’s full list of healthy-living tips:
• Eat the rainbow – a diet high in a variety of fruits and vegetables to boost health
• Get smart on gut health, healthy microbiome = healthy immune system
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Exercise and stay active
• Prioritise sleep
• Manage stress and do your best to reduce it
• Practice good hygiene to help ward off infections
• Keep up with vaccines to prime the immune system and fight off infection
Immune Health and Covid-19
Covid prevention is a hot topic. And while there is no immediate cure, many speculate on how to best protect your body from fatal diseases. One area of discussion is preventative wellness. We’ll explain, preventative wellness is giving your body the care it needs, by focusing daily on your overall wellbeing so that you can live your best life. The aim is to lay a foundation of health today to help promote a lifetime of longevity.
Balanced nutrition is an aspect of preventative wellness. By now we understand, vitamins, minerals and hydration are essential to a healthy immune system. During the pandemic, discussions surrounding vitamins and antioxidants have been making waves and leaving people to question what role they play in protecting against the coronavirus. There is no scientific evidence to date to support the claim that vitamin supplements will protect you against covid. What we do know is if your immune system is healthy, it will help fight off infections, viruses, toxins, and diseases. And that vitamins play a vital role in immunity.
How to strengthen immune system
We know vitamins can’t boost immunity. However, ensuring your vitamin and mineral levels are balanced is a healthy way to take care of your immune system. So, what happens when your diet just doesn’t cut it? Should you turn to supplements for nutritional support?
Our nutritional expert weighs in with caution. “Supplements are an easy way to ensure sufficient daily intake of essential nutrients, but more is not necessarily better – always take as recommended and don’t megadose on single vitamins or minerals,” says Lee. Again, we’re reminded that it’s all about balance. Lee explains, vitamin and mineral supplements are most effective when combined with a well-balanced diet and exercise and should not be used to replace dietary nutrition. Think food first. Eating a variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables should ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs. And if needed, supplements will help to bridge the gap of any micronutrient shortfalls in the diet.
Key nutrients linked to strengthening immune health:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that fights free radicals and helps to protect cells.
Vitamin D activates the T-cells in our immune system that fight off infections in your body.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight off infection.
Zinc an essential mineral necessary for maintaining the immune system. It helps support the function of immune cells and can even ease cold symptoms, like a runny nose, sore throat, and cough.
Pre/Probiotic support gut microbiome health.
Ok, the last on the list isn’t technically a vitamin or mineral, but it’s worth taking a closer look. Did you know that 70% of the immune cells reside in the gastrointestinal tract? “Gut microbes protect the body and support the immune system, by strengthening the gut lining and stimulating the immune response,” explains Global Senior Nutritional Scientist Lee. It’s important to make sure these microbes are well fed to help your gut stay healthy, happy, and balanced. You can support gut health by ingesting plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains rich in dietary fibre. This includes prebiotic fibre and fermented foods like sauerkraut, yoghurt, and cheese. But also, taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements will help keep your gut in balance and strengthen your immune response.
Let’s wind down with a few key takeaways:
• Your health is too important to put off until tomorrow. So, even if you start small – start now.
• Immune health is all about balance.
• Strengthen your immunity by getting the vitamins and minerals you need.
• But remember, mega-dosing is NOT an option!
Stay healthy, stay safe.