Boosting your immune system naturally sounds enticing, but is it feasible? The immune system consists of many moving parts and they all need to work together for optimal health. Many vitamins and supplements claim to have immunity boosting effects, however boosting immune cells in your system is not always a good thing. The body is always naturally creating immune cells, so creating more than your body needs can actually do more harm than good. As we get older, the strength of the immune system decreases, which means that it is easier to contract infectious diseases. Scientists are not sure why this happens, but they have found a relationship between decreased T cells, that are responsible for fighting off infections. Some believe this may be due to atrophy that comes with aging, but it has not been confirmed. A reduced immune system as you age has also been demonstrated in how elderly respond to vaccines, as opposed to children. Nevertheless, vaccines have been found to reduce the overall chance of infections. A healthy immune system, regardless of age, requires healthy nourishment.
Research has found that those who live in poverty, thus are malnutritioned, are more susceptible to infectious diseases. It is important to ensure you are fueling your body with real whole foods, so this means reducing the processed foods and increasing fruits and vegetables. If you suspect that you are lacking certain micronutrients in your diet and may be deficient of certain vitamins, it may be a good thing to incorporate supplements into your diet, but be sure to ask your physician first. Taking megadoses of supplements will not boost your immune system more, as mentioned previously you do not want to add more cells than your body really needs. There has also been found that there is a correlation between the mind and the body. This means that leading a high-stress lifestyle may be detrimental to the immune system. Incorporating daily exercise and meditation can be great ways to reduce stress. Exercise is also incredibly important for overall health, thus also having a positive impact on your immune system. Living an active lifestyle can seem daunting, so it is important to find an activity that you enjoy. It can range from walking 30 minutes a day to a yoga class, as long as you are moving your body in some way. Overall, living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to boost your immune system!