A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.

What is immunity?

Immunity is a state wherein the body is shielded from contagious ailments. In effect, this particular state is bestowed by the immune system in our body, comprising a multifaceted arrangement of cells, tissues as well as chemicals that combat contagion and eliminates the contagious microorganisms when they plague our body. Precisely speaking, three different types of immune protection exist within our body and every one of them facilitates in protecting the body from contagious ailments. Immunity can be inherited or acquired, natural or artificial, passive or active. These different types of immunity have the aptitude to mix and match to generate, for instance, artificial passive or natural passive immune fortification.

The class of inherited or acquired immune protection actually denotes the kind of immune reaction that is escalated by the immune system. An innate or inherited immune reaction is not particular to any pathogen to which the system is actually reacting, and this occurs more or less instantly whenever any contagious microorganism assaults our body. On the contrary, an acquired immune reaction is particular to the pathogen and may even take many days to develop. In addition, the acquire type of immune response entails the build up of immunological or bacteriological memory, a condition wherein the immune system is able to increase or build up rapidly with a view to react to any contagious microorganism or pathogen, which it had encountered on earlier occasions.

Then again, the active or passive immune fortification is decided on by the manner in which they protect the body from infections. In effect, active immune protection is bestowed by means of contact with a vaccine or any contagious organism. This incites an active immune reaction in the individual who is exposed to the infectious microorganism or pathogen. In contrast, passive immunity or invulnerability denotes the fact that a person is fortified, although his or her immune or resistance system has not escalated itself following any response. For instance, the trans-placental transfer (transfer across placenta) of antibodies from a mother to her child is a sort of passive immune fortification. One more instance of this is the relocation of antibodies from a mother to her child by means of breast milk.

The third type of immunity called the natural or artificial immunity denotes if the immune fortification has build up with or with no interference. For instance, trans-placental transfer of antibody is called a normal process, since it has taken place only by means of a contact between the mother and fetus. Provided an antibody injection was administered to a baby after its birth, it would be an instance of an artificial immune protection, as the antibodies have been taken from one human being, disinfected and subsequently injected into another individual. In effect, vaccination is yet one more instance of artificial immune fortification and, at the same time, it is also an excellent example of active acquired immune protection.

It may be noted that vaccination (immunization) and passive immune therapies are not the sole means to provide immune protection. It is also possible to augment immunity against infections by several more methods, like what has been made obvious during the course of history. For instance, enhancements in sanitation, pest control and diet have also put in to diminished harshness of ailments and the augmented life expectancy which people inhabiting the developed countries enjoy currently in comparison to the life expectancy of people in the same regions many centuries back.

How to protect your immune system

The immune system is considered to be the most complicated system in our body. Precisely speaking, the immune system comprises the spleen, the thymus gland, bone marrow as well as an immense linkage or net of lymph nodes that are all spread out all over our body. In addition, the immune system sustains various white blood cells - the natural killer cells eliminate the cancer cells and the large white blood cells, known as macrophages, eat up the damaged or diseased cells. Moreover, specific immune amalgams, for instance, interferon, incite the white blood cells to eliminate the cancer cells.

It is interesting to note that our immune system does not rest for even a moment and is active for 24 hours every day throughout our life. In fact, all through one's life, his/ her immune system is scouring for cells that seem to be infected or have developed cancerous symptoms. In order to support as well as fortify our immune system, we need to try and pursue the lifestyle suggestions mentioned below.

Opt for foods that boost the immune system
Taking a diet of advanced, milled, sugary foods is one formula that will lower the immunity. In order to develop a potent immune performance, consume a diet that has rich amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables that supply an assortment of indispensible antioxidants as well as nourishments. In addition, the immune system is also dependent on superior quality proteins as well as healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, for instance the ones that are present in extra virgin olive oil, with a view to restore the tissues as well as generate robust immune cells. Findings of several researches have shown that including a serving of yogurt every day with live helpful bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, makes the functioning of the immune system stronger. At the same time, to have a strong immune system, it is essential that you lower the ingestion of all kinds of sugars, counting concentrated fruit juices, as even a single serving of sugar lowers the defenses of the immune system considerably for many hours.
Exercise / work-outs
In order to maintain a healthy and robust immune system you need to undertake exercise or work-outs, but never in extremes. It has scientifically been proven that undertaking exercise regularly, a minimum of 30 minutes on majority of the days of the week, enhances the functioning of the immune system. Undertaking exercise in moderation improves the numbers of every kind of white blood cells and makes the natural killer cells to turn out to be further dynamic and effectual in eliminating the diseased and cancerous cells. However, it is interesting to note that excessive work-out schedules, for instance running a marathon, may temporarily obstruct the functioning of the immune system.
Lessen stress
It is important to note that things that cause emotional stress or trauma, for instance, anxiety and depression, promote the discharge of adrenal hormones, which, in turn, hold back the actions of the thymus glands as well as the white blood cells. Fortunately enough, there are many simple methods to lessen tension in every day life. Apart from the effects that perk up the immune system, undertaking physical exercise or work-outs on a regular basis is a very strong reliever of stress and strain. Similarly, meditation, massages as well as deep recreational exercises also help to relieve stress. Scientists have also discovered that the simple means of writing for journals regarding stressful occurrences also helps in boosting the performance of the immune system.
More sleep for better health
Lack of sufficient sleep affects the functioning of the immune system negatively in a number of major ways. First, when an individual does not have sufficient rest, his/ her body inhibits its production of white blood cells, which combat diseases, especially infectious ailments. In addition, absence of proper sleep also hinders the actions of the natural killer cells as well as the large white blood cells (macrophages). Last, but, not the least, while a person is asleep, relaxing slumber, his/ her body discharges potent compounds, for instance, interferon, that work to enhance the immune system. Therefore, always try to do anything that will help you to get sufficient sleep with the view that your body gets enough rest and is able to perform all its important functions.
Treat infections instantly
The immune system can be boosted when you promptly treat any infections that you may be affected with. On the other hand, infections that continue for a long period, such as gum infections or respiratory infections, may prove to be a burden for the immune system and considerably harm the immunity or insusceptibility of your body. Therefore, it is advisable that whenever you develop a contagious ailment, treat it immediately with herbs, such as garlic (Allium sativum) and Echinacea (Echinacea supp.), that help to perk up your immune system. At the same time, be cautious and try to keep away from antibiotics, since antibiotics eventually make the functioning of the immune system weak. However, at times, you ought to use a number of antibiotics to treat infections for herbs are unable to cure all infections effectively.
Keep away from toxins
Noxious chemicals not only weaken the functioning of the immune system, but also set off the development of free radicals that damage the cells. In fact, these days, toxins can be found all over our environment. Hence, it is advisable that you ought to make a concerted effort to keep away from the maximum number of toxic substances, by opting for foods that are grown organically. At the same time, you should only consume dairy products and meats, which are produced without using any chemicals or antibiotics. You may use the substitutes to toxic products every where - your home, workplace and even your garden. It is also important to avoid exposure to radiation, counting X-ray, whenever possible and only come in their contact when it is absolutely necessary.

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