Our immune system acts like our body’s internal suit of armor, and has one main goal: to protect us from illness, specifically cold and flu, disease, harmful bacteria, fungi, and further damage resulting from injury. The immune system is present throughout the body and is comprised of the digestive system, our skin, and white blood cells housed in the lymph nodes, the thymus, the spleen, and bone marrow.
When functioning properly, the immune system wards off most any type of infection, neutralizes environmental substances that may prove harmful to the body, and fights to eliminate harmful cells that contribute to serious health conditions, like cancer. Most often, this occurs within our body and before symptoms ever present themselves.
But what happens when our immune system is not functioning properly?
There are a number of factors that weaken the immune system, including stress, lack of sleep, and a diet lacking in whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. As a result, the immune system can take a hit, allowing for pathogens and disease to infect the body.
Often our lifestyle choices determine our immune system’s ability to defend against unwanted pathogens. In order to maintain a strong, healthy immune system, our body needs time to rest, which means getting enough sleep, but it also means taking a mental break from stress in order to allow the nervous system and the mind to recharge. Steering clear of processed foods, fried foods, and refined sugars can also help ward off sickness, as they are loaded with chemicals and toxins that can pollute the body and weaken the immune system.
While we might try our best to maintain a healthy immune system, there are times when life is stressful, we are tired, and our diet is poor - these often result in a weakened immune system, leaving us more susceptible to illnesses like the flu or the common cold.
Your immune system is supported by the quality of the foods you eat and your exposure to other environmental factors. High-quality nutritious natural foods not only boost your immunity but also promote digestive health and slow down the process associated with aging of the skin. In a perfect world, we have complete control over the food we eat, but we don’t always live in a perfect world - and we can’t always control the foods available to us. Fortunately, you can supplement to ensure your body receives the nutrients required to support a strong, healthy immune system.
Mushrooms are one such natural ingredient. This superfood is not only an immunity-booster, but has anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in eritadenine, a substance that can help lower cholesterol. Maitake mushrooms work to regulate blood sugar and control blood pressure. Reishi mushrooms, a mushroom used only for medicinal purposes, acts as an anti-inflammatory and promotes proper liver function. All three types of mushrooms have antiviral properties and can help alleviate allergies.
The sulfur in garlic is what gives it its pungent aroma, but it is also what makes it an “elixir of health.” Eating garlic or taking a garlic supplement can reduce the chances of getting a cold, and those who eat garlic and do get a cold may feel better quicker than those who have no garlic in their diet.
A diet that contains a lot of antioxidant-rich foods has been directly linked to boosting immunity, thus reducing the risk of getting a cold or more serious disease like cancer. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are one of the best sources of the antioxidant, vitamin c.
Citrus fruits also contain phytochemicals like flavonoids, which give citrus fruits their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This helps support against illness, heart disease, and can support the relief of symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Gut health affects more than just the stomach. In fact, nearly 70% of the work completed by the immune system happens in by the bacteria found in the digestive system. There are billions of healthy bacteria located in our digestive tracts; these bacteria ensure harmful bacteria, viruses, and toxins entering the body through foods are neutralized before causing us any harm.
Green tea is loaded with polyphenols, which are antioxidants that aid in digestion. Green tea extracts, in particular, impact food metabolization and can regulate insulin levels in the body. Additionally, drinking several cups of green tea per day is thought to aid in weight loss efforts. Tea catechins, found in green tea, are believed to increase metabolism and slow down the absorption of calories in the intestines; consuming fewer calories results in weight loss and a general reduction in body fat.
Pomegranates have even more vitamin c than citrus fruits, making them great for immune health, but they are also high in vitamin b and fiber, making them even better for overall digestive and intestinal health. Vitamin b also aids in converting food into energy and fiber aids in digestion and elimination.
Just as digestive health is connected to immune health, so too is the health of your skin. Research continues to show that what goes into the body has a direct result on the health and appearance of the skin.
Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, contains the compound curcumin. Curcumin is the active ingredient that makes turmeric an essential component in maintaining immune and intestinal health.
In addition to supporting a strong, healthy immune system, turmeric has demonstrated to be equally important to maintaining skin health and reversing the signs of aging. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, and is often recommended to reduce breakouts caused by skin irritations, minimize acne-related scaring, combat oily skin, and help support the skin in maintaining its elasticity.
Curcumin permeates the cell membrane and supports cell regeneration, thus making it a great salve for scars, stretch marks, and even psoriasis. In addition, turmeric has been reported to help wounds heal faster and help reduce the appearance of age spots.Raspberries
Raspberries are high in fiber and vitamin c, which are both great for supporting the immune system. They also boast anti-aging properties and have one of the highest concentration of antioxidant of any fruit. The high levels of vitamin c and antioxidants support the reduction of age spots and work as a natural SPF, protecting the skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a diet filled with fruits and vegetables are importing in supporting proper function of the immune system. Taking a supplement that contains immune boosting ingredients like vitamin c, and superfoods like mushrooms and raspberries, is another important way to ensure the body is getting the nutrients it needs in order to fight infection and support immune, digestive, and skin health.
Vitalite Now offers our Super Immune Support as well as MultiVitamin and Antioxidant formulations to help: