BUILDING A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM
By Kevin Witham, BSc(Hons), MDipFTST, DipIIST, NLP(Prac)
It seems to me a cornerstone of good health and vitality that everyone requires a strong immune system which can repel disease. If you are constantly ill, fighting off common colds or worse than this could be a sign that all is not well with your immunity and the functioning of your body. Neither should it be fact that just because someone close to you as a cold that you should get it too. After all, disease causing agents are surrounding us the whole time. It is the job of your white blood cells of your immune system to repel the invaders and prevent you from becoming sick. If this is not the case than your white cells are missing something and constantly having your immune system over stimulated will lead to feelings of being run down, lack of energy and general malaise. Being often ill will also produce more free radicals which can also cause damage- see the free radical article.
White blood cells like all cells require the proper nutrients to ensure they can be effective against fighting disease. The problem with modern processed diets is that they lack the nutrients and the vitality to support your body and its immune system. Every one of your bodies cells requires an exact mixture of nutrients for it to function properly.
Processed food may often be convenient but is largely denatured or what I call un-natured. Its unnatural for your body not to get everything it needs and so it stops working as well. You require fresh wholefoods rich in nutrients and also essential fats (from oily fish). Too much caffeine drinks such as coffee and tea will not only dehydrate you but they also wash out vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
Exercise is also very important for building a strong body and regular exercise will also increase the number of white blood cells available to fight infection. Importantly here is the inclusion of resistance training in your programme, If performed correctly improving your muscle mass will allow your body to store more of a substance called glutamine which is used extensively by your immune system. One important note here is that regular exercise must be supported by adequate rest and good nutrition otherwise over-training will lower your immune system by creating more free radical damage.
Tips for a strong immune system
- Eat a good diet rich in green vegetables and fresh unprocessed fats.
- Take regular exercise along with appropriate resistance training some three times a week.
- Take a good multi-vitamin and mineral supplement rich in anti-oxidants to support your diet.
- Reduce the amount of tea and coffee that you drink.
- Do not smoke.
- Watch your levels of alcohol which also causes nutrients to be washed out of the body.
- Ensure adequate rest and relaxation time to allow your body to rebuild itself.