As temperatures get cooler, do you want to know how to optimize your immune system? Discover some of the best foods for immunity support and which supplements you might want to take. The right foods can help you avoid falling victim to colds and flu this year!
Do you sometimes get colds or the flu, particularly in the colder winter months? If so, you’re not alone. In the U.S., the average adult gets sick two to four times per year, and the average child between six and eight.
You probably know the basics of cold prevention, like practicing good hand washing and avoiding contact with sick peers. But have you ever wondered why two people could have exactly the same exposure to a sick friend — and one of them gets sick, while the other doesn’t?
The difference is often their immune system.
So how can you give your immune system support? It turns out that one of the most powerful tools for a strong immune system is your diet.
Let’s take a look at what your immune system does and how to support your immune system with food, so it can protect you from nasty, cold-weather bugs.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is your body’s network of organs, tissues, and cells that work together to keep you healthy by fighting off harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. It acts as a barrier between your body and the things that can make you sick.
When your immune system is compromised, it’s like tearing down a wall that would otherwise help to keep germs at bay.
Your immune system can become compromised by dietary, environmental, and lifestyle insults. And a compromised immune system can lead to frequent illness, such as the common cold and flu, as well as more serious infections and diseases, even including cancer.
Your complex and amazing defense system is made up of two main parts. First, you have mucous membranes found in places like your nose, eyes, and mouth — which use white blood cells to fight infections before they can get inside you. Second, you have T cells and B cells, which work together to create antibodies that fight off invaders and then destroy infected cells throughout your body.
Your bone marrow and spleen also play key roles, making white blood cells which fight infections. And your lymphatic system transports lymph (a fluid containing white blood cells) throughout your body.
Altogether, your immune system functions as an amazing team, working to keep you healthy, safe, and alive.