Posted on June 24, 2020 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

Put simply, it is your immune system’s job to defend your body against illness and disease. The complex system is made up of cells in your skin, blood, bone marrow, tissues, and organs that — when working the way they should — protect your body against potentially harmful pathogens (like bacteria and viruses), and limit damage from noninfectious agents (like sunburn or cancer),

To best protect your body from harm, every component of your immune system needs to perform exactly according to plan. The best way you can ensure that happens is to practice the good-for-you behaviors every day that your immune system runs on.

Eat a Healthy Diet

The nutrients you get from food — in particular, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices -are essential to keeping your immune system functioning properly. Many plant-based foods also have antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which help us fight off infection.

For example, research shows that spices like clove, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and turmeric contain antiviral and antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of food-spoiling bacteria bacillus subtilis and pseudomonas fluorescens, harmful fungi like aspergillus flavus, and antibiotic-resistant microorganisms like staphylococcus aureus.

Furthermore, the zinc, folate, iron, selenium, copper, and vitamins A, C, E, B6, and B12 you get from the food you eat are the nutrients your immune system needs to do its job. Each one plays a unique role in supporting immune function.

Research suggests, for example, that vitamin C deficiency may increase the likelihood of infection. Our bodies do not produce this essential, water-soluble vitamin on their own, so we need to get it through foods (such as citrus fruits, kiwi, and several cruciferous vegetables). You can get 95 milligrams (mg), or 106 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement if you snack on a half-cup of red pepper.

Protein is also critical for immune health. The amino acids in protein help build and maintain immune cells, and skimping on this macronutrient may lower your body’s ability to fight infections.

When it comes to a diet that supports good immune health, focus on incorporating more plants and plant-based foods. Add fruits and vegetables to soups and stews, smoothies, and salads, or eat them as snacks. Carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines), and strawberries are all great sources of vitamins A and C, while seeds and nuts will provide protein, vitamin E and zinc.

Additional sources of protein and zinc include seafood, lean meat, and poultry.

Keep Stress Under Control

Long-term stress leads to chronically elevated levels of the steroidal hormone, cortisol. The body relies on hormones like cortisol during short-term bouts of stress (when your body goes into “fight-or-flight” response); cortisol has a beneficial effect of actually preventing the immune system from responding before the stressful event is over (so your body can react to the immediate stress). But when cortisol levels are constantly high, it essentially blocks the immune system from kicking into gear and doing its job to protect the body against potential threats from germs like viruses and bacteria.

There are many effective stress-reduction techniques; the key is to find what works for you. Meditation, journaling, and any activities that you enjoy (such as fishing, playing golf, or drawing) are recommended. Try to do at least one stress-reducing activity every day. If you are short for time, then start small. Set aside five minutes at some point each day for fun and increase it when you can.

Get Plenty of Good Quality Sleep

Your body heals and regenerates while you sleep, making adequate sleep critical for a healthy immune response.

More specifically, sleep is a time when your body produces and distributes key immune cells like cytokines (a type of protein that can either fight or promote inflammation), T cells (a type of white blood cell that regulates immune response), and interleukin 12 (a pro-inflammatory cytokine).

When you do not get enough sleep, your immune system may not do these things as well, making it less able to defend your body against harmful invaders and making you more likely to get sick.

Sleep deprivation also elevates cortisol levels, which of course is also not good for the immune function. Our immune system wears down as a result, and we tend to have lower reserves to fight off or recover from illness.

All adults must get at least seven hours of sleep per night to optimize health. To ensure you get quality sleep, prioritize good sleep hygiene: turn off the electronics at least two to three hours before bed, and avoid violent or stressful books or conversations.

Exercise Regularly (Outdoors, When Possible)

Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases (like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease), as well as viral and bacterial infections.

Exercise also increases the release of endorphins (a group of hormones that reduce pain and create feelings of pleasure) making it a great way to manage stress. “Since stress negatively impacts our immune system, this is another way exercise can improve immune response.

While there is some evidence that very long or intense exercise sessions may suppress the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness and infection in the hours immediately after your workout; this evidence is highly questionable. And there is a wealth of epidemiological evidence (studies that followed human behavior and outcomes) showing that people who are more active overall tend to have lower incidences of both acute illnesses (like infections) and chronic ones (like cancer and type 2 diabetes). Studies that have looked at how exercise affects the body on a cellular level suggest that bouts of physical activity may make your immune system more vigilant by distributing immune cells throughout your body to look for damaged or infected cells.

Adults should be getting at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (like walking, jogging, or cycling) or 75 minutes (one hour and 15 minutes) of high-intensity aerobic exercise (like running) every week. You should also be doing strength training at least twice a week. Longer physical activities have been found to be linked to even more health benefits, so aim high.

For even more immune system benefits, outdoor exercises are highly recommended. Spending time in nature has been shown to support mood, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and support immune system health.

Sunshine also boosts vitamin D in the body, which plays a key role in immune health, too.

When It Comes to Alcohol, Practice Moderation

Drinking high amounts of alcohol is associated with a range of negative health effects, including lowered immune function. When you drink high amounts of alcohol, your body is too busy trying to detoxify your system to bother with the normal immune system function.

High levels of alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time. As a result, people who drink high amounts of alcohol face a greater likelihood of pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, alcoholic liver disease, and certain cancers.

If you do not already drink, do not start! If you drink occasionally, limit your alcohol consumption to one drink (equivalent to a 4-ounce glass of wine) per day if you are a woman, and two drinks per day if you are a man.

Don’t Smoke Cigarettes

Like alcohol, cigarette smoking can also affect immune health.

In particular, the chemicals released by cigarette smoke — carbon monoxide, nicotine, nitrogen oxides, and cadmium — can interfere with the growth and function of immune cells, like cytokines, T cells, and B cells.

Smoking also worsens viral and bacterial infections (especially those of the lungs, like pneumonia, flu, and tuberculosis), post-surgical infections, and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints).

Don’t smoke! And avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible.

If you currently smoke, there are many resources available to help you kick your habit, including counseling, nicotine replacement products, prescription non-nicotine medications, and behavioral therapy.

Keep Symptoms of Chronic Conditions Under Control

Chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes can affect the immune system and increase the risk of infections.

For example, when people with type-2 diabetes do not manage their blood sugar properly, this can create a chronic, low-grade inflammatory response that weakens the body’s defense system.

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.Natural memory enhancer