With the winter months here, our attention should turn to our immune systems. As we spend more time indoors and closer to others, it becomes much easier for germs to spread. There is also data available that shows being cold impairs the immune system’s ability to fight off infection. To understand the importance of immune health during the winter, we must first understand how the immune system works.
How the immune system works
The immune system is your body’s natural defense shield against disease. It’s a complicated network of cells, tissues, and organs that, working in tandem, defends your body from invaders. These invaders include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that all have the potential to make us sick. We can find these everywhere – in our homes, offices, and particularly anywhere people gather in public. A healthy immune system protects us like a shield from these various invaders, known scientifically as antigens.
There are times these antigens can break through the barrier the immune system has created. When this occurs, the immune system will produce white blood cells that will attack and destroy these foreign substances. They seek out the antigen and get rid of it before it can reproduce. If that attempt is not successful, the immune system kicks into high gear to destroy the antigens as they multiply.
When the immune system fails
Sometimes the immune system can be overwhelmed. This usually occurs when our immune system is weak due to other factors. Not eating healthy, not getting enough exercise, not getting enough sleep, and being under chronic stress will all lead to a weak immune system. When your immune system is in a weakened state, bacteria, viruses, and toxins can overwhelm the body, and you become sick.
Ways to fortify your immune system
During the winter months, when we are spending more time indoors, the spread of germs occurs more easily. For this reason, we need to ensure our immune systems are in optimal shape. Here are a few ways to make that happen.
Eat a healthy diet:
The first step to a well-functioning immune system is a healthy diet. A diet high in empty calories leads to weight gain and leaves you prone to illness.
Get enough sleep:
Not only can a lack of sleep leave you feeling tired and generally underperforming, but it also leaves you vulnerable to illness.
Practice stress management:
Under constant stress from your job? This is a recipe for leaving you more vulnerable to sickness.
Supplements are a great way to fortify your immune system. Many, like our ImmuneONE wellness formula, are packed with vitamins and herbal supplements to get your immune system working at peak levels.
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