Of the many systems working within the human body, the immune system is an excellent example of complex efficiency. A network of participating cells and organs, it synchronizes its responses when defending the body from infection and disease.
In its element, it has the capacity to remember diseases it has encountered and produce secretions and cells that can effectively defend the body from another recurrence. Moreover, it has an advanced communication system that can trigger an immediate response to an emergency and act according to the severity of the infection. Activated immune cells start producing substances that allow it to recruit other immune cells and guide it to the site of attack while at the same time allowing it to control behavior and growth.
However, when the system malfunctions by causing an inappropriate response to substances or cells that are native to the body, it causes autoimmune diseases that will require the intervention of medication that will suppress the system’s response. What causes the system to malfunction, however, is still unclear. It is believed that exposure to some drugs or bacteria by people with susceptible genes cause this phenomenon.
When totally compromised the body is left defenseless, thus leaving it vulnerable to disease.
Helping the body’s defense system
The body’s defense system is only as dependable as the support it gets. Some people are just blessed with a good set of genes that ensure a strong immune system. For others who are not as lucky, they must work for immunity by observing proper nutrition, sufficient rest, a healthy active lifestyle, plenty of sun and reduced stress. Recent studies have shown that getting enough of these while cutting down on unhealthy habits and avoiding processed foods restores the immune system to peak performance.
Observing proper sanitation also plays a vital role in keeping the immune system working. It is recognized as the best preventive medicine and its actual practice can reduce outbreaks and diseases, translating to significant economic, environmental as well as social benefits.
Antibiotics and vaccination as remedies to assist the body’s defenses against disease have now been debunked by recent findings. Of late, antibiotics have been shown to attack beneficial bacteria in the stomach and suppress immune functions.
Foods that naturally boost the immune system
Foods that boost the body’s immune system can offer a lot of healthy options for those who wish to be more conscious in what they take in. To be sustained, the immune system heavily depends on the stomach for support. Malnourished individuals are more susceptible to disease as opposed to those who observe a healthy nutritious diet. Below are some of these examples:
1. Echinacea – Echinacea is a popular herb that has been identified to boost immunity. Combined with goldenseal, another herb, or enjoyed alone as tea, this member of the daisy family has been found to prevent and treat upper respiratory tract infections as well as the common cold.
2. Ginseng- This herb has many varieties. The most commonly studied variety is Panax ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng. Its main active component, ginsenosides, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Clinical research studies have demonstrated that it may improve immune and psychological functions as well as conditions related to diabetes.