Building Your Immune System

Understanding the immune system is the first step in building your immune system.  Know what it is made up of, and what causes it to become weakened.

The immune system is not a single organ.  It is an army of many units that is constantly at war to keep us alive.  It has many components such as thymus, spleen, lymph system, bone marrow, white blood cells, antibodies and hormones.

Building your immune system by what you put on your dinner plate!

Do we need to know the intricate workings of this life saving system?  I don't think so, but let's look at a few examples.  Sometimes the bad elements get through the healthy barricades and cause problems such as colds, flu, allergies, etc.

It is good to understand why certain things like inflammation, fever, hives and rashes happen to us. When we have these symptoms, we know that our immune system is working properly to oust the invaders.  When you get a cut, the system responds to seal the wound and heal the skin.  This is the immune system at work.

More serious maladies like cancer, heart disease and diabetes (all known as chronic diseases) are the result of a weak immune system.  In fact, you could say that all serious, long term human sickness is the product of a compromised immune system where the body does not have the ability to defend against illness.

WHAT DESTROYS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?

Burgers are part of the diet problem!

Cellular malfunction caused by deficiency and toxicity destroy the immune system.  Poor diets, toxins, emotional and physical deficiencies, genetics and modern medicine are responsible for sick cells and a degraded immune system

We rely on a medical solution, instead of building your immune system,  for all of our sickness.  A pill for everything!

Pharmaceuticals and over the counter drugs are toxic to the body and compromise the immune system. Thousands die each year from correctly prescribed drugs and over the counter meds.

In the case of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, a patient with a cancer will suffer from the immune system being compromised with the destruction of both healthy cells and cancer cells. The immune system that can return the patient to health is basically put out of action by the treatments. Every effort must be made to quickly rebuild immunity.

Building Your Immune System

1.  Foods to boost your immune system are found in a healthy whole foods plant based diet. There are many plant based diets that have been proven clinically correct with track records in returning individuals to a healthy life.

If you are healthy and eating reasonable amounts of vegetables, a small amount of animal products (less than 10% of your daily calorie intake) may be okay to eat, if you have to.  The results of eating too many animal products is reviewed in depth in Dr. Colin Campbell's "The China Study".

2.  Getting adequate rest also helps in building your immune system.  The body makes many repairs while you sleep.  A healthy length of time asleep varies with individuals.  For most of us 8 hours is enough.  The hours sleeping must be quality time.  I have read recommendations of sleep lab doctors that have found the best quality sleep is before 12:00 midnight.  In fact, for every sleep hour before midnight, you can double the hours to add to your total.  Your body will thank you for quality rest.  The National Sleep Foundation has recommendations and guidelines that may help you.

3.  Exercise and movement is necessary to increase immune system.  A program as simple as walking is very beneficial.  Barbara and I try to walk two miles, five times a week.  This is within the guidelines reviewed by the Harvard School of Public Health.

If you are really sick, start with a comfortable distance to begin with, and increase as you feel strengthened.  You add oxygen to the body that helps increase good circulation.  This will deliver nutrients to the cells and eliminate waste products more efficiently.

Exercise also guarantees that the lymph system will function properly. The movement of lymphatic fluids depends on body movement. There is no pump like the heart to make this important part of the immune system work. The lymphatic system is the main sewer system that rids the body of cellular waste. Exercise makes it easier to get the immune system healthy in order to win the constant battle with invading germs and toxins.

4.  Detoxing is very important when you are seeking great health, building your immune system, and plan to change your lifestyle.  Many reports claim that 80-85% of our wellness is found in the digestive system.

There are all sorts of natural methods and elixirs available to assist you in getting rid of chemicals, parasites and toxins.  Fasting, herbal blends, juicing, body scrubs are a few of the methods used.  

One of the easiest ways to help you detox was recommended at the Kushi Institute.  Simply take a damp washcloth and scrub your body thoroughly.  Do it every day - you will be amazed at the results. This stimulates the blood flow and defoliates the dead cells of you skin.  

We recommend that you study closely any detox method that you plan to use.  Dr. Joel Furhman has some good testimonies on how people made themselves disease proof by following his "nutritarian" diet that also detoxes your body.  Make sure you are healthy enough.  If you are ill, you should check with your health provider before starting an intensive cleansing regimen. You may suffer consequences, if done improperly.

5.  Get your Vitamin D the easiest and best way.  Another way of building your immune system is to get enough of the "sunshine vitamin".  

Vitamin D is getting rave reviews when it comes to boosting the strength of the immune system.  The skin manufactures all the D that you need in the presence of sunlight and it will store it in the liver and fat for about 20 days.  Try to get 15 minutes of sunshine two or three times a week on as much of your body as possible.  People in northern climates may need supplements for the long harsh winters.  Get your vitamin D the way it is intended...from the sun.

6.  Stress and negative emotions will degrade the immune system. You can be diligent in all of the measures mentioned thus far in building your immune system, but without a positive attitude your immune system will suffer. It is important to find ways on how to relieve stress.

Prayer and meditation can reduce stress.  It is important to stay connected with people. Don't let yourself get isolated from family and friends.

Laugh a lot!  The brain manufactures endorphins that give you a sense of wellbeing when you have a good laugh.  A truly amazing man, Norman Cousins, had an untreatable disease and laughed himself to health.  You may want to read his testament and journey in one of him many books "Head First."  

Sing a happy song each day.  Be thankful with the beautiful world around you.  It will go a long way in building your immune system.  When you start to feel good from your lifestyle change, the mind and spirit will follow.  We have seen this happen over and over.  You can do it too!

Testing May be Beneficial

  • Medical testing for your immune deficiencies would be beneficial if you suspect that you are suffering from some autoimmune problem or maybe lacking vitamins and minerals.  Auto-antibody tests, imaging scans, and x-rays may be required to find the intensity of the problem and define the effectiveness of treatments.  Consult your healthcare provider regarding testing and diagnosis.
  • Testing you can perform at home.  The correct pH of the body will help you find the pathway to excellent health. It's a simple test and it is inexpensive (we like this brand). In building your immune system up, if you can maintain a slightly alkaline body, the immune system will operate at peak efficiency.

When you follow most of the recommendations that we have discussed in this section, you will achieve an alkaline state.  We know that Americans that eat a Standard American Diet (SAD) have acid bodies. Diseases thrive in an acid body.

When the body is acid the immune system has to operate in a constant emergency environment to try and restore an alkaline balance.  When the immune system is over stressed, invaders may get through the barricades and cause sickness.  This acid condition has both short term and long term consequences. The simple pH test performed in the morning with test strips will help guide you to achieve the correct body pH.  You can review the details regarding pH on our webpage. the pH Scale.  

Special Conditions

There are some conditions that will lessen the effectiveness of the body's ability to stay healthy. Here are a few of the issues.

  • Mechanical damage to the body parts such as broken bones, muscle tears, etc. that inhibit the normal body movement and function
  • Genes that we inherit that have DNA errors
  • Insufficient minerals and vitamins
  • Autoimmune problems created by errors in the immune system
  • Organs that may have been weakened by eating and drinking the wrong foods.

Antibiotics have been effective in killing most bacterial invasions, but now new mutant strains of bacteria have made many antibiotics ineffective.  Antibiotics kill the stomach bio system.  It is important to restore the good microbes in the gut to regain a healthy system after taking medication. Probiotics and fermented vegetables can assist in rebuilding the good bacteria in the stomach.

Conclusions...

There are many things that you can do for building your immune system.  We have discussed what we believe are the most important.  A plant based diet contains thousands of bio-chemicals, minerals and vitamins and will furnish you all the necessities for a healthy life.  Your immune system is a very good friend - treat it with care.

Explore more...

pH of Food - To maintain a balanced pH in your blood and tissues, you should eat 70 - 80 percent alkaline foods and not more than 20 - 30 percent acid foods.

pH Paper - The pH paper is the simplest and most inexpensive way to see if you are on the right track to excellent health.

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