Protecting Your Body: Keys to the Immune System
Your immune system is the gatekeeper - it’s responsible for making sure nothing gets into your body that will harm you. It is constantly scanning for pathogens, the things that cause illness and disease in your body. Once it identifies something harmful, it gets tagged and your immune system sends the soldiers, the white blood cells, to eliminate the invader.
One of the many defenses your immune system uses to fight pathogens is increased mucus production and inflammation. This makes it more difficult for anything nasty to get in or to stay alive in your body. Everyone knows about the congestion, runny nose and inflammation that comes with a cold.
The immune system also has memory: it remembers pathogens it has encountered in the past, and how to beat them. Our immune system builds by being exposed (hopefully not becoming overwhelmed) and learning how to defend itself.
Once the immune systems “tags” the invader, phagocytes - the “big eater” cells - start to munch on bacteria, viruses, fungus, and even dead cells.
Interestingly enough, pathogens try to block your cell’s ability to absorb vitamin D. All white blood cells have receptors for vitamin D, as does your DNA. If you have enough Vitamin D, your immune system will be ready for the fight. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, followed by foods and supplements.
Vitamin C will trigger your body to produce more white blood cells, which are vital for getting better. The best form is lyposomal Vitamin C, as well as foods like sauerkraut, berries, bell peppers, and green leafy vegetables but even Emergen-C and Airborne can be effective.
If you feel yourself getting sick, this is not the time to reach for that candy bar or fast food. What your body needs most are the nutrients available from fresh food. This is why a chicken soup with the bone broth (not Campbell’s) can be so good. You get fatty acids and minerals from the bone broth in soups that are easy for your body to break down and use. You also don’t want to go low fat when you’re sick, as you need those healthy fats.