Erbology
Do these six things to build your immune system

Do these six things to build your immune system

Team ErbologyErbology

Immunity is a package deal. Here's how to wrap your immunity up.

June 21, 2020 7:51 pm

Immunity does not stand still. Your immunity changes day by day. Minute by minute. Second by second. It’s an alive entity. And immunity isn’t just about healthy diet and your given biology. You can nourish your immunity in other ways. Provide your body with steady equilibrium. Anchor your immune system. You probably already realize that the things we set forth below are important. However, you might not realize just how they help keep illness at bay. → View Related Products

1. Sleep!

When you’re tired, the smallest problems balloon and feel insurmountable. That’s stress. If you sleep well, you can find solutions. You’re not stuck with and in your problems, whether they’re real issues or day-to-day annoyances. Sleep brings calm. And it keeps you strong. All of this is essential for optimal functioning of your immune system. Moreover, good sleep will also make it easier for you to eat what you’re supposed to eat. This, too, helps maintain your immune system.

Further, a group of researchers from Germany looked into how good sleep plays into your T cells. To clarify, we discussed T cells in a this article about the immune system. T cells are an important part of your immune system. They fight pathogens that are located within or between cells. For instance, cells that have been attacked by viruses such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer. For T cells to interact with other cells, the T cells need to be sticky. Stress hormones can prevent this from happening. When you sleep, your stress levels are low. Therefore, your T cells are better able to fight illness off.(1)

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2. Eat a rainbow

Opting for a varied diet across the color spectrum is the best way to make sure your body is getting a little of everything. That is to say, a full palette of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients provides you with a well-balanced makeup. Moreover, immunity can build more strongly from that base. Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential. Not only does eating well give our immune system the resources it needs to make new, strong cells, but also research has backed up the intuitive sense that people who are nutritionally lacking are more susceptible to infections.(2) Moreover, when people whose diets are inadequate get sick, they get sicker for longer. → View Related Products

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3. Drink a river of water, herbal teas, and healthy broths

Staying hydrated means a river washes through your veins, sweeping away poisonous silt like toxins, viruses, and bacteria. Water also helps to plump up our cells and enables them to function optimally. It assists our brain in the production of melatonin, which promotes sleep – see the first item in this list! Our kidneys can also flush out our bodies more effectively if we drink the proper amount of water.

Further, water helps in the production of lymph. We explained a bit about the lymphatic system in our lengthy article about immunity. It runs alongside blood vessels and is key to immunity. Lymph helps to transport bacteria it finds along the way to your lymph nodes, which handily does away with these unwelcome invaders. Finally, wet eyes and mouths are essential for protecting these vulnerable entryways into our bodies from any nasties drifting along in the environment.(3)

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'Mindful meditation appeared to have a positive effect on several key processes in our immune systems.'

4. Keep moving…

Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing if you’re worried about being unwell, but moving around is wonderful preventive medicine. Think of your body as a car. An engine that does not run smoothly consumes a whole lot more gas, right? If you are sluggish and sedentary, your body can’t make best use of the fuel that it takes in. That means it does not have enough energy to nourish the immune system. Exercising means your body is much more efficient and has energy to spare. A study done by the American Journal of Medicine found that women who went for a thirty minute walk daily had half the number of colds as women that didn’t. That’s quite a number!(4)

5. …and keep still.

It’s interesting to read over these two section headings. Yes, keep moving, and also keep still. But do both in an intentioned manner. Choose stillness and you could make your motions even more beneficial tor immunity, and vice versa. While there needs to be further scientific research into how meditation supports immunity, studies have suggested that it may have a real effect.(5) A review of 20 randomized controlled trials involving more than 1600 people all together found that results were consistent across trials. In other words, mindful meditation appeared to have a positive effect on several key processes in our immune systems. Specifically: cell mediated immunity, biological aging, and inflammation.

 

meditation

6. All done in a clean, well lighted, nicely smelling place.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have much choice about where we live. But no matter where you live and how much money you do or do not have, you can probably make your home nicer to be in. Natural light or lamps that replicate natural light. Spacious and decluttered rooms, with objects you find useful or think beautiful arranged in ways you find useful or think beautiful.

No need to spend a fortune on pricey candles, although they are rather nice! Scent your environment with homemade room sprays made by placing 5-10 drops of essential oils into some water in a spray bottle. Or try diffusers. Essential oils to try include lavender, pine, tea tree, peppermint, or cinnamon.

You could also make steam inhalations with dried herbs possessing antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Lovely dried herbs for this purpose would be thyme and sage. Add to 4 cups of boiling water in a bowl; put a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 5-7 minutes to clear your head and lungs.

Try for flourishing, well-tended plants and fresh flowers. All of these things can make a real difference to your stress levels and thus, to your immune system.(6)

The scientist Dr. Esther Sternberg has conducted extensive research, qualitative and quantitative, into the notion of healing places. Her conclusion is that our emotions have a powerful effect on our immune systems – for bad or for good. She quotes the definition of health, as according to the World Health Organization (WHO), an organization not known for their airy-fairy views: “a state of complete physical, mental and social well‐being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”(7)

Here’s to true health; beauty; and living, breathing immunity.

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  • (1) Dimitrov et al, “Gαs-coupled receptor signaling and sleep regulate integrin activation of human antigen-specific T cells”, Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2019.

    (2) Wu et al, “Nutritional Modulation of Immune Function: Analysis of Evidence, Mechanisms, and Clinical Relevance”, Frontiers in Immunology, 2019.

    (3) Popkin et al, “Water, Hydration and Health”, Nutrition Reviews, 2011.

    (4) Chubak et al, “Moderate-Intensity Exercise Reduces the Incidence of Colds Among Postmenopausal Women”, The American Journal of Medicine, 2006.

    (5) Black, David S. and Slavich, George M. “Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials”, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016.

    (6) Morey et al, “Current Directions in Stress and Human Immune Function”, Current Opinion in Psychiatry,  2015.

    (7) Sternberg, Dr. Esther, “Healing Spaces”, Harvard University Press, 2010.

    Photo credits: Tyler Nix, ika dam, Stephanie Greene.

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