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How You Can Maintain A Healthy Immune System; Building Strong Immunity


The immune system is responsible for protecting your body from outside invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins. For this fact alone, it is important that daily fortifications are made to continue to strengthen the immune system, because if this system is compromised, the body is left vulnerable and susceptible to these invaders.


Understanding The Immune System

The immune system is developed from the time you're born and it is made up of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together. There are two main parts of the immune system, one is the innate immune system which you're born with and the second one is the adaptive immune system which develops over time. The innate immune system is a rapid response system and it patrols the body looking for foreign invaders so it can put a stop to them. This is active from the moment you're born and when it recognizes an invader, it goes into action to eliminate it. The main cells in this part of your immune system are the neutrophils. They are the first responders and an important part of the immune system. The acquired immune system, on the other hand, develops as you grow. The acquired immune system, also called the adaptive immune system creates immunological memory after an initial response to a specific pathogen, and leads to an enhanced response to future encounters with that pathogen 

 

Strengthening and Maintaining a Healthy Immune System


Balanced Nutrition - Fuel For Your Immune System

The foundation of a strong immune system lies in a balanced and nutritious diet. Consuming as many fruits and vegetables, proteins, whole grains and healthy fats is important to ensure that you do not miss any key nutritional components. Certain foods are known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunity-boosting properties. Some of the foods include blueberries, nuts (e.g. almond), garlic, and dark chocolate.


Adequate Hydration

Staying hydrated with enough water (ditch fizzy/sugary drinks) is a greatly beneficial support for the immune system. Water helps flush toxins from the body, supports blood flow and circulation, and ensures proper function of immune cells. Through the course of one’s day, water can be lost normally through sweat, tears, urine and even breathing. It is important that you take in more water than you lose to prevent dehydration.


Stress Management

Any form of stress, whether it is psychological or physical, directly weakens parts of your immune system, increasing risk for infections or reactivation of viruses inside you. Whether it comes on quickly or builds over time, it is important to understand how chronic stress affects your health. Chronic stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk the body is for viruses, including the common cold and cold sores. This is when you can start experiencing a “stress-induced sickness.” Your immune system starts to feel weaker, so it can’t fight against infections or diseases as well.

Engaging in stress management practices that suit individual preferences such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, social support, etc will be helpful in minimizing stress, promoting relaxation, and enhancing overall well-being, thereby supporting the body's natural defenses against pathogens.


Avoiding Risky Substances and Habits

Risky substances and habits are major negative effects on a healthy immune system. Alcohol disrupts immune pathways such that the body’s ability to defend against infection gets impaired, contributes to organ damage associated with alcohol consumption, and impedes recovery from tissue injury. Smoking exacerbates pathogenic (disease-causing) immune responses and/or reduces immune defenses.

Avoiding these risky practices helps to support the immune system's ability to protect against pathogens and maintain overall health.


Get Sufficient Sleep

Adequate sleep is an important part of maintaining a robust immune system, as it directly influences various aspects of immune function. While asleep, the body produces and releases cytokines, a type of protein that helps the immune system communicate and coordinate its response to infections and inflammation. These cytokines are essential for regulating immune responses and defending against pathogens. Sleep also plays a vital role in promoting the function of immune cells, such as T cells and natural killer cells, which are responsible for identifying and destroying infected cells in the body. Getting enough sleep ensures that there is optimal production and activity of these immune cells, enhancing the body's ability to fight illnesses and infections.

Adequate sleep is also essential for the proper functioning of the body's stress response system. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which can suppress immune function and make the body more susceptible to infections. With sufficient sleep, there is a healthy regulation of stress hormones and the body is supported in maintaining a balanced immune response. In addition, quality sleep encourages overall health and well-being, which in turn indirectly supports immune function by reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases, which would otherwise compromise the immune system.


Exercise Regularly

Regular physical activity acts as a powerful immune booster, contributing to overall health and well-being. It has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in many chronic diseases and immune system dysfunctions. By decreasing chronic inflammation, exercise helps to optimize immune function, making the body more resilient to infections. Additionally, physical activity is key in managing and reducing stress levels, and this has a direct impact on the health of the immune system. 


Get Recommended Vaccines, Supplements and Infusions

A number of vaccines, supplements and vitamin infusions play a role in boosting the health of the immune system. For example, riboflavin, which is vitamin B2, is a very central vitamin for the immune system. It helps to convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into the necessary building blocks. Without that, you can't have the full use of what you eat. Thiamine, vitamin B1, is essential for brain health, the nerves and without proper nerve function, you will not be able to adapt well to stress, and this has a direct impact on the immune system. Vitamin D has also been found to be a huge contributor to immunity. In the adaptive immune system, it helps the cells that recognize pathogens or different toxins to react. So you find that for people with low vitamin D levels there is not enough immunity needed to fight foreign invaders. Here at Libre Aesthetics and Wellness, and with the help of certified physicians, you can get recommendations and administration of vaccines and supplements that are helpful in building a healthy immune system.


 

Lifestyle Medicine at Libre Aesthetics and Wellness

Studies have shown a direct connection between lifestyle choices and strong immune systems. This is evidenced by the tips stated above, alongside many other tips recommended for building a strong immune system. Some of the foundational tips for building a healthy immune system make up the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine (plant-based nutrition, physical activity, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, restorative sleep, and social connections). Lifestyle Medicine uses prescriptive evidence-based lifestyle changes to maintain overall health and wellness and also to treat and reverse chronic medical conditions such as diabetes type 2, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. At Libre Aesthetics and Wellness, the pillars of lifestyle medicine are used to create SMART goals to help you achieve a healthier, more vibrant life. 

Contact us or schedule a comprehensive consultation with our board certified physicians to get started on your transformation today.



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