The immune system is an amazing one, that when working efficiently protects the body from infection. In order for it to work efficiently the immune system needs to be fed well with the correct foods providing it with all the necessary nutrients.
HOW DOES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WORK?
An invading pathogen has many obstacles to overcome in order to infect the body. The pathogen must penetrate the external barrier of the skin, or stomach acid if it is entering via the digestive tract. The nasal passages are also an entry port but they secrete mucus, traping pathogens and flushing them away. Saliva and tears also have antibacterial enzymes that neutralise pathogens that try to enter via these passage ways.
The gut has more than 70% of the bodys immune cells which can destroy pathogens that have made it past these entry points. Any pathogens that get passed the digestive tract will have to travel through the liver, where there are more immune cells waiting to destroy them.
If a pathogen succeeds in infecting tissue cells an immune response is triggered. The damaged cell releases a chemical TNF that attracts immune cells. More immune cells arrive to the infected tissue and try to destroy the pathogen. Symptoms of this destruction are
The immune system can also produce ANTIBODIES for that particular pathogen. This antibody will attack the pathogen and destroy it if it shows up again.
IF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS WORKING WELL
you dont pick up every bug thats going around.
you fight infections fairly easily
you are not constantly sneezing or itching.
you generally feel good.
IF YOU HAVE A WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM
Somebody with poor immune system will pick up bugs and infections fairly easy and will find it difficult to kick the infections.
A poor diet: consuming too much junk food, sugar, caffeine, smoking, alcohol etc competes with vitamin c which is necessary for a healthy immune system.
Stress and depression/low mood also affects the immune system.
Sleep allows the body to recover and repair, without sufficient sleep the body can not function properly and the immune system is also affected.
Eat well, sleep well and exercise!
In support of the immune sytem supplements can help. Consider taking immune boosting complexes such as
olive leaf extract