Immune system is the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin by the action of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells. In other words, immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails when a germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections. As life expectancy has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment.
It is true that our immune system protects us from infection and disease, but is there a way we can enhance the way it functions? Let us understand that our immune system can broadly be divided into two parts: innate and adaptive.
Innate immunity is the natural protection that we are born with and our first line of defense to combat infection. Upon detecting an infection, our innate response acts quickly to try and flush out the invader by producing extra mucus or cranking up the thermostat to blast it with a fever.
Adaptive immunity is protection that we gain throughout life as we are exposed to diseases or protected against them from vaccinations. The adaptive system spots an enemy and produces the specific weapons — or antibodies — that are required to destroy and eliminate the invader from the body.
The best thing you can do to maintain your immunity is to adopt healthy living strategies that will benefit the entire body, including your immune system.
The strategies to improve immunity might include:
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing stress
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