Your immune system is amazing – it’s a complex, highly responsive web of interrelated cells and processes designed to fight off invading pathogens.
Since the earliest times, human beings have relied on strong immunity to protect them from illnesses that would otherwise cripple or kill them. As it turns out, in modern times we need this crucial first line of defense more than ever.
The reason is that along with the usual possible infectious disease (colds, flu, etc.), we face a whole new set of immune system assaults. It’s important to know how to support your immune system naturally. But first, here’s a short list of the worst of these new pathogens:
- MRSA – Over-use of modern antibiotics & antimicrobial soaps has led to brand new strains of antibiotic-resistant microbes. The most well-known of these is called MRSA (short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). It’s a form of Staph infection that resists the high-powered broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used for Staph. It takes a strong immune system to successfully fight it off.
- C. difficile – Recently, researchers discovered a newer form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Called C. difficile (C. diff for short), it already looks like it will be even more of a problem than MRSA.
- C. gattii – Add to that the recent finding of a potent fungus in the Pacific Northwest, called Cryptococcus gattii, that’s spread by the wind. Typically you’d expect this sort of thing to affect people with weak immune systems, but this new species is triggering symptoms in even healthy people.
So much for the bad news.
The good news is that it’s possible to take action to support your immune system, thus reducing the likelihood of suffering major negative consequences from these pathogens. Here’s how:
- Avoid immune-sapping foods – in addition to the obvious culprits (processed & refined foods like bread, pasta, chips,etc., concentrated sugars, including fruit juice & dried fruit and foods with unpronounceable & unnatural ingredients), any food that creates stress on your body smacks down your immune system. Such foods include foods not supporting your Metabolic Type® and those foods you have allergies or food sensitivity with.
- Get a balanced blend of healthy nutrients in whole foods – again, this may be obvious, but most people still eat for convenience at times. This typically means eating something quick and easy, most often not food in its natural state. For a good overview of the 3 most important things to consider when selecting your foods, see this article: “The 3 Most Important Things To Consider When Selecting Your Foods.”
- Avoid over-use of antibiotics and antimicrobial soaps – as you saw above, excessive & inappropriate use of antibiotics causes newer, stronger microorganisms to emerge. For example, if you have a cold virus, antibiotics won’t help you fight the virus since they only fight bacteria. And the use of antimicrobial soap not only isn’t any more effective than regular soap for washing, new evidence suggests that it also contributes to strains of bacteria that resist treatment.
- Make sure you get sufficient sleep – with our busy modern lives, many people don’t get enough sleep. However there’s abundant evidence showing lack of sleep deprives the body of needed repair time, and thus creates an additional drain on all body systems, including the immune system. Do everything you can to get a good nights sleep. For more on how to achieve this naturally, see the article, “To Sleep, Perchance To Dream“
- Fight free radical damage to your body by taking potent antioxidant supplements – oxidative stress from free radicals in your system creates multiple challenges for your body to overcome. These include increased inflammation, breakdown of muscle and other tissues and weakening your immune system.
Following the above guidelines will go a long way towards helping your immune system remain strong and increasing your quality of life.