Every second of the day, our health is under attack.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungus, all with the potential to make us sick, fight to enter our body and use our internal resources for itself.
When it comes to protecting our body from these unwanted harmful pollutants, we have our immune system to be thankful for!
Sight unseen, your immune system works tirelessly in the background as our body’s first line of defence against infection. It is made up of a powerful network of cells, organs, proteins and tissues which work together to constantly gobble up bacteria and block viruses from invading our body.
This hardworking system creates, stores and distributes the white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses that enter our bodies. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system then releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kills them.
Like your heartbeat or your digestion, the immune response is a function you don't control however there are plenty of things you can do to lend a helping hand.
Protecting Your Immune System
While many of us pay more attention to the health of our immune systems during winter, when colds and influenza are rampant, the truth is that our immune systems work hard all throughout the year to protect us from potential viruses or infections that may occur.
Knowing how hardworking our immune system is, it’s important that we protect it like the precious commodity it is.
There’s no one fool-proof way to keep your immune system in top shape. It’s a complex system that requires a number of factors for it to operate efficiently. However, at Vitropics we believe that healthy habits can equal a healthier immune system.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a short guide below with tips on how you can help boost, support and maintain a healthy immune system.
Practice Good Hygiene
The first line of defence to keep germs at bay is to follow good personal hygiene habits. In a bid to help stop an infection before it begins and avoid spreading it to others, we recommend the following easy measures:
(Image sourced from who.int)
Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. While the song "Happy Birthday" has become a staple in many homes during hand-washing, it’s definitely a tune that can get old very fast so here are some of our personal favourites:
- "Stayin' Alive" by The Bee Gees
- "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo
- "Toxic" by Britney Spears
- "No Scrubs" by TLC
- "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
- "Love on Top" by Beyonce
Remember if you need to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow or a tissue and dispose of all used tissues straight away.
And lastly, avoid touching your face with unclean hands. Do not pick at healing wounds or blemishes as doing so could allow germs to enter.
Maintain a Healthy Diet & Stay Hydrated
While food alone cannot stave off viruses, what you consume can directly affect the body’s daily operations including digestion, sleeping well and fighting off infection.
Our immune system needs enough energy to carry out its responsibility of defending our bodies from infection. This means that we need to make sure that we are feeding it with nutrient-rich foods.
It is recommended to aim for 5-7 servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits daily to get a sufficient amount of those super immune-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
To get you started, here are just some powerful immune-boosting foods to add to your shopping list:
Along with a healthy diet, staying hydrated is also key for a strong functioning immune system. Water helps the body naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause illness and also helps carry oxygen to our cells, helping them to function at full capacity.
Happy, healthy cells that are oxygen-rich allow our muscles and organs to fire at all cylinders- which in turn helps us feel our best and supports our immune systems to fight off foreign invaders such as germs or infections.
Aim to drink at least 2 litres per day, increasing your amounts when exercising.
Support with Supplements
Where your food falls short, supplements can help fill any nutritional gaps and support your overall health.
Our supercharged monthly cycle supplement Triumph has been designed by our pharmacist development team to provide potent support to a woman’s immune system and we ensured that immunity was at the core of our formulation process.
Among its 55 natural vitamins, minerals and botanicals, Triumph is packed with a number of key ingredients that support the optimal functioning of the body’s immune function by delivering these ingredients to the body in highly bioavailable forms.
Some of these key immune-boosting ingredients are:
Vitamin A - Often known as an anti-inflammation vitamin because of its critical role in enhancing immune function. Vitamin A is involved in the development of the immune system and plays regulatory roles in cellular immune responses. Triumph contains a high-quality source of Vitamin A in the form of Beta Carotene.
Vitamin B12 - This powerhouse helps make our nerves, blood cells and DNA and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. B12 plays an important role in white blood cell production- which is essential for a proper immune system function. Most of us lack B12 in our diets which can in turn lower our immunity however the good news is that the synthetic form of B12 found in supplements is actually more readily absorbed by the body.
Vitamin C - also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin well-known with its role in supporting a healthy immune system. It contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. The body cannot make its own Vitamin C store so it must be obtained via food or a supplement. A deficiency in Vitamin C can result in impaired immunity and a higher susceptibility to infection.
Vitamin D- also known as the sunshine vitamin has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital is its role in regulating the absorption of calcium in the body and in facilitating normal immune system function. Vitamin D has numerous effects on cells within the immune system and is vital for keeping it balanced during infection season. Deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection.
Zinc- This mineral plays a fundamental role for women when it comes to hormone balance, & cognitive function however, one of its key functions is its influence on the immune system. Zinc helps keep the immune system in check and is required for the development and functioning of immune cells. Triumph contains a highly bioavailable form of zinc - zinc citrate.
Selenium- This is an essential trace mineral and is a component of the antioxidant enzyme Glutathione peroxidase, which helps to fight cell-damaging free radicals and supports a healthy immune system. Selenium also helps to recycle Vitamin E further- helping antioxidant support. Triumph contains L-selenomethionine, a potent source of selenium.
Copper- This mineral plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Unfortunately for many of us, our diets can sometimes deliver low levels of copper which means that we must top-up via supplements. Our supplement Triumph contains one of the most bioavailable forms of copper, which is copper glycinate.
Get Adequate Sleep
The body uses sleep as a means of healing itself and lack of good quality shut-eye can contribute to a variety of health concerns such as a weakened immune system.
Without sufficient sleep, our body makes fewer cytokines (a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation). These infection-fighting proteins are produced and released during sleep, causing a double whammy if you skimp on your zzz’s.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per day for adults and between 8-14 hours for children depending on their age.
To pave the way for better sleep, we recommend the following simple yet effective healthy sleep tips:
- Keep your bedroom cool- 15-19 degrees is the sweet spot!
- Avoid sleep stealers such as caffeine and alcohol a few hours before bedtime
- Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends!
- Exercise daily and experiment with light stretching before bed
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual
- Ditch the tech and unwind with meditation before bedtime
The bottom line is that a healthy body is dependent on a strong immune system.
While there is no guarantee that a strong immune system can completely prevent a virus or infection from occurring, it is vital that we keep our bodies as healthy as possible and focus on building up our inner defences to give our body the best possible chance to fight off any unwanted infection or virus.
If you enjoyed this blog, please check out some of our similar posts:
- How to Winter-Proof Your Immune System Naturally
- 5 Realistic Daily Habits Inspired by Successful Women
- How Your Hormones Are Affecting You At Every Phase of Your Cycle