by Andrew Pacholyk MS. L.Ac

The immune system consists of white blood cells, amino acids, and endocrine organs. The most important function of the immune system is its defensive role in the human body. The immune system has an inherent ability to detect and challenge foreign substances and organisms within the body, acting as the crucial first line of defense. The immune system plays a role in eliminating harmful organisms and substances by recognizing, destroying, and finally removing various types of foreign particles. The immune system declines with aging, contributing to increased infections.

Nutrition is one of the best ways to enhance active immunity to keep your body healthy and strong. Enjoy immune-boosting foods, vitamins, and supplements that increase your odds of staying healthy. Free radicals are used by the immune system to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. However, when produced in excess they damage human cells and tissues too. In fact, free radicals are implicated as causes in many diseases of lifestyle including cancer. Our natural defense mechanisms called antioxidants are usually able to mop up the majority of these aggressive molecules. The most potent antioxidant nutrients are vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, and selenium. It is important to ensure adequate intake of fruit and vegetables that are known to be rich in antioxidants.

Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking if you smoke, can help protect against practically every digestive disorder as well as, heart disease, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer.

Good nutrition is the body’s ability to take in the 45 known nutrients in proper amounts, then digest, absorb and carry these nutrients into the cells, metabolize these nutrients, and eliminate the waste. The following is a list of the 45 known nutrients:

* carbohydrates
* lipids
* proteins
* water
* 9 amino acids
* 13 vitamins
* 19 minerals

Citrus seed extract and garlic are two other good supplements as far as bolstering and improving immune system function is concerned. The common garlic has many useful properties, it is antibacterial, it also has antiviral properties, and lastly, it is effective against fungal infections. To ward off colds and infections, the anti-pathogenic and microbial fighting abilities of the citrus seed extract can be utilized to the maximum.

Many green food supplements are rich in a substance called chlorophyll, these include wheatgrass or barley grass, algae like spirulina and chlorella, chlorophyll plays a role in the buildup of blood and in the formation of tissues in the body. These green food supplements, in addition, contain a plethora of nutrients essential to the body. Their other properties are anti-inflammatory actions and the detoxification of the body. Prolonged and regular dosages over a period of months give the best and most effective results. A healthy immune system also needs optimal quantities of essential fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are abundant in many cold-pressed oils, for example, evening primrose oil, these oils can be taken for the immune system as well as for general health and nutrition.

Minerals: The body’s ability to resist infection and disease are also hindered by other indirect causes such as a long-term deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals. A poor immune response can also be due to an impaired thyroid function; a deficiency in iodine can greatly affect the immune system indirectly because low levels of iodine lead to problems with the thyroid gland, a condition often manifested in an impaired immune system. Include this immune-boosting mineral:

Magnesium: Magnesium is extremely important – it is a mineral essential for activating chemical reactions, transporting glucose to the cells, and boosting your immune system. At times of high psychological stress, our magnesium requirements are even higher. This mineral can be found in oysters, shellfish, herring, liver, legumes, and milk.

Selenium: This mineral increase natural killer cells and mobilizes cancer-fighting cells. Best food sources of selenium are tuna, red snapper, lobster, shrimp, whole grains, vegetables (depending on the selenium content of the soil they’re grown in), brown rice, egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken (white meat), sunflower seeds, garlic, Brazil nuts, and lamb chops.

Zinc: This mineral is required for its role in resistance to infection and wound healing. It can be found in liver and red meat, egg yolks, dairy products, wholegrain cereals, and seafood – particularly oysters and shellfish.

Top 12 Digestive Immune Ideas

This is one of my favorite areas and should be differentiated for our specific purposes. For overall digestive wellness it is important to maintain optimum balance. This can be done by the following:

1. Blueberries: are one of most extensively studied functional foods. Their deep blue pigmentation is a result of a powerful class of flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanadins. The result of blending several of these powerful antioxidants have shown to have incredible results.

2. Bromelain: is a proteolytic enzyme from the stem of the pineapple plant. Taken with food, bromelain assists in the proper functioning of the digestive system. Taken between meals, bromelain inhibits the production of kinins and fibrin, which promote the inflammatory process.

3. Smoothie with Green Powder: including kale, algae, matcha are a super fiber supplement that is also a natural cleansing formula for a healthy digestive system. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is the goal of a regular cleansing program. Without a proper functioning digestive system we are unable to absorb the nutrients we eat or effectively or eliminate toxins that our bodies generate.

4. Colostrum: is a powerful immunoglobulin active formula that strengthens the immune system. Colostrum, when combined with the powerful immunoglobulin activity of Lactoferrin, enzymes, Beta-glucan and olive leaf have shown to be one of the best combinations to strengthen the immune system.

5. Ayurvedic Digestive Formulas: These very special Ayurvedic herbs such as Turmeric, Triphala, and Neem are geared toward the health and well-being of each individual dosha. They help maintain healthy digestive acid levels and a healthy stomach lining while supporting a comfortable post-meal experience.

6. Enzymes: Digestive enzymes provides a superior combination of natural plant enzymes precisely balanced for broad-spectrum support of digestive function and to help maintain healthy joints and muscles in times of peak stress. This formula contains enhanced levels of protease, amylase and lipase sourced from Aspergillus oryzae. Enzymes promote healthy levels of kinins and fibrin, thereby helping to maintain normal muscle and joint function.

7. Fish Oil: Omega-3 and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish help to protect against heart and blood vessel disease. Natural, essential fatty acids are essential to normal human cell and tissue growth and maintenance as it boosts the immune system. If not found regularly in the diet, the diet must be supplemented. Take 2,000 mg of rich, omega 3 fish oil, in doses of 1,000 mg, twice a day.

8. Flax and Fibers: support our intestinal health. It offers the benefits of protein, vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate), psyllium husk powder, flax seed powder, lignans l-glutamine (free-form), deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract (root) , marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), unripe plantain banana (Musa paradisiaca), slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) extract and triphala.

9. Gluten Digestives: are daily recommended for lactose intolerance protease and lactase enzymes ensure smooth digestion.

10. Probiotics: These are a group of microbes such as Lactobacillus which help support gastrointestinal function by colonizing areas in your intestines that could otherwise be populated by harmful pathogens. Probiotics are most commonly associated with fermented milk products such as yogurt, kefir and cultured buttermilk and should say “live and active cultures.”

11. Turmeric: is a powerful antioxidant, helps with detoxification support and promotes a healthy inflammation response. Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice and medicine that has been researched for its ability to promote a healthy inflammation response, support cardiovascular health, and support normal cell growth.* Scientists believe turmeric may be responsible for the remarkable brain health observed in people who live in India where the per capita consumption of turmeric is 2 grams a day.

12. Women’s nutrients and men’s nutrients: can mostly be found in a multi-vitamin. A comprehensive whole food vitamin, mineral, and herbal support for women and men are usually delivering about 25 different vitamins and minerals in their most easily digested and efficacious form.