Immunity - What Is It Really?

Prevention is better than cure. We know, you’ve heard the statement one time too many. But, considering the present COVID-19 pandemic, this statement is ever pertinent.

The human body is an intricate composition of parts that contribute to the whole. Plainly put: a system. As with any system, each part is dependent on the other to ensure optimum functionality.

The neglect and deterioration of a vehicle, for example, all comes down to one key principle: maintenance. It is generally easier to rectify and maintain small defects than it would be to purchase an entirely new vehicle. Right? So why would we treat our bodies any different?

The primary system that drives holistic health in the human body is the immune system; a system that requires daily maintenance.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about immunity. An array of information has flooded the internet since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hundreds of generic tips and ‘How-To’ articles have been published and shared. It can be overwhelming to sift through the information to find credible , do-able advice.

The simplest way to look at the subject of immunity is to look at the basics.

What is the Immune System?

The immune system guards us against the invasion and spread of harmful pathogens into our bodies. It is responsible for regulating the body's response to foreign substances such as food or internal organisms such as the body's own cellular tissues. It builds up a memory bank of every single substance that the body interacts with.

We are exposed to pathogens as we develop and interact with our environment. For example: catching a cold or getting the flu. The symptoms of these illnesses that we experience is the immune system’s way of fighting off pathogens and creating a record of how to kill off future invasions. The memory bank grows and so our immunity is strengthened. A compromised or weakened immune function can result in susceptibility to certain diseases or allergic reactions.

A weakened immune system is a system without support. Caring for the immune system requires a fundamental understanding of its parts.

Parts of the Whole

The immune system consists of several organs that form the wall of defence we need to be healthy. This defence is comprised of inner and outer organs and vessels such as:

  1. The skin

  2. Mucous membranes in our nasal and oral cavities and internal organs

  3. Friendly bacteria that reside in and on our bodies

The epicentre of our immune system resides in the gut.

Our digestive system begins in our mouths in the form of enzymes in the saliva right through to our intestines. The bowels comprise of a micro-biome which produces more than half of the antibodies (white blood cells) our bodies use to recognize, evaluate, and eliminate harmful intruders. A healthy micro-biome is needed to ensure that the body is not deficient of its guard of cells. Once the intruders have been eliminated these cells store information (memory bank) on how to respond to similar invaders in the future. The micro-biome also contains the essential bacteria of the gut known as gut flora. This kind of ‘bacteria’ is necessary for the process of organ nutrient absorption, hormone production and, of course, immunity.

Gut health is thus the focal point of immunity.

It feeds all parts of our system to produce the correct genetic information needed for a healthy mind and body.

Simplicity is the Secret

So, how do we cultivate a thriving micro-biome? The healthy development of any organism on earth begins at cellular level. The three simple elements essential to cellular life are: proper nutrition, clean fresh air, and water. The life-giving Amazonian rain forest is propelled by these forces and, in turn, yields a lush and thriving biome for its diverse organisms. We humans simply need to take a page out of the book of nature.

The basic blueprint for health embraces a simple diet, free from processed, refined and unnatural food. Eat real food. It seems too simple to be true but put it into practice and you won’t only see but will also certainly feel the difference.

Living plants such as leafy greens, fruit, vegetables, and seeds yield life to the body. The human body has enough work to do in producing and balancing healthy cells and hormonal response. Why force it to contend with added hormones and empty nutrients that break down immunity?

Support your immune health with friendly, healthy nutrients. A ‘real food’ diet need not be complicated. Authentic, holistic health does not come in a capsule. The gut encodes the genetic material of the entire immune system. Feed your gut what you want reflected in the rest of your body.

“Eat food, not too much, mainly plants.” -Michael Pollan


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