Everything you may be reading as we head into cold and flu season, is telling you to “boost” your immune system and purportedly showing you how. Stop! That’s the worst thing you can try to do!!! Here’s why and what you should do instead…
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How Does My Immune System Work?
We actually have two parts to our immune system – innate and acquired also called “adaptive.”
We have two complementary immune systems: innate and acquired. Innate immunity is the body’s natural, knee-jerk reaction to an unknown infection. Innate immunity is fast, broad, and incredibly nonspecific. When it gets activated, you know the feeling all too well—fever, cough, runny nose, and body aches. In short: inflammation.
The real work of neutralizing an infection is the purview of acquired immunity, the targeted branch of your immunologic military that is built up over your lifetime…While a small percentage of antibodies are passed from mother to child, the majority are produced when a person first encounters a particular infection…If the body has been previously exposed to an infectious pathogen…the acquired immune system “remembers” it and is able to quickly recognize it in the event of future reinfection. Once reactivated, the acquired immune system synthesizes only the correct antibodies, with astonishing precision and efficiency.
What To Do So Your Immune System Functions At Its Best
Intestinal Health & Great Nutrition Support a Healthy Immune System
Seventy percent of our immune system is housed in our gastrointestinal tract. Seventy percent! So it makes sense that you want to keep your gastrointestinal tract functioning as efficiently as you can. Our gut breaks down the food we eat and keeps toxin from entering our bloodstream. If the gut is not functioning properly, its barrier becomes permeable and toxins can cross into our bloodstream. Dr. Tazneem Bhatia gives really terrific information about gut health in The 21 Day Belly Fix as well as a 21 day regime to start healing your gut. It takes discipline, but the plan is really worth it – you will start to feel amazing in just a couple of days!
Eliminating or reducing foods that are likely to cause gut disfunction is a good beginning. Start by eliminating or reducing gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. Great nutrition goes hand in hand with gastrointestinal health. Once you’ve taken out some possible offenders, fill your diet with as many fruits and vegetables as you can – organic when possible. Add in foods and supplements that can actually help improve and heal your gut. Probiotics, fish oil, and fermented foods like kambucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir all fit the bill nicely.
But this doesn’t “boost” your immune system – it maintains healthy function – so this is something you do want to do.
Eliminate or Reduce Toxins to Support a Healthy Immune System
We are exposed to toxins every day that place a chronic strain on our immune systems. Instead of protecting you from a cold or flu, your immune system may be busy flushing out toxins. If you can’t find organic fruits and vegetables, use a good fruit and vegetable wash to eliminate as many toxins as possible from your food. It’s also a great idea to start working to remove other toxins in your home by replacing chemical cleaners. If you can, replace plastics (containers, bags, etc.) in your kitchen with glass containers and reusable lunch bags. If you can’t always use glass, try to at least find some great storage containers that are BPA free.
Essential Oils Support a Healthy Immune System
We use essential oils year round as part of our overall plan to help maintain vibrantly healthy immune systems. Each year, as soon as school starts, somebody brings something home. And they usually share it with the rest of us. I don’t say that we never get sick. But, we work to maintain the healthiest immune systems possible year round. When we do get sick, our immune systems can function at their very best and they can work perfectly to heal our bodies as quickly and efficiently as possible. See which essential oils our family uses.
Vitamins and Minerals to Maintain a Healthy Immune System
Vitamin A…is essential for the immune system to function…And it’s essential for barrier tissue function (like the gut barrier, the sinus barrier, the lung barrier, all relevant to fighting off infection)…
Vitamin D is another essential immune system nutrient, important for basic function but also regulation. Also key for connective tissue health…
Vitamin C is a necessary antioxidant needed by the immune system, and is also necessary for connective tissue health…
Zinc is probably the most important mineral for immune system function, and one that only 17% of Americans actually consume enough of…
Omega-3s (DHA and EPA) are required by the “eater” cells in your immune system to work effectively…
Glycine is an amino acid required by your immune system and also a component of all connective tissue…
Let Your Children Get Dirty to Develop a Healthy Immune System
In addition to breastfeeding, one of the best ways you can help your child’s acquired immune system develop is to let them play in the dirt! The“hygiene hypothesis” suggests that “early exposure to microbes is essential for normal immune development” and “when exposure to parasites, bacteria, and viruses is limited early in life, children face a greater chance of having allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases during adulthood. In fact, kids with older siblings, who grew up on a farm, or who attended day care early in life seem to show lower rates of allergies.”
Why You Don’t Want to “Boost” Your Immune System
What you want is for your healthy immune system to be functioning at its maximum efficiency to keep you and your family at your strongest and healthiest! And now that you know how to do that, can you see why you might not want to “boost” your innate immune system? That would mean more fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, and inflammation that aren’t doing any heavy lifting to neutralize your infection. And you can also see that it’s not really possible to “boost” your acquired immune system since it’s largely built up over your lifetime. A “boosted” or overactive immune system actually creates an imbalance in your body, allergic reactions, or autoimmune diseases. An immune system on overdrive is NOT what you want to help you make it through cold and flu season or any other time of year.
What you do want is to support your body’s beautifully and perfectly designed immune system so that it will function fully and efficiently to do the job that it was created to do. So eat your veggies, use nature’s medicine and let your toddler lick her applesauce off the park bench and make some mud pies. Who knew?
Can You Bring This Wellness into Your Own Home?
So how do you bring all this wellness and amazingness into your own home for you and your family? By signing up for a Premium Starter Kit with Young Living, I saved more than $100 over the retail prices – a great deal by itself. But…my sponsor threw in all kinds of great freebies to help me learn how to use my oils. All of this was over a $300 retail value – and I got it for $160! The Premium Starter Kit includes:
- The Everyday Essential Oils Collection: Includes Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon, Copaiba, and Frankincense essential oils PLUS R.C., Thieves, PanAway, Purification, and DiGize essential oil blends.
- Young Living Diffuser of Your Choice
- Stress Away BONUS essential oil blend
- 2 – 2 oz. samples of Ningxia Red
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- An additional ten essential oil sample size products
- Welcome to Young Living booklet
- Product Guide and Product Price List
- Essential Oil Magazine
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- 10 Love It? Share It! bottles and essential oil cards
Related Article You May Like: What’s In the New Premium Starter Kit?
When you order, I will include these freebies and educational materials to help you learn how to use all these fabulous oils that are about to come to your doorstep:
- The Essential Oil Starter Guide – a gorgeous 20+ page booklet that covers uses for each of the essential oils in the starter set.
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Related Article You May Like: My First Time With Essential Oils
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this website with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. Please keep essential oils out of the reach of children.