The Benefits of a Strong Immune System
No one likes getting sick and we like it even less when it’s our children. The question is, how do we avoid getting sick? How can we be sure that the latest “bug” going around isn’t going to hit every member of our family? The answer is a healthy immune system.
What is the Immune System?
The immune system is the body’s natural defense against germs, bacteria or other illness-causing foreign invaders. When an antigen or infecting organism enters the body the immune system begins to create antibodies to fight off the illness or disease.
Once this antibody has been created, a person is typically immune from further infection; a strong immune system has a capacity to remember the antibody and reproduce it rapidly to overcome the beginning stages of the illness.
What are the dangers of a weak immunity?
Clearly the first and most obvious danger is that we are more susceptible to illness once we’ve been exposed. However, there is the additional concern that once we have succumbed, we will find it more difficult to fight off the infection and will remain sick longer.
A typical cold shouldn’t last more than 3 or 4 days, but someone who is not living a wellness lifestyle and suffers from a weakened immune system could be ill for up to a week.
Does my diet affect my immunity?
The fact is that many of our daily choices can weaken our immune system, and the most critical is our diet. Research has proven that a diet high in bleached flour, salt and sugar can weaken our immune system leaving us susceptible to infecting organisms.
Perhaps most surprising is the negative effect that dairy can have on our immunity. While milk contains calcium and magnesium, which are vital nutrients for our body, and dairy products tend to be rich in zinc, the extra work required by our body to digest these complicated proteins and milk-sugars wear out the body.
Additionally, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, cow’s milk is the leading cause of food allergies in children. It has also been proven that milk creates mucus which can lead to respiratory problems that may include chronic coughs and asthma as well as frequent sinus infections and ear infections. This is why many healthcare professionals suggest and agree that reducing or eliminating milk and dairy products from your diet completely will positively affect your immune system.