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Immunity

Immune System Support 101

Toni Gam - Swisse Author
Written by Toni Gam | Swisse Nutritionist
Woman with healthy immune system

Our Immune system acts as our personal bodyguard, helping to protect cells in our body and assisting the healing process. Immunity is our body’s first line of defence and thrives when we are achieving a balance of movement, mindfulness and nutrition in our daily lifestyles. Here are just a few of the many ways that you can support the health of your immune system. But first….

How does our immune system work?

When our immune system is exposed to a pathogen, a bacterium, virus or fungus, body cells try to engulf the pathogen to get rid of it. If the body isn't fit to fighting off these pathogens, it won't be able to engulf them. The more care we take with our immune system, and our entire body, the easier it can be for our bodies to fight off the pathogens. On the other hand, a weakened immune system can mean an increased susceptibility towards developing an infection.

Immune health basics

Supporting our immune system doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few easy steps to get you started:

  • Rest up - ensure you are getting at least eight hours of quality sleep
  • Get outside - for adequate sun-exposure
  • Sweat it out - move your body and do some exercise
  • Mental health - look after your minds
  • Eat right – a nutrient-rich whole-food diet is key to boosting immunity.

Get Good Gut Health

Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your gastrointestinal microbiome?[1] Immune cells and our gut bacteria work together to maintain our health. A lot of the time, the gut is the entry point to pathogens, so if the digestive system is unbalanced, they may be absorbed in the gastrointestinal lining. A probiotic is a great way to support both immune and gut health.

Andrographis

While hard to pronounce, Andrographis a friend. A traditional Western herbal medicine, an Andrographis is an adaptogen, helping us adapt to stress. It activates the immune system and provides symptomatic relief of mild upper respiratory tract infections. It’s an immune supporting superstar.

Echinacea

Echinacea is having its moment, and we're here for it. Echinacea has been used in traditional Western herbal medicine to support the body's immune system and relieve symptoms of mild upper respiratory tract infections.

Vitamin C

Let’s talk Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, helping to reduce free radicals formed in the body. It also helps to support our overall immune system health and function.

Zinc

Did you know that Zinc is a common immune mineral? Zinc is important in supporting the body's immune system function. Zinc deficiency is common and can cause immune dysfunction.

Reference:

[1]Vighi et al. 2008, “Allergy and the gastrointestinal system”, British Society for Immunology, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, Vol. 153, No. 1, pp. 3