Fifteen years ago, most scientists would have laughed at the very idea. Back then, everyone thought of the immune system as the body’s formidable but independent fighting force, impervious to any influence short of intense exposure to radiation or lethal, antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The notion that seemingly minor changes in what you eat, how you spend your leisure time, or the amount of sleep you get each night might alter the complex dynamics of the immune system seemed ludicrous.
Having seen in this chapter just how complicated and finely tuned our immune systems are, almost anyone would be similarly skeptical.
How could your actions possibly affect the invisible world of T-cells, B-cells, antibodies and phagocytes, to name only a few of the major players that make up the immune system?
Even as research immunologists have been mapping the multilayered terrain of the body’s vital and mysterious guardian band, scientists approaching the immune system from a different angle have been making practical observations about things that help and hinder it in its work.
Consuming the right food can boost immunity
Steering clear of factors that dampen immunity is only half of the equation. It’s not enough to avoid the wrong foods, you need to eat the right foods.
Similarly, staying on an even keel emotionally may protect you from immune-suppression linked to depression, but seeking out positive experiences and cultivating your capacity for joy might give your disease-fighting mechanisms a special added boost.
- Black currant
- Brussels sprouts
- Chard, red and green
- Citrus fruits
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Garbanzo beans
- Green tea
- Nuts and seeds
- Pepper, hot and sweet
- Pink grapefruit
- Pu-erh tea
- Red grapes
- Rooibos tea
- Rose hips
- Sweet potato
As you know, water is essential for the health and well-being of every person. But most of the time, we are drinking too little water. So I hope this helps remind you how important consuming water is. Here are some of the many benefits of drinking fresh, clean water:
• Water quenches thirst. The awareness of thirst diminishes with age, so older people need to mindful of drinking enough every day.
• It brings moisture and nutrients to you organs.
• It has anti-aging qualities.
• It flushes out impurities, detoxifying your body.
• It beautifies your skin and smoothes out wrinkles.
• It improves brain function.
• It lubricates joints.
• It regulates body temperature.
• It increases energy.
• It releases stress, because dehydration is one of the biggest stressors for the body. Nothing functions well without water’s soothing, renewing qualities.
• It helps reduce weight gain when drunk half an hour before a meal by leading to an earlier feeling of fullness.
• It prevents kidney stones.
• Natural spring water contains essential minerals:
bicarbonates (which regulate acidity), calcium (Strengthens bones), chloride (regulates acidity), fluoride (protects your teeth from cavities), iron (prevents anemia), magnesium (essential for your heart, bones, and temperature regulation), potassium (important for heart and muscles), sodium (balance water distribution), and zinc (help bones, immunity, wound healing, and diabetes control).
These minerals can be picked up by the water as it travels through different soils and sediments. Therefore, water from different springs might have very different mineral contents. Nothing is good as a pure spring or deep (tested) well.
Strengthening the immune system with a new attitude
Taking proactive measures to strengthen your immune system might sound daunting, given how many other tasks we’re already trying to balance in today’s revved-up society.
In reality, though, the new findings about lifestyle and the robustness of your immune system are quite encouraging: they make clear that little things really do mean a lot, that it’s definitely worthwhile to take that brisk walk around the block, eat one more scoop of nutrient-rich fruit salad and carve out extra time for relaxing with people who make you most happy.
Fortunately, the body is wonderfully regenerative. By making and sticking with a few simple changes, you can coax your internal army of white blood cells into fighting shape in just a few months.
One of the many ironies of medical progress is that as knowledge of the body’s intricate workings grows more detailed, evidence that individuals can improve their health by doing simple, low-tech things such as exercising becomes more and more compelling. The complex but startlingly responsive immune system illustrates that this paradox perfectly.
Can strengthening the immune system turn back the clock?
Most people over 70 have weakened immune function. Some, however are blessed with the robust immune systems and the low illness rates of young adults. These fortunate few are also likely to surpass average life expectancy.
Their gift is partly the result of lucky genes, but avoiding things that damage immunity in the elderly – in particular, nutrient deficiencies – plays a role as well. So the answer the question is yes.