Winter Immune Deficiency

The immune system protects the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful organisms. Toxins in processed foods and in the environment, toxins from a poor diet, and toxins produced by stress can all contribute to a decline in immune system activity.

The winter months can be an extreme challenge to your immune system if you are not eating right or exercising regularly. If your immune system is weak, your body may be subject to fatigue, illness such as head colds and flu, and cannot ward off infections.

The thymus gland, the spleen and other body organs produce immune system cells. These cells are then carried throughout the body via the lymph vessels to the lymph nodes, which store these immune system cells to help create an effective barrier against infection.

Immune cells can be damaged by free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules in the body. Free radicals can be generated in dangerously high numbers by poor nutrition, X rays, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and pollutants. Vitamins help strengthen the immune system by neutralizing these cell-damaging particles. Exercise also helps maintain good health by promoting blood circulation and ensuring a plentiful supply of oxygen throughout the body.

A detoxification program can remove toxins that block healthy immune system repair. And herbs such as Echinacea strengthen the immune system. Other immune-boosting herbs are Siberian ginseng, wild indigo, thuja, and chamomile.

Here are some tips to strengthen your immune system during the winter months:
1. Protect your cells by supplementing with vitamins A, E and C from ascorbic acid.
2. Engage in moderate exercise for an hour each day.
3. Get plenty of fresh air. This promotes an oxygen exchange between your blood and air, which leads to efficient metabolism of energy from nutrients.
4. Strengthen your thymus gland, a nursery of immune system cells that help fight infection. Every morning, tap on the middle of the breastbone with your finger for five minutes to stimulate the gland.
5. Keep indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50%. The mucous membranes in the nose will not dry out and can act as a barrier to prevent germs from penetrating inside the body.

Posted January 2007 | Permanent Link

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