It’s that time of the year! Sniffles season, as I like to call it. However, this year is a little different. COVID-19 has definitely given a whole new approach to how to improve one’s immune system this year. I’m more than sure our televisions will begin to be flooded with the latest products that help “boost the immune system” here in the coming weeks of the holiday season.
A strong immune system really is a key factor in warding off disease. Obviously, it’s not a guarantee that you won’t get sick but like me I’m sure many of you have the same thought of “well, it can’t hurt me to try and boost it.” The problem is our main food and drug companies aren’t going to tell you the two ways to actually boost your immune system, because there’s no money in it for them. They want you to go out and buy the latest “multi-vitamin” or “immune-boosting drink,” because that’s where the money is for them.
The fact of the matter is the body has two immune systems: the innate and the adaptive. The innate is the true wonder of the body. It is your body’s first line of defense and a lot of its power is derived from the bacteria found in your gut lining. The adaptive is the one people more commonly think of when they think of the immune system. This is the part of the immune system that acts once you’ve already gotten sick. It takes a lot longer to act, but it makes record of whatever caused the illness. This information gets sent to the innate immune system and the next time this disease presents itself, you won’t get sick.
The real problem with our health today and the reason why COVID-19 has hit America the hardest is because the innate immune system of so many is compromised. The innate immune system relies on two things. A strong gut, and we’ll dive deeper into that, as well as sleep. A strong gut is simply a gut lining that is fertile enough for healthy bacteria to live in. This happens through a great diet and that’s it. Vitamins taken orally or any kind of multi-vitamin cannot do the job of real food. Real food, and again we mean animals, vegetables, and fruits ONLY when we say that, has a multitude of vitamins and minerals in them. The difference between them and some multi-vitamin though is that the synergistic effect in real food has not been able to be duplicated by man-made vitamins. In other words, the blend is so perfect and allows for much better doses in real food than it does in man-made vitamins. These vitamins and minerals of real food help keep the gut lining intact. There’s also plenty of fiber in fruits and vegetables, which is the food of healthy bacteria in your gut lining. The healthier and more well fed these bacteria are, the stronger your innate immune system will be.
Then there’s the sleep aspect of the innate immune system. Your body truly is a wonder and performs many non-voluntary actions when you’re awake. Breathing. You don’t actively think about doing that. Getting blood to vital organs. You aren’t telling your heart, “hey,move that there.” Blinking to clear out your eyes. It all happens without you doing anything. But, there’s also plenty of things your body puts on the back burner, shall we say, while you’re awake. Unless you’re eating something, there’s no real reason to improve your digestive system. Unless you’re getting exposed to a disease, there’s no real reason to improve your immune system either. But, those things still have to happen. So, when do they take place? That’s right. When you’re asleep. During sleep, and especially deep sleep, your body begins to repair all the things that it didn’t need to worry about while you were awake. Restore muscle tissue, restore testosterone, and yes, strengthen your immune system.
During this flu season that is so heavily compounded by COVID-19, be sure to do yourself a favor by eating real food and getting plenty of sleep. It’s a cheap, easy way to ensure that your immune system does its job when presented with a challenge!