The Immune System Masterpiece
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Article Written By
Jacob Lilje FCS Intern
The human body is nothing short of a biological masterpiece. The amount of functions occurring in our body during every second of our lives is enough to make your head spin. It is hard to truly grasp a perspective on it because we, as human beings, are so focused on what is occurring outside of us. If there was ever something to pay attention to inside your body, the immune system takes the cake. Just as the name suggests, the immune system is responsible for training your body to fight diseases as they occur in your life. From the moment you are born, the body gets to work to fight outside pathogens.
One way to think about the immune system is as the defense on a football team. The way the immune system trains itself to fight off diseases is through antibodies. These antibodies are blood proteins that act in response to antigens and counteracts them. Besides antibodies, another way your immune system fights off pathogens is through vaccines. As vaccines are introduced to the body, the immune system is put through what can be viewed as a Mach-up of what it would be like to get the disease in question. The purpose of vaccines is that your immune system will be ready to repel the real deal should you come into contact with the virus.
While vaccines play a vital role in beefing up your immune system, there are things that can be done throughout your everyday life to add extra armor to your immune system. And with the onset of Covid-19, it is more important than ever to take all of the necessary steps to boost your immune system. One of the best things you can do to boost your immune system is to have an appropriate diet. According to an article found on eatright.org titled How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy, balance in your diet is the key to a healthy immune system. There are certain nutrients that play a role in the health of your immune system. The first being Vitamin-C. For all of you orange juice fans out there, today is your lucky day. Not only is Vitamin-C found in orange juice, but foods such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangos, broccoli, and tomatoes all contain high levels of this essential vitamin.
Next up on the list is probiotics. Dairy lovers, you can join in the celebration with the orange juice crowd. The reason probiotics are important for immune health is that probiotics are “good” bacteria and promote overall bodily health. One of the best ways to get your hands on this all-star bacteria is to have some yogurt. Not a fan of dairy like me? No problem. There are other ways to get probiotics into your diet. The best alternative is to eat fermented foods such as kimchi.
Last but not least, we have protein. Protein is often associated with muscle recovery and is seen as a means to an end to grow big and strong. While this is true, protein also does its job in the immune system strengthening department. Protein is easy to come by and the best way to eat it is lean and grilled. While chicken, beef, and fish are usually seen as the big three in the protein family, there are plant based alternatives that can easily be swapped out. Nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils are all meat free alternatives to get the necessary protein your immune system needs.
The human body is always repairing and replenishing itself. It wants to work at this optimum and provide for you. But it cannot do it alone. It is up to you as a conscious entity to make sure you are doing everything in your power to keep it running in tip top shape. The immune system is the key to this. Along with weekly exercise, your diet is the main vessel to achieving immune system Nirvana, so treat it well!