The immune system is the body's first line of defense, comprised of several body parts that work in consonance with each other to keep the body safe from disease, harmful pathogens and other invaders. The immune system is able to distinguish between the normal body cells and foreign bodies and it attacks such bodies to keep us continually healthy. The main reason why the HIV virus and AIDS have had us scrambling for a cure is that these aim for and weaken the immune system, making us that much more vulnerable to disease. If you are interested in knowing how to keep your immune system healthy and robust, read through some of the guidelines and suggestions listed below.
Parts of the immune system. The immune system is a network of several body parts and organs such as tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels, bone marrow, the spleen, Peyer's patches, the thymus gland, lymphocytes comprised of B-cells and T-cells, phagocytes, cytokines, etc.
How it works. When a microbe or other foreign micro-organism attacks the body, B-cells recognize the foreign agent, the T-cells and other natural killer cells attack the microbe and then the phagocytes swallow, digest and destroy the microbe.
Ways of boosting the immune system. The best way to boost your immune system is to avoid stressful situations. While it may not be possible to eliminate stress completely from our life (and some amount of stress is good, as it releases adrenalin into the system), regular periods of rest and relaxation, good nutrition and exercise and a fitness regimen can help combat stress.
Alternative medicine. Try the herb Echinacea (Echinacea Augustifolia); it helps the body defend against infections. Prepare a cup of the herb by boiling 1gm of the root in water for three minutes, and drink the concoction three times a day. Echinacea can also be used as a paste or in lotion form which can be applied locally on the skin.
Get rid of vices. Avoid getting addicted to alcohol, caffeine and smoking. This will prevent the immune system from weakening and also increase your life span.
Eat healthy. Make sure to include these immuno-boosters in your diet - liver, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, whole grain, almonds, eggs and milk. All these foods contain natural zinc, which is one of the most important natural mineral which boosts the immune system.
Making vitamins a daily habit. Vitamin C and vitamin B-complex are very important vitamins for keeping the immune system healthy; the best natural sources for these two vitamins are fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain, milk and eggs.
Knowing that you have only one life, be happy and live it to the fullest. Remember, that regret is often pointless, instead move on with your life and aim to live well. Your immune system will thank you for it!
Dr/ Tamer shaban