What Does it Mean to Strength Your Immune System?
It’s one thing to support your immune system, but it’s another to actually strengthen it. When we think about strengthening our immune system, we should think about how we fuel it – what nutrients do our specialized immune cells need? Certain immune cells have memory, enabling them to recognize threats and efficiently target them.
One of the best things we can do is strengthen our immune cells to recognize and eliminate those threats early on.
The immune system is the body’s natural defense against illness and infection – a difficult task that requires an intricate network of cells and proteins to work together in order to keep the body healthy. Though our immune response does require every part of this integrated system to work together, we can more easily understand this complex process by breaking it down into two basic parts:
First we have the Innate Immune System. These cells act as “first responders”, and rapidly respond – within 96 Hours – to infections to contain and eliminate threats. These immune cells have no memory, so they attack all threats the same.
The second part is the Adaptive Immune System – the second line of defense. These cells have a slower response, but are able to use memory to attack specific pathogens/antigens that the immune system has previously come across – building what we refer to as immunity.
A balanced diet, smart supplementation, and physical activity can all be greatly beneficial to the immune system – as they work together to help strengthen key components of it over time.
Our immune system is incredibly complex and requires a lot of nutrients to function at full capacity. While we can often get these nutrients from our diet, certain supplements can provide an added boost or fill the missing gaps.
For example, nutritional yeast specifically supports cells called Macrophages, which are part of adaptive immune system and “sound the alarm” when they encounter threats. The Beta Glucan aka nutritional yeast primes macrophages for activity to help keep your immune system vigilant.