March 1, 2023

Your Immune System: How it Works and Ways to Boost it

Written by: Omnia Tantawi, MSc

The immune system is the crucial line of defense against diseases and infections, helping our bodies combat issues such as flu and colds and regulate inside processes like cell growth. This guide explains how your immune system works and discusses healthy ways to boost it.  


How Your Immune System Works

The immune system is a network of cells, proteins, and organs that helps the body combat harmful factors entering the body. It protects the body from pathogens, recognizes and deals with toxic environmental substances, and helps manage cell transformation that could result in disease like cancer or autoimmune disorders. 

Antigens, such as bacteria or viruses, are substances the immune system does not recognize as a part of your body that attaches to an immune cell receptor to activate the defensive mechanism. The immunity network uses various processes to ward off this invading antigen.


Innate Immune System

Two subsystems combine to form the structure of our immune system. The innate or nonspecific system is the first defensive line that protects against all harmful substances, children are born with this type of immunity.


This system includes:

  • Immune cells (ex. Neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, and macrophages) 
  • Skin and other physical barriers
  • Chemical obstacles like enzymes that are capable of killing bacteria (ex. HCl in the stomach that digests ingested pathogens)


Some antigens can maneuver beyond these barriers, encountering the adaptive immune system.


Adaptive Immune System

Some refer to this network as ‘immunological memory.’ The adaptive system which is also known as acquired immunity, identifies and stores information about specific pathogens. The next time they attack, the available data allows for a faster counterattack.

The adaptive immune system consists of:

    • B cells: Produced by the bone marrow, these cells serve to make antibodies. Antibodies are proteins produced in response to pathogens that attack as soon as viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens are identified..
    • T cells: These cells identify and destroy infected cells and remember information about pathogens.
    • Natural Killer Cell: This is a type of cell that’s responsible for protecting the body against intracellular attacks or damage, like viruses or cancer cell formation.


Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Studies have suggested that keeping up to date with the recommended vaccinations can help you ward off infections. Vaccines help your immune system make antibodies for specific diseases in preparation for when that specific disease does attack. Apart from vaccination, here are some other ways to boost your immune system.


Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

Your focus should be on foods with loads of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals with antioxidants, anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and other properties that help your immune system. If you have problems with weight management, design a healthy diet to get rid of extra pounds.


Your diet should include the following:

  • Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant present in strawberries, oranges, spinach, broccoli, and many other fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin B6: A vitamin that helps keep your immune system healthy. B6 is found in protein-rich foods like salmon, chicken, and tuna.
  • Vitamin E: A vitamin with antioxidant properties that helps remove damaging free radicals from your body. Sunflower seeds and almonds are excellent sources of this vitamin.
  • Magnesium: A nutrient that is essential for hundreds of processes in your body. You can take oral supplements or increase your intake of whole grains, nuts, and seeds.


Get a Nutrient Boost Via Intravenous Therapy

If you can't get sufficient nutrients via regular nutrition, consider supplementation. While oral supplements are a good choice, intravenous treatments are a more potent option for a nutrient boost.


Mobile IV services can provide intravenous therapy at your home or any other location. You can get combinations of vitamins and other nutrients. Due to its antioxidant properties, glutathione IV benefits can help boost your immune system and energy levels to promote recovery from inflammation or illness.


However, you should consult your doctor before getting any type of injections so that they can see if you’re eligible for such treatments and advise you of the risks associated with this process as well.


Stay Hydrated

Hydration plays a vital role in maintaining a youthful skin appearance and is essential for a healthy immune system. Physical activity is healthy, but it also dehydrates your body. The optimal amount of water per day varies due to factors like age and activity levels. You may also need more than usual due to environmental conditions such as hot summer days.


Avoid Stress as Much as Possible and Get Enough Sleep

Stress drains your body and taxes your immune system. As such, establishing a self-care routine and taking care of yourself is imperative. Caring for yourself may include engaging in relaxing activities and ensuring you get enough sleep. Good sleep can do wonders for your immune system.


Final Thoughts

Your immune system is vital since it keeps you healthy and safe from environmental invaders like bacteria and viruses or inside threats like cancer. You can significantly elevate your immune system’s performance by adopting these healthy habits. 



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Article written by Omnia Tantawi, MSc
Omnia is an Assistant Lecturer and Medical Researcher from Egypt. She’s an integral part in many research projects that proved promising in revolutionizing the future of Medicine. As a Research Scholar, she’s particularly interested in Personalized & Molecular Medicine because she believes that this is the prospect of the healthcare industry and can be applied to all medical and pharmaceutical specializations. But at heart she remains a wordsmith, so she currently works as a Medical Writer. This transition was fairly easy with an Academic Medical background, ability to adapt to different audiences and passion for research and creation. She always takes the most complex or mundane topics and turn it into a must-read with an unparalleled style. In her free time, she likes to read books, tunes in Netflix or enjoys the outdoors.

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