The Healthy Immune System And Why You Need One

The family’s deathly ill, and we mean all of them—Dad, Mom and all the kiddos.  Oh, it’s nothing serious—Junior brought home a bug from school that he got from another kid, and now they’ve all got it. It happens maybe once a month, and on the bright side it does give the family some quality time together. But there’s got to be a better way.

Don’t you wish there were an answer for a family—like yours—that gets sick all the time? There is—a healthy immune system. But the trick is, of course, to have one in the first place.

How to Get Immune

Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against bacteria, germs and viruses, the ones that cause all those colds, all that flu and all those symptoms.When a virus, bacterial infection or antigen invades your body, your immune system goes to work creating antibodies to fight it off. Once created, the antibodies prevent any further infection. It’s a great system, but the system is only as strong as the basic health of the person.

After all, the weaker the immune system, the weaker the defense against disease, and the more susceptible you and your family become to the latest bug roaming around. Besides, the immune system, if weakened in the first place, has to fight that much harder—and longer—to get rid of the disease.

Typically, a cold or flu bout should be three to four days—people with weak immune systems take up to two weeks to get rid of them.

What Weakens Our Immune System?  Surprise—Milk! 

The first answer is our food intake. An inadequate or unbalanced diet is the number one reason for lack of immunity—particularly if the diet includes foods that are tasty but nutritionally weak. These foods will typically have huge doses of white/bleached flour, sugar and salt—the cookies, the cakes, the pastries we love are full of them. And of course, we wash them down with lots of milk.

And here’s a big surprise—one major component to the reduction of immunity is ingestion of too much milk.

Kids love it; babies need it. It has zinc, calcium and magnesium, and it’s vital for life. But the body wears out if too many milk products, particularly creams or sauces, are taken in, since it requires a lot of energy to break down and digest those complicated sugars and proteins. Your body gets tired if you take in too much dairy.

In fact, cow’s milk has mucus and a number of other allergens, all of which can cause chronic coughs, asthma and other respiratory problems, as well as ear and eye and sinus infections, and there are a number of food allergies found in that Mom-recommended white substance as well.

So, as hard as it is to believe, reducing and inhibiting (and in some cases eliminating) dairy and milk intake will strengthen your immune system.

So What Should You Eat?

Any vitamin and mineral rich vegetable—the greener it is, the better it is—will have a great supply of vitamins A, C and E, as well as Selenium and Beta-Carotene, which are antioxidants that the healthy immune system cannot do without.

Don’t entirely avoid eggs or red meat either, despite dire warnings from some—they are rich in Zinc, a great immunizer. And beans have magnesium, so don’t skimp on them.

And doesn’t a meal of meat, beans and green veggies sound pretty good anyway?

Rest That Body for More Immunity

What else affects immunity? Lack of sleep.

Recent studies show that the healthy immune system needs lots of sleep—up to 14 hours a day for infants and toddlers, and at least eight hours a day for anyone over sixteen. In fact, lack of sleep, along with severe depression and alcoholic addiction, make up the Deadly Three—the triumvirate of the most toxic things that can affect immunity.

Get Moving and Get Immune

What else affects immunity? Sitting around. At the computer, in front of the TV, just in the house or in that chair in the cubicle, a sedentary lifestyle is a sure path to a weakened immune system. Any diseases we catch—since we’re just sitting around waiting for them—are going to approach us in an enclosed place and settle on us rather quickly. We’ll be a bacterial host, all because we’re just sitting.

On the other hand, if we get up and move and work out and run and exercise and walk and breathe deeply, our body is taking in more oxygen, and that helps the cells create immunity. This doesn’t have to include a gym membership; a simple thirty minute walk a day (and you can build to it, ten minutes a week if you like) will give you a superior immune system and a terrific health boost.

Finally, a Visit to a Chiropractor—Maybe the Best Boost of All

Your nervous system—that one that links in to the body at every point and keeps you going through the brain and spinal cord—controls every other system.Naturally, it controls your immune system. When your spine’s vertebrae experience a displacement or misalignment (what the chiropractors call “vertebral subluxation”), this causes interference to the nervous—and by extension the immune—systems.

A visit to the Chiropractor is preventive rather than conventionally reactionary, because it’s made with the idea that it’s more sensible to maintain a thing rather than overwork it. That’s why you lube and oil and tune your car rather than run it until it explodes.

The same is true of your immune system. Since this inborn ability to heal ourselves and restore our health is our first defense against any invasive diseases, it makes sense to keep the nervous system in line, and thus keep your immunity in tip top shape as well. The aligned spine and tuned nervous system means a good and strong immunity that won’t desert you at the first sneeze or cough.

It’s the oldest rule in the world—take care of your body so your body will take care of you. That way, your family might just have some quality time together in health, rather than in sickness.

Drs. Kris and Melissa Tocszak are dedicated to providing you with the absolute best in family wellness care at their Vista chiropractic office. So take a moment today to discuss with your Family Wellness Chiropractor any concerns you may have regarding your family’s overall health and wellness. 

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