It’s always smart to support your health, including your immune system. But your immune system can be pretty complicated. Let’s take a closer look at how it works and how best to support it for your overall optimal health.
How the immune system works
Your immune system is composed of multiple layers of defenses which can be broken down into three main categories: physiological barriers, innate immunity and adaptive immunity, also known as humoral immunity. We like to think of them as your natural shields, your quick response team and your superheroes all working together for you.
Your physiological barriers are your first line of defense – physical barriers literally shielding you from the outside environment. Your next line of defense: the quick response team, or your innate immunity. Finally, you have your superheroes – your adaptive immunity.
Physiological barriers: Your first line of defense
Let’s focus on the physiological, or physical, barriers. When it comes to your immune system, physical barriers include your skin, mucous membranes, saliva, tears, intestinal walls and important immune cells located in your gut.
All these things work at keeping things out of your body. Ever get a small spec, in your eye? Your eye immediately starts tearing up to flush it out. Many of the other barriers work in the same way, acting as a shield against the outside environment.
It’s important to take steps to support your shield so it can do its job. Here are three ways to provide daily maintenance for your first line of defense.
Vitamins support your immune system
Good nutrition, including essential vitamins and minerals, plays a key role in providing a good base for your shield. It is critical for maintaining basic immune system health.
A healthy diet heavy in fruits and vegetables lays the foundation. You can also add a daily multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement to help fill nutritional gaps.
It will give your body the extra antioxidant vitamin and mineral support needed to fight off oxidative stress and help support and maintain your shield as a first line of defense for your immune system.
A good place to start is with Nutrilite™ Daily, which provides 24 essential vitamins and minerals. For extra phytonutrient support, add Nutrilite™ Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables, which are made with whole food extracts and provide the phytonutrient equivalent of more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Phytonutrients fight free radicals
Phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, also help support your foundational wellness and immune system by helping to protect you from free radicals in the environment.
Phytonutrients are what give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and they act as a defense mechanism for the plants.
In people, phytonutrients offer broad and targeted antioxidant protection, helping your body proactively defend against the excess free radicals that attack healthy cells and cause oxidative stress.
To help ensure you’re getting enough, consider adding Nutrilite™ Double X to your daily supplement routine. In addition to essential vitamins and minerals, it includes 22 plant concentrates for phytonutrient support.
Probiotics support your immune system
Supporting a healthy digestive system also supports a healthy immune system. Why? About 70 percent of your immunity cells are located in the lining of your gut, which is also home to trillions of tiny good and bad bacteria.
The bacteria in your gut are known as your microbiome. The microbiome helps our bodies distinguish between good bacteria and substances that our bodies need, versus things we don’t. This is a key way your body’s physical barrier works. Considering your gut has a surface area of around 250 square meters, your gut provides one of your body’s largest defensive shields!
Your gut is also the place where you absorb all the nutrients we recommended above, so it’s important to keep it running smoothly. One way to do that is through probiotics, which are the good bacteria of your digestive system and are found in fermented foods and beverages like kimchi, some varieties of dill pickles, kombucha or yogurt.
You can also get them through a supplement, like Nutrilite™ Balance Within Probiotic on-the-go stick packets, which have as many probiotics as a full seven bottles of kombucha! You can pour it right on your tongue or sprinkle onto cold foods or beverages.
It features an exclusive blend of five probiotic strains that are pros at traveling through the stomach to reach your gut alive and get the job done right.
By ensuring your get your daily vitamins and adding probiotic-rich foods or supplements to your diet, you’ll be doing what you can to support your shield and that’s the first step to supporting a healthy immune system.