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What exactly is your immune system?

Where does it reside and what does it mean to “boost” your immune system?

20 April 2015
by The Clicks health team

What is immunity?

The immune system is made up of special cells located throughout the body, explains Nursing Practitioner Carol Gray. These cells protect you against infection from invading microorganisms, such as germs, fighting them off and triggering a healthy response.

How does it work?

A healthy immune system stops antigens (toxic or foreign substances) from entering the body. If an antigen gets in, the immune system produces white blood cells that can destroy these foreign bodies.

Can you boost it?

According to a report published in Harvard Health, it’s not certain if there is a connection between lifestyle and enhanced immunity. The notion of “boosting” the immune system is contentious – there are so many types of cells in the immune system, each of which respond to viruses and bacteria differently.

How do you keep it healthy?

“Any stress your body experiences, whether mental or physical, can lower your immunity,” says Gray.

While there’s no single supplement that will build a strong immune system, there are healthy habits that can improve your health in general.

Eight immune-boosting healthy habits:

  1. Exercise regularly.
  2. Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Get enough sleep.
  5. Try to manage your stress levels.
  6. Don’t smoke.
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation only.
  8. Get regular health screenings.

Stay flu-free!

It’s advisable for everyone to get an annual flu vaccination. When the vaccine is injected, the immune system recognises it as an invading body and develops antibodies. As well as getting a flu shot, support your immune system with daily supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin B or, for kids, an immune syrup. Find out more from your closest Clicks Pharmacy