Immune System

I’m sure a lot of you are thinking about your immune system, and how you can keep it functioning optimally.  

Did you know that the main purpose of the immune system isn’t to prevent you catching anything, but its purpose is more of a response to when you do catch something? 

It is made up of cells, tissues, and organs.  The main one you may have heard of is the white blood cells, these are known as leukocytes, and these come from your bone marrow.  

The two main leukocytes are phagocytes and lymphocytes!  The phagocytes trigger the immune response by sending macrophages into the blood that destroy foreign cells.  This allows the phagocytes to identify the foreign cells and communicate with the lymphocytes.  The lymphocyte T cells destroy infected body cells, whereas more interestingly the lymphocytes B cells make antibodies, which can target the identified foreign cells and destroy them.  If you were to get the same foreign cells enter your body, and you had the antibodies, it is much easier to fight off, which is why we have immunity to some diseases after vaccines!

Ok that’s the technical bit out the way! 

How can we practically keep our immune system healthy?

  • Exercising regularly helps immune cells regenerate.
  • Stopping smoking improves blood flow and white blood cell transport.
  • Getting enough sleep helps to strengthen natural immunity.
  • Reducing stress will help to keep inflammation low.
  • Washing your hands helps reduce foreign cells entering the body.
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet, which is high in vitamins, minerals and fibre helps to keep your immune system strong and feeds the gut microbe.  Plenty of fruit and vegetables!

Hope everyone is keeping well.