An apple a day keeps the doctor away - this oldie but goodie has taught us from young the importance of keeping the body healthy by ensuring that we feed our immune system the right things.
A strong immune system, as we all know, is the ability of the body to be resilient to germs, viruses and allergens that cause disease and ill health both on the outside and inside and keep us in optimal health.
But immunity can be broken down further by strengthening and maintaining three key components – skin, gut and cells. In Part 1 of this article, we will look into our skin and cells first 😊
Physiological immunity starts with our skin, an extremely important organ in our body. It is the first line of defense against germs from the environment, as it provides a good flexible barrier that shields the delicate inner organs from damage and disease with its many components such as mucous membranes, saliva and tears. When skin health is compromised, its ability to be an effective barrier is impaired and germs will have easy access to our inner organs where they can cause havoc.
When pathogens manage to bypass the skin’s barrier and invade our body - what happens then?
Cells are commonly known as the building blocks of the body and the source of the body’s energy supply, but there are also specialised cells that act as guards of the body.
Any pathogens that make it through the skin are quickly dealt with by protective cells of the body such as white blood cells which quickly spring to action to prevent the pathogens from causing harm.
If both the skin and first set of defensive cells are overcome, the body then produces its smartest defense - the T and B cells - as soon as it receives an intruder alarm. These are immune cells that quickly adapt and protect the body while also creating an immune memory to better protect the body in the future.
Thus, healthy skin on the outside works in synergy with healthy cells on the inside to give us strong protection and immunity and keeps us functioning at optimal health.
On its own, neither one is enough to protect our bodies against harmful germs and viruses. Both your skin health and cell health need to be at optimum levels to provide an added layer of protection. So, it’s imperative to keep the cells of the body healthy and nourished for robust immunity.
Along with regular exercise and adequate rest, supplements are key in influencing the quality of cell health and providing it with the right nutrients. It gives a strong immune booster effect to the body. Some of the important supplements for skin and cell health are:
Vitamin C is a key immunity-boosting vitamin that supports the production of white blood cells and helps the body protect against infections. It also repairs damaged cells, accelerates wound healing by generating new cells, and nourishes skin for a healthier skin barrier (and glowing skin!)
As a building block for healthy skin, hair and nails, protein is needed to help the body build and repair tissue and build cells for antibody protection. It also strengthens the body to fight off viral and bacterial infections.
One of the most important requirements for healthy cells is minerals and antioxidants. In fact, one of the main risk factors of diseases is linked to the depletion of minerals such as zinc, copper, selenium, as well as antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, D, and E.