Much in the way of a double edged sword, immunity not only helps build physiological defense but also serves to counter the onslaughts of infections, contamination and diseases. Offering its role as an eliminator and a barrier, immunity serves as the bone of defense by means of its pathogens. Immunity may be naturally as well as externally acquired.

Immunity- different kinds

Immunity which is naturally acquired comes with individual’s exposure to the causative agent of a disease. But on the other hand artificially hooked in immunity comes with vaccination. Besides these two variations of immunity, human beings are innately blessed with optimized resistance against disease. Irrespective of the mode of acquisition, the level and extent of immunity obviously varies from person to person.

Factors sustaining immune system

Immunity with its own set of specifications operates through a series of cells and networking system specially designed for the same. According to scientific research the pattern of immunity is dependent on the health and functionality of a few anatomical constituents such as bone marrow, thymus, lymphatic nodes and spleen. In fact, the entire circulatory system forms the interactive base for immunity. Lymphocyte content of the human blood has a crucial role to offer in the immunity system keeping bacteria and disease causing sources at bay.

Immunity & food

Irrespective of your nature and extent of immunity, it is possible to boost the powers of this all embracing shield of physiological defense. Various researches conducted on the nexus between food & immunity suggests that nutrition does have a role to offer in improving the functionality of immunity. Research conducted on lactating ewes does point to an interesting observation. To go by its findings, supplementation of protein provided to the lactating group reflected their improved resistance to parasitic attacks. Protein deficiency giving way to kwashiorkor in humans has interesting vulnerability to attacks of thrush, candida and other disease causing agents. But with due redemption from the nutritional deficiency, better resistance is noted. Besides protein deficiencies, deficiencies in the intake of vitamin A and that of iron or zinc may also adversely affect immunity.

Balanced diet and immunity

Food stuffs containing Vitamin C have been found improving the power and functionality of lymphocytes- the all important ‘T’ cells in respect of body’s immunity. Nutritional content of yeast known as Beta glucan has been found to be one of the effective boosters of immunity and helps build immune system. The nutrient enhances immunity by stimulating the productive performance of bone marrow- another immunity assisting device. Echinacea with its ‘arabinogalactan’ also enhances immunity. The content improves immunity by boosting the production of white blood cells. According to recently undertaken research, pigments of certain plant products have been found extending positive influence on immunity as well. Berries grown organically help sustain immunity with their ‘polyphelonic’ content. The herbal content has been found effective in ridding plants of parasites. Another herbal extract by the name of ‘squalene’ has also been found useful from the point of view of immunity. Food stuffs such as prawn, egg yolk, mackerel and pig liver with their enriched Arachidonic acid’ has been found effective in enhancing immunity. Food stuffs with the nutritional content of copper also provides booster to immunity.

Exercise as one of the boosters of immunity

Though research work is still underway and conclusive evidence is yet to be offered, there is an attempt to unravel a connection between exercise and immunity. While it has been found that factors such as stress, exhaustion, poor nutrition spell disaster on immunity- moderate exercise helps sustain a disease free physiological system. Exercises carried out in moderation supports immunity by doing away with the factors of stress. Moreover exercise indirectly sustains immunity by paving way for the release of endorphin- hormone boosting overall human power and sustainability. In addition to these, exercise has been found boosting the performance of ‘macrophages’- a cell capacitated to attack bacteria. There are studies to show the effect of exercise on the overall immune pattern of human body. Immune system is generally activated as a result of exercise. This in turn leads to the destruction of disease causing reasons. Exercise can boost immunity- but on the flip side too much insistence on the same can prove to be destructive from the point of view of immunity. Similarly care should be taken to avoid exercising during the phases of illness.

Natural means of sustaining immunity

Stress, depression and pressure have been found antithetic to the prospects of immunity. So in case, you are to have it boosted naturally, maintain a balanced schedule of work and play with proper emphasis on diet, sleep, rest and recreation. In the current scenario of speed, pace and unrest- emphasis on relaxation techniques, meditation and yogic exercises with insistence on deep breathing can contribute to the overall sustenance of immunity.