Your immune system is your body’s only defense against outside intruders. Viruses, toxins in the food you eat, the air you breath, and bacteria you come into contact with all pose a threat to the wellbeing of your body. When exposed to any outside threat, your immune system has several ways to protect you against them, but it is up to you to take care of your immune system so that it can.

There are several things you need to understand about the immune system for you to properly take care of it. The immune system is made up of white blood cells, antibodies, the thymus, spleen, lymphatic system, and your bone marrow.

The immune system starts in the bone marrow. This is where the white blood cells that protect your body from intruders are made. They are then sent to the thymus through the lymphatic system to mature into one of the five white blood cells needed by the immune system. The white blood cells are then able to go to work fighting viruses, cleaning up damaged cells, blocking invaders from entering the body, and creating antibodies for future protection. It is very important that you keep your white blood cell production strong so that you can stay protected. Eating a healthy diet is key for this to be a continuing success. Nutrients such as Vitamin A&D, And Vitamin C are also very important.

The lymphatic system is where your white blood cells reside until they are needed. The cells then travel through the lymphatic system and bloodstream as soon as a threat is detected.  Your body also pushes invaders, toxins, and damaged cells into the lymphatic system to be destroyed by white blood cells. Since the lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart, it relies on physical activity and water to move the fluid through it. Therefore, it is important to exercise daily and stay hydrated to maintain a strong immune system. Herbs such as garlic, echinacea, and goldenseal support a healthy lymphatic system and immune system.

There are many threats to your immune system but the biggest one is you. Most of what the immune system fights is what you eat and drink. Anything your body doesn’t recognize will cause an immune response. According to Amie at The Naturopath sugar has a similar enough structure to Vitamin C that instead of the white blood cells assimilating the vitamin, they instead pick up the sugar molecule. This inhibits your white blood cell’s ability from working at their highest capacity; dropping your immune system and allowing viruses and bacteria to enter the body.

Eating an unhealthy meal or enjoying the occasional desert is fine in moderation (Unless you are sick) and can even be a good way to keep your immune system on its toes, but when it is a daily routine, it becomes a serious problem. Not only will your immune system suffer but the rest of your body will too.