Boosting the immune system during the cold and flu season entails taking care of all body organs involved in fending off illness. I’ve already spoken about the skin and spleen, in the first two blogs in this immune system series, https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com/2018/01/08/beat-the-battle-of-the-perfect-sick-storm-skin-deep-part-1-3/, https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/beat-the-battle-of-the-perfect-sick-storm-the-spleen-part-2/. The thymus, gut, lymph nodes and bone marrow are next.
The thymus gland is named after the thyme leaf because of its shape. It is located in front of the heart and under the breast bone. The bone marrow sends T- cells (white blood cells (WBC), or stem cells) to the thymus for life-long generation of new T-cells and also helps to prevent abnormal cancer cell growth. As the T-cells develop into fighter cells, they are then sent to the spleen and lymph (Lymph nodes located at the neck and other areas of your body also contain WBC) where they help identify and then destroy unhealthy germ invaders.
What Causes Damage to you Thymus?
- adrenal stress
- emotional stress
- poor diet (refined foods, excess sugar and coffee, trans fats)
- excess alcohol consumption
- exposure to x-rays and EMF (electromagnetic fields)
- pesticides and herbicides residing in fruits and veggies
- allergy medications
- free radical damage (excess sun exposure, exercise)
Are There Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Thymus?
- chronic infections and allergies
- a feeling of puffiness in the throat or swollen glands
- candida or yeast overgrowth
- rheumatoid arthritis
- excess sweating
Feed The Thymus
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage, cauliflower are especially important for the thymus.
Eat five to seven servings of veggies a day, if you find this too much to swallow, try a greens drink, for example, http://www.greensplus.com/superfood-powders. Green drinks contain high amounts of antioxidants that will help keep the thymus doing its job.
The supplements mentioned last week, will help the thymus too, https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/beat-the-battle-of-the-perfect-sick-storm-the-spleen-part-2/.
Bone marrow is a fatty Jello like substance found inside bones (skull, ribs, breastbones, spine, hip and shoulders). Bone marrow is heavily involved in immune activity through 3 types of blood cells:
- white blood cells fight infections from bacteria, viruses and fungus and also respond to allergens.
- red blood cells maintain oxygen and carbon dioxide balance and provide energy
- platelets coagulate (stick together) effecting blood flow or to help stop bleeding
Build bone marrow with vitamin B6 (fish, poultry, eggs), folic acid (cruciferous vegetables) and iron (red meat is the best absorbable source of iron or any animal meat. Plant sources of iron are not as readily absorbable).
Consuming bone marrow itself is a powerhouse when it comes to boosting the immune system. Marrow is filled with vitamins (A and K2), minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese) and essential fats (Omega 3, Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), alkylglycerols: help produce white blood cells) that keep your immune system strong, helping to maintain healthy bones and repair bone injuries).
When purchasing animal products, keep in mind, toxins are stored in the fat and bone. Grass fed free range livestock are the most healthy to buy, https://www.kettleandfire.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAkZHTBRCBARIsAMbXLhE8tISwx6pDXJwwqw6JlK7uVoRlh7Jzy-HY7Ni4HHwGEr7mk9kVk20aAkb_EALw_wcB,and thay can be used in these delicious recipes:
Lastly, and certainly not least is the gut. 70-80% of the immune system is found in the gut. It is host to a variety of good and bad bacteria that effect your immune system. “Problems ranging from autoimmune disease to clinical depression and simple obesity may in fact be linked to immune dysfunction that begins with a “failure to communicate” in the human gut”, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916122214.htm.
3 Easy Steps To Keep the Good Feeling in Your Gut
- Stick with natural foods (animals, plants) that contain nutrients the body is equipped to digest, absorb and utilize. Convenient processed foods are filled with ingredients that confuse the body and can affect its work ability. Eating these specific foods can help too, https://valeriegoldstein.wordpress.com/?s=gut+health.
- Get 6-8 hours of sleep each night, “Unlocking the Gut Sleep Connection”, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/unlocking-the-sleep-gut-connection_b_8941314.html.
- Give your gut a boost and use a probiotic.
Next week’s blog will provide an in-depth look at specific probiotics that have been shown to have specific medical benefits to your health.
After reading these 3 blogs, I hope you appreciate the intricate and complex system in place that prevents you from getting sick and helps with illness recovery.
Good health means keeping your entire immune system strong and working in good condition. Take care.