Getting uncomplicated infections is a normal part of a full and active life. In fact, some infections come and go without even catching people’s notice.
Though it’s true that certain microbes evolve with potentially deadly qualities, these are relatively rare. Your remarkable immune system has its own methods of surveillance, detection, and response to every microscopic form of life it has ever encountered. And then, all of this data gets encoded into your immune memory!
But just like bodies, immune cells get damaged and grow old, and “boosting” these guys won’t do much good for your immunity. To keep you protected from toxins and allergens, as well as tricky microbes, your immune system has a clever way of renewing impaired cells and replacing them with vigorous new ones that receive all your precious immune memories.
It’s called immuno-rejuvenation, but it can’t happen without some help from you and your lifestyle.
How to Immuno-Rejuvenate
A lot of great research is discovering how immuno-rejuvenation occurs naturally — when you let it, at least! — as well as what kinds of things completely turn it off.
Immuno-rejuvenation is an important way to keep immunity close to its peak potential. What are some of the best ways to encourage immuno-rejuvenation and train for healthy immunity? Here are a few:
- It really helps to enjoy spending time in nature, whether that’s hiking through a forest, walking your dog through sun and rain, or organic gardening with your kids in your own backyard. Getting acquainted with the animals, plants, microbes, wind, and weather of your environment is a big part of keeping your immunity fine-tuned.
- Avoid eating too late at night. Instead, set yourself a cut-off time for caloric foods and drinks. This gives your digestion a chance to shut down and helps turn on your body’s stress-busting and immune-focusing programs.
- It turns out that intense, sweaty activity is a great way to stimulate the renewal of old immune cells. If you have a heart condition or other health issue, though, check in with your doctor first.
- Keep it simple and fiber-rich, diet-wise. Every time you eat sweetened, junky, fatty, or processed foods, your immunity goes offline so that digestion can take the hours it needs to deal with them. But fresh, nutrient-dense foods are easier to digest, and many also feed the “good guy” flora in your gut, which are themselves a huge bulwark in your immune defense.
- Active and rejuvenating immune cells go through certain nutrients faster than you might think. If you run out of these essentials too soon, your immune protection pays the price. At the top of this nutrient list are zinc, vitamins A, C, and D, plant flavonoids like quercetin, and B vitamins.
For a Deeper Dive
If you’re interested, this illuminating article talks about our physical and mental need for nature. Over the course of life, exposure to manageable immune challenges from our natural environment is normal training for healthy and balanced immune function, yet these “Old Friends” are missing from many modern lifestyles.