Assess Your Level of Immunity with this Quick Immunity Checklist
9 Things that Put your immune system in the Danger Zone!
1 - Poor Diet
A poor diet, filled with a steady stream of packaged and processed foods and not enough ‘real’ whole foods, can lead to a micronutrient deficiency. Fresh veggies are the quickest way to feed your gut, help nourish a healthy microbiome and ensure a healthy immune system. Studies show that “the dietary choices in today’s modern society appear to have harmful impacts on our immune system and likely on the immune system of our offspring.”
2 - Sugar Addiction
You’re constantly feeding a rogue sweet tooth. Studies have shown conclusively that eating or drinking too much sugar curbs your immune system cells that attack bacteria. Research has also shown that highly processed “hyperpalatable” foods hijack the reward centers in your brain and impair your decision-making process, similar to drugs of abuse. Being plagued by a constant craving for sugar, that can never be satisfied, can also be a sign of an underlying nutritional imbalance.
3 - You Don’t Drink Enough Water
According to doctors 75% of Americans may suffer from dehydration. As a child at the first signs of a cold or the flu the first thing your Mom and, possibly your doctor, said was to rest and ‘drink plenty of fluids,’ right? Your body needs plenty of fresh water to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients, flush toxins, carry waste away and maintain health. A sure sign of dehydration is your urine is dark colored. The general guideline for daily water intake is half your body weight. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds you need a minimum of 60 ounces of pure, fresh water daily. When you’re drinking a sufficient amount of water your urine should be light, pale yellow colored. Studies show that private well water may be a source of contaminants like arsenic that suppress the immune system and can lead to death. If you’re drinking well water have it tested for safety before drinking.
4 - You’ve Got Extra Pounds You Know You Need to Lose
We all know that excess weight is unhealthy for all of our body’s organs and systems, including your immune system. Excess weight slows you down. Digestion of food demands the highest energy output. Your gut is home to 50-70% of your immune system. As your digestion slows down your immune response slows down. Excess weight can also cause inflammation that further impairs your immune system's ability to fight infection. There is strong evidence indicating that excess adipose tissue negatively impacts immune function in obese individuals. Findings show the negative impact of obesity on the immune response to infection. Studies show that “obesity is characterized by a state of low-grade, chronic inflammation in addition to disturbed levels of circulating nutrients and metabolic hormones.”
5 - Pushing Yourself When You Feel Overworked, Tired & Exhausted
Bullying yourself into performing when you feel overworked, tired and exhausted is a quick way to undermine your immune system. Have you ever noticed after pushing yourself late into the night to meet a work deadline, or complete a project, or fulfill the routine household demands of your family, you suddenly catch a cold or succumb to the flu. You’re completely knocked out of commission. However, under the pressure to keep performing you stress yourself out even further. You may push yourself to show up and work when you know you need time out to recover. Stressing out about meeting the demands of your life creates even further stress and may actually worsen your symptoms and prolong any suffering you may be experiencing until you finally collapse under the strain and allow yourself to rest and recover. Research shows that pushing yourself to perform and stressing out over life events and circumstances weakens your immune system. So, in effect, when you put off doing a little self care you’re lengthening the time it will take you to recover your health. It will also make you more susceptible to getting sick more frequently during the cold and flu season.
6 - Smoking
Research shows that smoking acts as a double-edged sword as it worsens pathological immune responses and decreases the normal defense function of the immune system.
7 - Lack of Movement or Exercise
The lymphatic system plays an integral role in your immune function. It is the first line of defense against foreign invaders and disease. This network of vessels and nodes transports and filters lymph fluid containing antibodies and white blood cells. Your lymph system does not have a pump to circulate fluids, but rather relies on physical body movement for circulation. Thus, movement and physical activity can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This can help reduce your chance of getting a cold, the flu, or other illness. Check what the US National Library of Medicine has to report about the many benefits of exercise and movement for a healthy functioning immune system.
8 - Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption has long been observed to have an adverse affect on immune-related health issues. Research has shown a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and susceptibility to pneumonia. If you drink alcohol you have a much greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis (blood infection), alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain kinds of cancers. Alcohol consumption also predisposes you to a higher incidence of postoperative complications, slows complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, including poor wound healing. In short, alcohol impairs your body’s ability to defend against infection.
9 - Poor Sleep
Research shows that getting good, quality sleep, strengthens your immune system. Sufficient deep sleep has been shown to bolster the T cells in your body that fight off infection.
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)
One research study showed Rosemary oil to have both potent antioxidant, as well as antimicrobial properties. The study concluded by recommending that Rosemary oil be used in pharmaceutical products, functional foods, plant products and for food preservation.
Another study was conducted on the potential of both essential oils of Rosemary and Basil as effective antibacterial agents. The results of experiments showed the potential use of both rosemary and basil essential oils against resistant Escherichia coli clinical strains, and also against extended-spectrum β-lactamase positive bacteria.