A better immune system

Many nutrients are necessary for a strong immune system; including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more. Few consider that a healthy intestinal flora and good digestion are also important for the immune system.

Our immune systems protect us against disease causing microorganisms and cancer. Therefore, it is a good idea to maintain a strong immune system.

But how do you know if it is strong or weak?

-If you often suffer from colds or often get infections, it is a sin that your immune system is weak!

But how do we strengthen our immune system?

-The answer to this question is short and well known. It is by living and eating healthily, especially by reducing sugar intake to a minimum, sleeping enough, not having too much stress, and making sure you get enough vitamins and minerals!

Which vitamins and minerals are important for the immune system?

-The answer is: practically all of them, except for the heavy metals!

What about herbs?

-Yes indeed. Many herbs have direct or indirect immune regulating and strengthening effects. One of the most the herbs best known for such effects is Echinacea (should not be used if infected with HIV). This plant is used as an immuno-stimulant in many prepartations.

Two other generally good immune stimulating herbs are Astragalus and Eleutherococcus, better known as Siberian ginseng. 3-5 cups of green tea daily also has an easy and tasty effect.

An often overlooked aspect of a good immune defense is a healthy intestinal flora. This is worth mentioning.

When the immune system is not functioning optimally, a supplement of helpful lactic acid bacteria (probiotics) similar to those found in our colons can be helpful. These intestinal bacteria help us digest our food so that we absorb more nutrients. These nutrients are essential to a well functioning immune system. We also know that they produce substances which counteract the growth of harmful bacteria.

We have hundreds of different kinds of bacteria in our intestine which are constantly changing in response to changes in our diet. Three of these important and beneficial bacteria are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus. These bacteria are added to some milk products where they supplement the good bacteria already present in our bodies.

A treatment programme with antibiotics also destroys the natural intestinal flora, giving a good growing environment for fungal infection. Fungus is normally held in check by our beneficial intestinal bacteria. Therefore it is recommended to take lactic acid bacteria after antibiotic treatment.