Most of us take our immune systems for granted until we get sick and we realize just how much we rely upon our bodies to protect us from illness and disease. In our chronically rushed, exhausted, and drive-thru society, it can be very challenging to support your immune system as you should, especially if you don’t really understand it. These three surprising facts might change your views and encourage you to give your body some more TLC.
Sometimes Illness Symptoms Are Actually a Good Thing
When you get a cold, you most likely struggle with a runny nose and congestion. Though it seems like those symptoms are part of the sickness, they are actually indications that you immune system is working! As soon as the rhinovirus invades your upper respiratory tract, your immune system generates chemicals called histamines that dilate your blood vessels and allow white blood cells to reach the infected tissue. This is very important, but in the process those inflamed blood vessels in your nasal cavity cause the unpleasant symptoms that keep you reaching for the DayQuil.
Your Immune System Needs Sleep
We already know the importance of sleep for mood and concentration, but it turns out that sleep can also make the difference between an inefficient and thriving immune system. Sleep deprivation actually suppresses the immune system’s disease fighting abilities, often by diminishing critical T-cells.
It’s All About Gut Bacteria
Bacteria is known for its negative connotation, but it turns out that your immune system heavily relies upon the good type of bacteria to stay balanced, support digestions, and synthesize vital vitamins and minerals. Probiotics and yogurt contain these healthy bacteria, so if you find yourself getting sick a great deal or feeling more tired than usual, a boost of healthy bacteria may just be what you need.