The main function of the immune system is to protect against infections from pathological microorganisms, to clear damaged tissues and to provide a constant surveillance of potentially malignant cells that grow within the body.

The main systems of the body that are involved in this protective barrier are the skin, cornea, mucus membranes that line the respiratory system, i.e.nose throat bronchial tubes and your lungs. Frequent infections, digestive complaints and fatigue are signs that your immune system is under stress. All human beings experience lowered immunity from time to time, long working hours, poor nutrition, lack of sunlight, (this is why we are always more prone to infections during winter months). Even unresolved traumatic events in our lives or powerful destructive thoughts can affect how our immune system protects us. Attention to stress relieving exercises would be recommended, yoga, meditation, or even controlled deep breathing exercises are beneficial.

It is always a concern when we know of a relative or friend who did all the wrong things, smoked, drank, had little exercise and lived to reach his late 80’s whereas another contact did not abuse his life and died of cancer in his 40’s. This is due to the fact that he inherited a very strong immune system from his genetic structure, his parents too probably lived long lives. There is little we can do about our genes, but we can protect and nourish the immune system we have.

Exercise, going for a jog in the fresh air, cycling, swimming or any other form of sport that interests you is yet another way of supporting your immune system. We all know I am sure that excess of alcohol has a destructive effect on our abilities to protect us against disease, alcohol is a poison to the body, a small amount is good, but excesses are harmful, affect the working of the liver, and we need a healthy liver to help our immune system.

Smoking too weakens the immune system and encourages the development of all cancers, cardiovascular, respiratory and even encourages cancers of the bladder and bowel.

Toxic exposures- Unfortunately we are all exposed to so many from chemicals from road traffic, aircraft, toxins used in producing our food stuffs, chemicals used in spraying our fruits and vegetables to enable them to travel from one part of the world to another and retain some form of freshness!

Good nutrition can create a better immune system “we are what we eat”. Just concentrate on eating as many natural unprocessed foods as possible, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, more fish and eggs, and less meat products is also recommended. It is well worth supplementing our immune system with vitamins and supplements, Vitamin C in high doses does help our immunity, especially as we age, Zinc too helps the balance of our immune system and I am a great believer in apple cider vinegar which helps our digestive system and Manuka Honey helps the whole body.

As we are robbed of sunlight for so many months of the year to supplement with Vitamin D supports our immune system. Essential fatty acids are so important for all types of inflammatory states, including all coronary heart conditions, essential fatty acids can be purchased in a supplement form or choose to eat more oily fish, sardines, herrings, salmon, mackerel are good.