Building up a stronger immune system has become the need of the hour, particularly with the pandemic wreaking havoc in countless lives, and costing it for many. But to start up with the process of building back better, one first needs to understand what the immune system is, its type, how it functions, and, finally, how to improve it.

What is immune system?

Immune system is basically a complex network of cells and proteins that fend the body from outside invaders. These bad actors could be any type of bacteria, virus, toxins, fungi, or parasites.

Main parts of the immune system:

The immune system is spread through-out the body and consists of several types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. This includes:

    - Bone Marrow

    - Spleen

    - Tonsils

    - Thymus

    - Peyer’s patches

    - Lymphatic Vessels

    - Lymph nodes

    - Adenoids

    White blood cells and its functions:

    It is important to note that the most crucial part is played by the white blood cells, which are always on the look-out for pathogens. These cells are also known as leukocytes, and are present in the blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels. Stored in thymus, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, these cells immediately multiply and send out signals to other cell when they detect the presence of bad actors in the body.

    Notably, there are two types of white blood cells: phagocytes, and lymphocytes.

    Phagocytes:

    These white blood cells surround pathogens [organisms that inflict disease on the host body], break them down, and eventually absorb them. This is required to determine the pathogen type and level. These cells are further divided into different categories such as:

      - Neutrophils: first immune cells to respond when bacteria or virus enters the body

      - Monocytes: largest type of white blood cells

      - Mast Cells: Mainly defend the body against pathogens, and help heal wounds

      - Macrophages: they detect and destroy bacteria, and remove dead or dying cells

      Macrophages are also known to be the main part of the immune system, also known as the body’s first line of defence. These are the cells that break down the pathogens or antigens into tiny parts for further information that would be carried out by the T Lymphocytes.

      Lymphocytes:

      These white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, where some turn into B cells that produce antibodies against antigens, and the rest move to thymus to upgrade to T lymphocytes [T cells] that destroy the compromised cells. The T cells are further divided into two types: Th cells, the helper T-cells, and cytotoxis T lymphocytes, the killer T cells.

      Types of Immunity:

      There are three types of immunity. They are:

      - Innate immunity: born with it and is also referred to as natural immunity

      - Adaptive immunity: develops throughout our lives; develop it when we are exposed to diseases or immunized against them with vaccines

      - Passive immunity: borrowed from another source and lasts for a short time. Mother’s breast milk give a baby temporary immunity to diseases the mother has been exposed to.

      Factors that suppress the immune system:

      - Smoking and alcohol

      - Lack of balanced diet

      - Lack of Exercise

      - Obesity

      - Inadequate sleep and rest

      - Chronic mental stress

      - Old Age

      How to boost your immune system and strength the body against diseases?

      This is definitely a question everyone would have asked at least once in their lifetime, and now, more than ever. While there aren’t enough evidences to show that food offer protection, it is important to know that that the immune system depends on the presence of several micronutrients.

      These nutrients include: vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, protein, zinc, and selenium, all of which are found in different vegetative and non-vegetative foods. And the lack of these nutrients has shown to be associated with suppressed immunity. A report by Harvard suggests that a diet consisting of probiotic and prebiotic food could contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system, considering the gut plays a vital role for immune activity.

      Probiotic Foods:

      While Yogurt has taken the top spot as the best probiotic food, others includes kefir [fermented probiotic milk drink], kimchi, kombucha, pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, and fermented vegetables.

      Prebiotic Foods:

      The foods in this list includes garlic, onions, leeks, chicory root, asparagus, bananas, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, barley, oats, apples, cocoa, flaxseeds, wheat bran, and seaweed.

      Building up a stronger immune system has become the need of the hour, particularly with the pandemic wreaking havoc in countless lives, and costing it for many. But to start up with the process of building back better, one first needs to understand what the immune system is, its type, how it functions, and, finally, how to improve it.

      What is immune system?

      Immune system is basically a complex network of cells and proteins that fend the body from outside invaders. These bad actors could be any type of bacteria, virus, toxins, fungi, or parasites.

      Main parts of the immune system:

      The immune system is spread through-out the body and consists of several types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. This includes:

        - Bone Marrow

        - Spleen

        - Tonsils

        - Thymus

        - Peyer’s patches

        - Lymphatic Vessels

        - Lymph nodes

        - Adenoids

        White blood cells and its functions:

        It is important to note that the most crucial part is played by the white blood cells, which are always on the look-out for pathogens. These cells are also known as leukocytes, and are present in the blood vessels and the lymphatic vessels. Stored in thymus, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes, these cells immediately multiply and send out signals to other cell when they detect the presence of bad actors in the body.

        Notably, there are two types of white blood cells: phagocytes, and lymphocytes.

        Phagocytes:

        These white blood cells surround pathogens [organisms that inflict disease on the host body], break them down, and eventually absorb them. This is required to determine the pathogen type and level. These cells are further divided into different categories such as:

          - Neutrophils: first immune cells to respond when bacteria or virus enters the body

          - Monocytes: largest type of white blood cells

          - Mast Cells: Mainly defend the body against pathogens, and help heal wounds

          - Macrophages: they detect and destroy bacteria, and remove dead or dying cells

          Macrophages are also known to be the main part of the immune system, also known as the body’s first line of defence. These are the cells that break down the pathogens or antigens into tiny parts for further information that would be carried out by the T Lymphocytes.

          Lymphocytes:

          These white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, where some turn into B cells that produce antibodies against antigens, and the rest move to thymus to upgrade to T lymphocytes [T cells] that destroy the compromised cells. The T cells are further divided into two types: Th cells, the helper T-cells, and cytotoxis T lymphocytes, the killer T cells.

          Types of Immunity:

          There are three types of immunity. They are:

          - Innate immunity: born with it and is also referred to as natural immunity

          - Adaptive immunity: develops throughout our lives; develop it when we are exposed to diseases or immunized against them with vaccines

          - Passive immunity: borrowed from another source and lasts for a short time. Mother’s breast milk give a baby temporary immunity to diseases the mother has been exposed to.

          Factors that suppress the immune system:

          - Smoking and alcohol

          - Lack of balanced diet

          - Lack of Exercise

          - Obesity

          - Inadequate sleep and rest

          - Chronic mental stress

          - Old Age

          How to boost your immune system and strength the body against diseases?

          This is definitely a question everyone would have asked at least once in their lifetime, and now, more than ever. While there aren’t enough evidences to show that food offer protection, it is important to know that that the immune system depends on the presence of several micronutrients.

          These nutrients include: vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, protein, zinc, and selenium, all of which are found in different vegetative and non-vegetative foods. And the lack of these nutrients has shown to be associated with suppressed immunity. A report by Harvard suggests that a diet consisting of probiotic and prebiotic food could contribute to the proper functioning of the immune system, considering the gut plays a vital role for immune activity.

          Probiotic Foods:

          While Yogurt has taken the top spot as the best probiotic food, others includes kefir [fermented probiotic milk drink], kimchi, kombucha, pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, and fermented vegetables.

          Prebiotic Foods:

          The foods in this list includes garlic, onions, leeks, chicory root, asparagus, bananas, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, barley, oats, apples, cocoa, flaxseeds, wheat bran, and seaweed.

          द्वाराBerney Cj

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