It’s always a good time to think about how your immune system works and how you can help support it.
The immune system is multi-layered and works around the clock to support our health so we can go about our everyday lives. All those layers can be broken down into three main lines of defense: the physiological, or physical, barriers, innate immunity and adaptive immunity, also known as humoral immunity.
Let’s look at it another way. The physiological barriers, like your skin, tears, mucous membranes and your gut, are your body’s natural shields trying to protect you from the outside environment.
When needed, your innate immunity kicks in like a quick response team, activating your body’s white blood cells and other mechanisms.
What is adaptive immunity?
The final layer of defense is your adaptive, or humoral, immunity. We like to think of them as your own personal superheroes. Their job is to focus your immune system’s response.
They are the smartest members of your defense system because they determine the best way to support your health. And once they figure it out, they never forget! Their “immune memory” means they know exactly what to do next time.
How can you support your adaptive immunity?
There are things you can do to support your superheroes. One of the best is to take care of yourself through smart lifestyle choices. That means a healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of water and adequate sleep.
A healthy diet is key because that helps you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, including zinc. Zinc might be the second-to-last element of the periodic table, but it is an essential worker that packs an immune-supporting punch.
Zinc is an essential nutrient for immune cell development and communication, and those are key to your adaptive immunity. A lack of zinc can hamper your adaptive immunity’s ability to function at its best. So make sure your immunity superheroes have the zinc they need.
How to get enough zinc
Since our bodies don’t produce zinc, we need to consume it each day. Foods highest in zinc include oysters, beef, chicken and firm tofu. You’ll also find zinc in milk and milk products, but don’t overlook plant sources such as nuts, enriched cereals, whole grains, garbanzo beans and other legumes. And don’t forget dark chocolate!
If you think you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet, consider adding supplements. Nutrilite™ Immunity Defense Zinc + Holy Basil provides a two for one combination of support for your superheroes—sort of like an invisible jet and heat vision.
Like zinc, Holy Basil supports your immune system by promoting healthy immune function. It’s a sacred plant in Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine that also supports respiratory health†.
Want to learn more? Click here to read about physical barriers, or your immune system’s natural shields. And click here to find out more about the quick response teams that make up your innate immunity.