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Little-Known Ways to Enhance Your Immune System

Discover the inner workings of human immunity and little-known methods to strengthen the immune system and bounce back from sickness fast.

By
Ben Greenfield,
June 26, 2017
Episode #343

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You frequently wash your hands, take regular doses of vitamin C,  and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. But somehow you find yourself sniffling, coughing, and sneezing more frequently...and it’s not even flu season.  For hard-charging, high-achievers, this issue often strikes in the middle of an important work project, a family vacation, a bout of travel, or a crucial block of workouts or training sessions.

Think of just a few of the ho-hum, standard, old-school pieces of advice you’ve traditionally been given told to kick the cold, some ancient and some modern, including:

·         Take oodles of vitamin C and zinc

·         Get plenty of bed rest, don’t exercise or get exposed to cold you’ll weaken the immune system

·         Use antibiotics or a handy Z-pac to fight off viruses

The problem is that most of these strategies simply don’t work and may end up weakening the immune system even further. In fact, supplements will help, but need to be in a high-enough dose and a form that you can actually absorb when you’re sick, exercise will actually facilitate the detox process while bed rest will keep lymph fluid stagnant, and antibiotics will wipe out the good bacteria in the gut that supports the healthy environment our body needs to heal.

The immune system just isn’t as simple as it sounds, and in this episode, you will discover the inner workings of human immunity, and underground, little-known methods to strengthen the immune system and bounce back from sickness fast.  

In reality, the immune system is made up of six different immune system components that help fight off invading pathogens, and this chapter will dive into each, including the lymph system that helps transport compounds out of the body and to specific organs, the respiratory system that moves mucus and contaminants upwards and outwards from the digestive tract, the skin that provides a thin but effective layer against pathogens, the white blood cells that, if the pathogens get in through the skin, attack them in your blood and in other tissues of the body, the spleen that provides support against bacterial infections, the stomach that harbors good bacteria (which help fight pathogens and absorb nutrients and secretes acid that will kill off the harmful ones) and finally, intestinal cells that secrete antibodies to fight off foreign invaders.

Creating a bulletproof immune system begins with moving lymph fluid throughout the body, keeping the respiratory system ready, limiting pathogens passing through the skin, keeping white blood cells elevated, strengthening the spleen, and repairing and maintaining proper gut health. You can fortify your defenses every day with various strategies, but to maximize this effect, you must also limit the amount of invaders we come in contact with.  If your body is too busy dealing with physical or emotional stress, then the immune system won’t be able to efficiently fight off infections. For example, carcinogens from the environment, food, and hygiene products can compromise the immune system’s defense mechanisms and possibly give birth to new pathogens that will later harm the body, and inflammation caused by ingestion of unhealthy fats, stress, and lack of recovery can also weaken the gut, leading to more toxins spilling into our bloodstream.

From echinacea to elderberry to oregano and beyond, it is completely possible to equip the medicine cabinet with every natural compound that exists to create a bulletproof immune system, without breaking the bank. So now that you understand why things are far more complex than simply popping pills and getting some rest, let’s delve into research proven strategies to help each leg of the immune system table to hold up to the debilitating hacksaw of illness and disease, including:

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