In here we are going to talk about how allergies and the immune system are connected, how to balance the immune system naturally plus the best supplements and herbs for immune system boosting.
Allergies are the result of your immune system’s overreaction to a substance. Allergies are the early signal that the immune system has created an abnormal response and therefore considered dysfunctional .
Genetic factors of course can influence susceptibility to allergies but cannot explain the sudden surge in recent generations.
In recent studies has been determined that the environmental factors play a huge role in allergies and in the homeostasis of the immune system.
The most pronounced culprits have been identified as reduced microbial diversity  and exposure to environmental toxins (such as pesticides in food industry, solvents, and air pollutants) both determine substantial changes in the activity of the immune system .
The Effects Of Toxins On Allergies
When the immune system can’t cope with the toxic burdens (whether environmental or internal like infectious agents, parasites, heavy metals etc.) the risk of various autoimmune diseases including allergies is increasing.
The toxins start to build up in your body when your immune system can’t cope with the demands. Especially when your excretory system is malfunctioning (liver, kidneys, large intestine etc).
Instead of removing metabolic wastes and regulate digestion and assimilation, it has to deal with healing of damaged tissues caused by allergies – this takes priority over everything else in your body.
As the gut barrier weakens, and the protective (healthy) microbes are missing, it leads the food proteins to seep into the bloodstream and trigger allergic responses. It’s all a vicious cycle.
Ensure Immune System Balance
In order for your body to function to it’s full potential and have a strong immune system, we have to clean up the gut first. And follow with the organs, the blood and the lymph.
After that, we can focus on replenishing essential nutrients that we are lacking. If you start the other way around, you will just waste your money on supplements, they will not be assimilated.
As soon as I started to take into account all these aspects, my view on how the immune system works, changed completely.
The mechanism is quite complex and it is essential to provide the right environment (gut microbiota) for the macronutrients and micronutrients to be absorbed.
Here are the ways you can improve your immune system against allergies:
1. Eat As Clean And Natural As You Can
By eating the right food, the body will eliminate toxins naturally and you will overcome cravings for sugar and processed foods. Usually people are seeing themselves as eating healthier than they really are, due to the conflicting or inconsistent formation about what eating habits are healthy and what aren’t.
There is also conflicting information between dietitians, researchers and health care professionals so it’s really hard to know what an actual healing, natural, whole food, balanced diet really looks like.
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What To Avoid
Pesticides can be found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink, not only in agricultural fields but also parks, buildings, forests, and roads.
Pesticides have been linked to a wide range of human health hazards, ranging from short-term impacts such as headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption.
If you can’t control how much environmental exposure you have at least be cautious what you ingest.
Canned foods, plastic containers, water bottles and Teflon pans
Most of them have PFCs, short for perfluorochemicals (used to coat carpets, clothes, furniture, and food packaging,) and bisphenol A (BPA – a synthetic estrogen used to harden polycarbonate plastics) which are leaching into foods inside the package.
These chemicals disrupt the endocrine system, cause reproductive system abnormalities, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, obesity and many more.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
They affect immune system health and reproductive health by disturbing intestinal microflora balance and promoting the growth of harmful bacterial strains leading to an increase in infection rates.
Choose foods in their purest state, one or two ingredients. Products bearing the USDA Organic label and Non-GMO Project Verified seal are grown and processed in a transparent manner which requires rigorous independent third-party inspections.
Plus by choosing the products with these labels you are educating the supplier that you don’t want toxic, artificial foods.
2. Adopt Time Restricted Eating
Passing food from your stomach to your small intestine takes about six to eight hours, so you need to let your body to deal with that if you don’t want to have undigested remains before you fill your stomach again. That doesn’t apply to fruits though, they are fairly quickly digested.
Also eating frequently makes the food to convert into glucose meaning your body is burning sugar, but when you allow more time to pass between meals your hormone levels adjust to shift your body into fat-burning mode.
The most optimal time restricted eating would be – 3 times a day, at least 4-5 hours between meals.
3. Don’t Snack Between Meals
In order for gut tissue to regenerate it needs breaks and this can’t happen while it is constantly secreting digestive juices and breaking down food.
All sorts of processes in the body change when we don’t eat for a while, allow our bodies to work on cellular repair processes.
Some studies found fasting beneficial for metabolic health improvements including decrease levels of inflammation.
4. Eat Less Sugar
This includes any form of sugar, from fruit juices and drinks to sweeteners and baked goods.
Usually people are reaching for sweets when they haven’t eaten enough protein or healthy fat, when they are thirsty, and just because it’s addictive. The more you eat the more you want.
Some of the reasons why a person craves sugar: hormone imbalance, insulin resistance, depression, stress and poor quality sleep or candida overgrowth in your intestines (it needs sugar in order to grow).
5. Control Your Portion Size
Having a big meal will result in an overworked stomach which requires a great deal of energy.
And if you already have some gut issues the bad fungi and bacteria will take over, feasting on undigested, putrefying food. All this leads to chronic inflammation and ulceration.
6. Chew Well Before Swallowing
The more you chew, the better your food will be broken down by digestives enzymes released in your mouth prior to entering your stomach. This also makes it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients and energy.
In cases of severe gut damage caused by illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, malabsorbtion, constipation, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, bloating and gas, digestive enzymes would help take stress off of the digestive organs by helping break down difficult to digest proteins, starches and fats.
But this should be a temporary solution, focusing on restoring your gut’s function should be a priority.
7. Have A Balanced Meal And Feed Your Flora
Include in your meal small amounts of proteins (plant based or animal), vegetables, healthy fats and carbohydrates every day. And don’t forget about eating fermented foods.
Gut microbiota modulates the expression of many genes in the human intestinal tract , including genes involved in immunity, nutrient absorption, energy metabolism, and intestinal barrier function.
People who consume fermented foods regularly, have reported significant positive improvements in in their health. If you don’t have access to fermented foods, the least you can do is choose a good quality probiotic supplement.
8. Adopt Food Combining Rules
Improper food combining is one of the main factors that cause gas, flatulence, heartburn, and upset stomach.
As a result without a proper digestion your body will be deprived of critical nutrients.
9. Gluten And Dairy: Eat less Or Avoid Entirely
Some people have gluten or dairy intolerance, and don’t even know that until they stop consuming those for a while and then include them back in their diets.
That’s when you notice symptoms like irritability, muscle cramps, skin rashes (acne, rosacea or eczema), bloating, headaches and stuffy sinuses coming back. Others live with these symptoms and consider them normal or attribute them to other triggers.
Unfortunately food sensitivities can cause a continuous long term inflammatory responses (recently gluten and dairy are on top of the list), that leads to many health problems.
Among them are damage to the lining of the small intestine, chronic infections, arthritis pain, anemia, intestinal cancer, chronic allergies and many other serious health problems.
10. Drink 6-8 Glasses Of Water Every Day
Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids which means a better digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
As a result you’ll have better skin, a reduced hunger and a less chance of overeating. Being dehydrated can contribute to poor lymphatic drainage and cause lymphatic stagnation.
11. Filter Your Tap Water
The federal law regulating tap water is so out of date and can’t keep up with environmental changes.
The pollution has risen a lot in the last few years mainly due to industrial chemicals spilled in the lakes and rivers.
Even more dangerous are the pesticides that you can’t see or smell which can pose, as scientists say, serious health risks, this is another reason why you should invest in a good filtration system.
12. Exercise And Move Lymph Fluid
A peak functioning lymphatic system is key to health and vitality. The lymphatic system is your body’s built-in sanitation center, the plumbing that carries away and filters out poisonous waste products from every cell, tissue and organ.
At the same time it absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive tract and delivers them to the cells of the body, including oxygen to the cells.
The lymphatic system doesn’t have an automatic pump like the heart, which moves the blood in the circulatory system, it needs your help to move the fluid through the body and get rid of those toxins accumulated in your body.
Ways to maintain a strong lymphatic system:
- dry skin brushing
- alternate hot and cold in your shower (this method described here)
- walk, jump, bounce, stretch
13. Supplements To Boost Immune System
- Astragalus – this well known herb stimulates white blood cells to both prevent and fight infections. However consuming astragalus may take between 6 – 8 weeks to reach its full effects. Another alternative is to use astragalus as a tea, look for a good quality, organic tea.
- Echinacea – is well documented as an immune system booster used to both prevent and treat a long list of infections. The best way to take it is in the form of tincture made from fresh echinacea.
- Olive leaf extract – is found to be effective in treating infection caused by a large number of viruses as well as bacteria and parasitic protozoans. Choose a good pure olive leaf extract without fillers and additives.
- Turmeric – has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effect and helps your liver to detox. It’s like a natural ibuprofen with no side effects. Turmeric supplements can easily be consumed in capsule forms. There are also turmeric formulations with a little bit of black pepper and fat which is known for absorption enhancement.
- Propolis – possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory benefits – supplies our bodies with up to 60 trace minerals, 16 amino acids and also vitamin A, B1, B2, and B3. Choose the purest propolis tincture available, like this MH Propolis Tincture from New Zealand – the best quality on the market.
- Ginger – is known to cleanse the lymphatic system and relieve gastrointestinal irritation. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. My favorite way to consume it is by making this DIY immune boosting tonic – I eat it directly from the spoon. Incorporating ginger in a tea or in a smoothie is great if you don’t really like the taste.
- Wild Oregano – has antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasite compounds – mainly carvacrol. You can find it in capsules but I prefer the oil because it goes into the bloodstream faster. Look for a high quality wild oil harvested in the Mediterranean region. I have taken internally the diluted form from N. American Herb and Spice multiple times (not more than 10 days with brakes), with fantastic results. But there is also a very potent undiluted full strength oregano oil: 83% Carvacrol, organic and Eco-certified.
- Probiotics – help ensure a healthy balance of intestinal flora and as a result, a healthy immune system (60% of your immune system is wrapped around your intestinal tract). You can read more detailed information about types of probiotics and how to choose them here.
- Fatty Acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) have powerful anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory activities in a wide array of diseases, the ideal ratio should be 1:1. Good sources include (cold-pressed and organic) flax oil or hemp oil, and (wild) fish oil with high EPA and DHA.
The list can go on with Elderberry, Vitamin C, Zinc, Cat’s Claw, Calendula, Garlic, Onions, Ginseng, Cloves, Rosemary, Thyme, Usnea lichen and many more.
You don’t have to take all of them, choose 2 ore 3 supplements at a time according to your needs. If you don’t know what’s best for you consult with a health professional that has a vast experience in natural healing.
Also remember : it’s important to help your body to detox first before supplementing, otherwise it’s a waste of money.
14. Learn How To Relax
Relaxation is something we actually have to learn and practice. Try to not overthink, overanalyze, and waste a lot of your time on unnecessary thoughts, this will eat you alive causing more stress and therefore a weakened immune system.
Find activities that help you recharge, such as reading a book, going for a walk, a hobby, getting a massage, meditation, deep breathing, visualization and progressive muscle relaxation.
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