We can hinder our immune system by having a bad lifestyle, or we can help our immune system by having a good lifestyle.
The special work of our immune system is to keep our bodies healthy. If two individuals visit in the home of a mutual friend suffering from a cold, and the following day one individual comes down with a cold, but the other does not, it is because the healthy individual’s immune system was high and was able to fight off the cold, whereas the other person’s immune system was low and could not fight off the cold.
Here are a few of the many, many things that can lower our immune system: eating the wrong foods; not drinking enough water; not getting enough sleep; not getting enough exercise; not getting enough sunshine; breathing poor quality air; being intemperate in any area; living with guilt, fear, hatred, or other negative emotions, and not taking your problems to God; using drugs; eating between meals; not keeping warm; living in unsanitary conditions; working in a very noisy atmosphere. As you can readily see, the list could go on and on … .
To keep our immune system up, we have to have a clean, free flowing blood stream. There are many different types of blood cells in our body. Red blood cells comprise a third of all the cells in the human body, about 20 trillion in the average adult. White blood cells are larger but less numerous than red cells, and there are approximately 20 million in the adult body. The white blood cells are the ones that play a major role in our body’s immune system, and are sometimes referred to as our warrior cells; they are responsible for apprehending and eliminating foreign substances.
While red cells are buoyed along like cargo rafts as the heart pumps the serum, white cells function more like patrol boats. Under their own locomotion, they can change direction to go after an invading molecule or cell. Whenever the body has an infection or any problem, internally or externally, the white blood cells will multiply rapidly. You may have three to five times as many of them in the blood stream during infection as you would have under normal conditions. If you had an infected cut, they accumulate at the point of infection like an army to fight the invaders.
At the sight of the infection, where the battle is raging, there is heat, redness, swelling, and pain. This is called inflammation and may result in the formation of yellow pus. This pus is made up mainly of dead white cells, living and dead germs, and broken down tissue. When the pus is cleared away, healing takes place. Poor health habits can hinder our white blood cells from doing their job. Let me share a few of these with you.
Watch out! Eating sugar lowers the immune system!
Eating sugar will paralyze and hinder your white blood cells from fighting off an infection. … One who eats sugar is lowering his immune system by paralyzing his white blood cells so that the body cannot properly fight off the cold.
Not drinking enough water lowers the immune system.
A normal sized adult needs two quarts of pure soft water daily. Those who do not drink enough water will have problems with constipation, which causes a backing up of waste materials in the body. Not drinking enough water causes the blood to become thicker and this slows down the circulation throughout the whole body, thus raising the blood pressure. Insufficient water causes many health problems such as kidney and bladder problems, skin eruption, eye problems, and similar troubles. These problems will put an overload on the body, indirectly weakening it and lowering the immune system.
Lack of sunshine will lower the immune system.
Sunlight increases the production and stimulates the activity of the white blood cells. These cells in turn produce more antibodies and interferons to circulate throughout the body. The net effect is that the individual’s defenses against disease are greatly strengthened with exposure to sunshine.
Eating meat lowers the immune system.
Eating meat lowers the immune system because the meat has a large amount of waste materials in it that the animal was unable to eliminate when it was slaughtered. This waste material eventually enters the blood stream, causing extra work for the white blood cells since they have to destroy all the harmful bacteria and other toxic substances introduced by eating meat.
Consuming the flesh of dead animals also puts an overload on the kidneys, liver, colon, and many other organs in the body. It is a well known fact that vegetarians have a lower red blood cell count than do meat eaters. They also have a lower white blood cell count because of their stronger immune system. The vegetarian doesn’t need as many white blood cells because he is not consuming meat which contains large amounts of waste materials which would require additional white blood cells. …
Ways to build the immune system:
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise in the sunshine and fresh air
- Get the proper amount of rest
- Be temperate and trust in God
If you faithfully follow these few guidelines I have just covered I can promise you that you will be helping your body to have a strong immune system which will, in turn, add time and joy to your life.
Adapted from Natural Medicine, Jerry Hoover, N.D., pp 219–225.