Protect Your Immune System So It Can Defend You

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The Immune System

You know how you put plastic wrap over leftovers to keep them fresh enough for later? Well, your skin is like a plastic wrap to keep germs from getting into your body. Your doctor can often tell if you have an infection by checking out the lymph nodes glands in your neck and under your arms to see if they're swollen. If they are, it shows that they are working to get rid of bacteria or viruses. In your blood you have red blood cells and white blood cells, and in lymph there are white blood cells.

Chemical barriers to infection

There are several different types of white cells which work together to seek out and destroy bacteria and viruses. As well as attacking germs, your immune system recognises and destroys other cells which do not belong in your body. The immune system is absolutely amazing.


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It deals with millions of bacteria and viruses every day to keep us healthy. Keeping up to date with immunisations can help your body to build immunity to some serious diseases too. Our topic Personal hygiene - taking care of your body will help you to work with your immune system to keep your body healthy. We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy.

However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up. Are you a 'lefty'? Bedwetting Bedwetting alarms Blood - we can't live without it! Colour 'blindness' - when someone is not able to see some colours Crying and tears Ears - hearing problems Ears - how your ears work Ears - keeping your ears safe from noise Ears - looking after your ears Eczema - a problem with skin Eyes - facts and questions Eyes - how your eyes work Eyes - protecting your eyes Eyes - wearing glasses Freckles and moles Genes - not the kind you wear!

Why bingeing on health foods won’t boost your immune system

Go find out — your wonderful eyes! Growing pains Heart - your heart Hiccups and how to get rid of them! Improve your memory - for children Intellectual disabilities — learning slowly Intestines - your guts! Kidneys - your kidneys Look after your feet Losing hair Lungs - your lungs Nails Skin - it's all over you!

Skin problems - rashes Sleep - are you getting enough? Smelly sweat - info for kids Sneezing Teeth - open wide - looking after your teeth Teeth - problems with teeth Teeth - protecting your teeth Teeth - what are they?

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The brain The digestive system - powering up your body The immune system The liver The nervous system The spleen - information for kids Too much noise Uh-oh, my nose is bleeding Weight - how much should you weigh? What is obesity?

Yawning Your appendix Your body's waste disposal system Your bones Your hair - a hairy story Your muscles Your nose Your senses Your terrific tongue Your wonderful hands. The immune system immune; immunity; disease; bacteria; viruses; white; cells; lymph; germs; mucous; mucus; glands; Contents What is immunity? The body's immune system The skin Other defences Lymphatic system White blood cells How does your immune system know which cells to attack? How you know your immune system is working When things go wrong with the immune system Dr Kate says What is immunity?

Immunity to some diseases is passed on from our mothers before we are born. When we have some infections our immune system will protect us from getting that infection again. Immunisation having your 'shots' helps our body's immune defence system protect us from diseases. The body's immune system Every body has an inbuilt immune system which protects it from germs. This system has a lot of different parts which work together to keep out any harmful germs, and attack and destroy any which manage to get inside your body Every day your body is exposed to millions of germs, and you do not get sick from them because of your immune system.

Every time you do get sick because of a germ, your immune system works to get rid of it and then it remembers how to fight the infection if the same germ comes again.

How to boost your immune system

Usually the older you get, the more germs you become immune to. So, let's have a look at the immune system, starting from the outside of the body. The skin The skin is the first line of defence in your immune system. The epidermis outside layer of skin has special cells which warn the body about incoming germs. Glands in the skin also make substances that can kill some bacteria anti-bacterial chemicals. This means you don't get infections on your skin unless your skin is damaged, such as by a cut or a graze.

Other defences Your nose, mouth and eyes are the next point of attack. Saliva in the mouth and the tears which wash your eyes have special enzymes chemicals in them which break down the cell walls of many bacteria and viruses. The mucous that is made in your nose, throat and lungs traps bacteria, viruses and dust.

Acid in your stomach kills most germs, and starts to digest your food.

Zinc and vitamin C for a healthy immune system

There are plenty of ways to boost your immune system that don't involve contacting germ-covered surfaces, if that doesn't sit well with you. Again, getting plenty of rest, eating healthy and colorful foods, and managing your stress levels can help keep you healthy , too — as well as a few of the more "interesting" tips below. While many people think garlic is delicious, the idea of eating it crushed up just for the sake of improving your immune system may sound a bit strange.

And yet garlic is known for its immune boosting powers, and can even help you fight off infection. If you've ever used a scraper to remove the gunk from your tongue, then you know it can be a little bit icky. And yet, this is one habit you might want to adopt — especially during cold season.

Rubina Thahi, DC , tells Bustle. OK, while you might not want to pick your nose on purpose with the goal of eating whatever's inside, if you find yourself mindlessly engaging in certain nose-related activities, the results may actually be beneficial. In other words, you don't need to worry too much about interacting with your own germs, since doing so can boost your immune system. Even if you don't literally eat them. Not only does skipping a shower every once and a while save time and energy, "but more importantly you are helping the disease-fighting bacteria that live on your skin stay and help you remain healthy," Dr.

Tahir says. For those who'd like to rinse more often, there's some evidence that cold showers can also boost the immune system. According to research, when the body tries to warm up after being cold, the metabolic rate speeds up , and produces more disease-fighting white blood cells. Just don't avoid showering completely, because then unwanted bacteria can stick around. In the same vein, washing your hair less often can be beneficial, too. Shampoos can contain a lot of harsh chemicals, which wash away excess oils but take the good bacteria with them.

During the winter, when colds are going around, Dr. Tahir says she washes her hair only two times per week, and even avoids using dry shampoo in between days. If you think that'd work for you, it may be worth a try. Swallowing a capsule full of fish juice may not sound appetizing. And yet it's often recommended as a way of making the immune system stronger.

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Barry Sears tells Bustle. There are also vegetarian options available that'll give you the same omega benefits. Elliott says. So try adding more of it to your day, and you might notice that you're suddenly less likely to catch that annoying cold that's going around. Another interesting ingredient to add to your day is oregano, which can be quite beneficial. It is a natural antibiotic that helps to fight bacteria.

According to Dr. Elliott, cayenne pepper "can thin out mucous making it less habitable for inflammation-causing viruses and bacteria. The rougher the salt, the better. If you're a pet lover, you probably already hug and kiss your dog. But did you know doing so can boost your immune system?