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Building a strong immune system is key to optimal health

Nancy’s Nifty Nook carries a wide array of products to help build a strong immune system

It’s flu season and time to boost your immune system! Nancy’s Nifty Nook carries many products that can boost your immune system and keep you healthy now and year-round.

Store owner Nancy says, “The most important thing that we can do for ourselves is to keep our immunity up. No matter how many vaccinations or flu shots we receive, if we do not have a healthy and strong immune system, we can still get very sick. A strong immune system should be at the top of our list for what you need to stay healthy.”

Nancy recommends Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, anti-viral pills, refrigerated probiotics and multivitamins, products that can help you stay healthy naturally.

To understand the importance of building a strong immune system, it is important to understand how our immune system functions.

What is immunity?

Immunity is, by definition, the ability to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism or by counteracting the effects of its products. There are different kinds of immunity including:

  • Innate Immunity: involves barriers such as the mucous membranes and skin; the first responders to any substance that is foreign to the body.
  • Adaptive Immunity: the response to infection from microorganisms or vaccinations against them. This immune response can prevent reinfection for a lifetime. An example would be Polio.
  • Passive immunity: occurs when disease antibodies are introduced rather than produced by the immune system. The duration of this immediate protection is short, lasting just a few weeks or months. An example would be COVID-19.

Autoimmunity is when our body makes a mistake and attacks its own tissues and organs. One example of a common autoimmune disease is Type 1 Diabetes, whereby the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

Autoimmune disorders can lead to:

  • Destruction of body tissue and connective tissues;
  • Abnormal growth of an organ, such as endocrine glands including the thyroid and pancreas;
  • Changes in organ function; and
  • Issues with joints, muscles, red blood cells and skin.

Other common autoimmune disorders

  • Addison Disease (affects adrenal glands);
  • Celiac disease (gluten intolerance);
  • Dermatomyositis (muscle weakness and skin rash);
  • Graves Disease (causes hyperthyroidism);
  • Hashimoto thyroiditis (thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone);
  • Multiple Sclerosis (affects the central nervous system);
  • Myasthenia gravis (causes weakness in the skeletal muscles);
  • Pernicious Anemia (body unable to absorb enough Vitamin B12 resulting in a drop in red blood cells);
  • Reactive arthritis (joint pain and swelling triggered by an infection in another part of the body);
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (affects the lining of joints causing painful swelling. Causes bone erosion and joint deformity); and
  • Sjogren syndrome (two common symptoms are dry eyes and mouth).

Nancy explains that it is possible that when we experience stress, our immune systems can become overloaded and, as a result, cannot cope. Studies have shown a potential link between stress-related disorders and developing an autoimmune disease.

Inflammation is another major factor in many chronic diseases, particularly those involving autoimmunity. Therefore, adopting a healthy diet is important when it comes to inflammation prevention.

Nancy suggests exploring a plant-based diet and incorporating extra virgin olive oil, which can all have a positive and preventative impact on one’s body.

“Watching your diet and eating alkaline foods are important to reducing inflammation,” says Nancy. “The more you increase your plant-based food intake, the more you support an immune system that supports your health.”

Want more information on how to boost your immune system? Stop by the store located at 152 Holland Street E or visit them online here.