Why Rejuvenating your immune cells is better than boosting them
What is immuno-rejuvenation?
Immune cells, like other cells in our body, get old and then can’t respond properly to viruses, bacteria and diseases. The good news is that we produce about a 100 billion white blood cells (immune cells) every day. So, when it comes to optimal immunity, we need to focus on how to have a constant new supply of good functioning cells and how to effectively get rid of cells that have become senescent (old and not functioning effectively to protect against disease).
Emerging science in immunity is showing that immuno-rejuvenation is better than immune-boosting. This is because, rejuvenated cells operate more like new cells, whereas boosting old cells only amplifies their compromised state.
Benefits of immuno-rejuvenation
Reduces risk of disease
A well-functioning immune system reduces the risk of contracting communicable diseases such as Covid-19, other viruses, diseases and the common cold.
Helps us age well
Rejuvenation helps ensure that cells can keep functioning well to divide to make new cells. This helps reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s cardiovascular disease.
How to turn on rejuvenation
You won’t be surprised to know that it’s the usual things for good health including:
Remember the best form of exercise is the one that you will do. So though more intense exercise is better for rejuvenation any exercise is better than none. You could do gentler forms like walking, dancing and tai chi to stronger forms like power walking, running, fast paced sports or intense gym workouts for example.
Eat polyphenols from plants
Polyphenols are antioxidants that prevent or reverse damage in cells caused by aging, lifestyle or the environment. Top food sources include: berries; herbs and spices (cloves, star anise, peppermint, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage and celery seed); cocoa powder and dark chocolate; nuts; flaxseeds; olives; a cup of tea / coffee per day; and most vegetables with artichoke, red onion, spinach and shallots having the highest amounts.
Consume Omega-3 fats daily
Having old immune cells that aren’t functioning well to fight infection means our body can be in a constant state of inflammation. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation. The best sources come from seafood such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, anchovy, oysters, cod liver oil, seaweed and algae. Other sources include flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, chia seeds, hemp seeds.
Support your microbiome with pre and pro biotics
Pre and pro biotics help ensure your body is cultivating a healthy immune system and an effective digestive system. Incorporate one or more of these foods into your diet regularly.
Top foods with probiotics
Think fermented food such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt, parmesan and cottage cheeses.
Top prebiotics foods
Think foods high in fibre such as onions, garlic, asparagus, apples, bananas, buck wheat (specifically Himalayan Tartary Buckwheat) oats, wheat bran, flaxseeds, cocoa.
Build positive stress activities into your daily routine
Positive stress builds your resilience (physically, mentally and emotionally) and helps your body rejuvenate. Some examples of activities include:
Fasting, from overnight to a day or longer.
Finishing your hot shower with a blast of cold water or having a sauna followed by a cold water dip.
A new challenging physical activity.
Something to challenge your brain, like puzzles, learning a new language or public speaking.
Visiting new places and meeting new people to widen your views and perspectives.
Things that prevent rejuvenation
Overly processed foods high in sugar, salt and fat.
Overeating and eating late at night.
Want to learn more?
Listen to Dr Bland, a leading voice in immuno-rejuvenation on the following podcasts:
Over to you?
What things will you add to your daily routine and what will you stop doing to ensure healthy immune cells?
Always seek qualified medical advice before changing your diet and undertaking new physical activities.