The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Todd Pesek, MD.
There’s no doubt about it, immune health has received much attention over the past two years. The importance of immune strength has been championed in preventing disease, and is especially powerful in protecting us against viral illnesses. As we seek more natural ways to stay healthy, it makes sense to think about how food and supplements can support our immune system.
Before we get into the details, it’s important to have a general understanding of what the immune system is and how it functions. Although many see this as a mystery, the good news is it’s relatively easy to understand, and it all starts with the 80/20 rule.
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It states that 20 percent of factors drive 80 percent of disease. Do you see the promise buried in this principle? When you focus on managing this 20 percent, you are setting yourself up to enjoy good health for years to come.
To better understand how to do this, we must consider these three bodily systems:
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
The foundation for optimal health is a strong immune system, so let’s explore it first.
Think of your immune system as your first line of defense against disease. Building a strong immune system requires key nutrients including vitamin D, iodine, zinc, vitamin C and quercetin, along with the support of the thyroid and adrenal glands, which provide cellular energy to protect against disease.
Interestingly, the thyroid gland is named after the Greek word thyreoiedes, meaning “shield-shaped,” so your thyroid is literally your body’s life shield! Working in conjunction with your thyroid are your adrenal glands. Their job is to help you overcome stress and stressors.
The strength of your immune system depends on adequate key nutrients from whole food and whole food supplements, combined with the support of your thyroid and adrenal glands. Incorporating specific foods and supplements into your daily self-care routine is the best way to get started!
Please check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new supplements.