Cancer, heart disease and more. It all comes down to your immune system-can you keep it strong?
Ask most people, and they’ll say they eat right, exercise and take supplements so that they can look and feel their best. There’s nothing wrong with that. But as you age, the single biggest reason to take care of yourself is to maintain the quality of your life, to spend the rest of your days free of pain and worry. To accomplish this, you’ll want to be sure you can avoid the chronic killers that are lying in wait. The worst of the bunch is heart disease, still No.1 killer of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cardiovascular diseases takes the lives of nearly 650,000 Americans every year. Right behind it is cancer, responsible for 596,000 deaths yearly. What can you do to avoid them?
According to the health experts at Harvard Medical School, you should prioritize making sure your immune system is functioning at its highest level. Maintaining healthy immunity will help tamp down the inflammation that can lead to heart disease and diabetes; it can also prevent the cell mutations that raise your cancer risk. What is your immune system? It’s actually billions of cells that circulate through your bloodstream, checking tissues and organs for invaders like bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells. Many of the cells are limphocytes, which come in two types: B cells, which release antibodies to destroy invaders; and T cells, which target cells that have already been infected or have mutated. Your goal is to support those immune cells by increasing your intake of the nutrients mentioned here. You’ll not only improve your odds against the deadliest diseases, but you’ll also become more adept at fighting off cold, flu and other infections. You’ll live longer-and feel better while you’re at it. Not bad.