Do you know how to train your immune system to get protected from diseases? During the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have heard many times about boosting your immune system. Many articles and videos are available on the net about immunity-boosting foods. Actually, it’s not about boosting your immune system, it’s how well trained your immune system is. This post is based on the YouTube video of Luke Coutinho, a Holistic Nutritionist specialising in the field of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine explaining top lifestyle hacks to train your immune system. Watch the video and continue reading till the end to learn how to train your immune system and maintain the immune system properly.
Table Of Contents
- 1 How To Train Your Immune System?
- 2 How does your immune system work?
- 3 What does the immune system require to function?
- 4 You can’t train your immune system alone
- 5 Two immune systems, the innate and the adaptive
- 6 How strong are you at this point?
- 7 Top Lifestyle Hacks To Train Your Immune System – Luke Coutinho
- 8 What’s going to come up in the future?
- 9 Final Thoughts
How To Train Your Immune System?
You cannot boost the immune system. You need to understand how does your immune system work. You can go on stuffing yourself with turmeric, ginger, garlic and concoctions while they are good because they have immune-boosting properties. It doesn’t mean just because you have them your immune system has to behave the right way. You don’t boost your immune system, you train it.
How does your immune system work?
Consider your immune system is like an army of soldiers. The best army in the world can have the best soldiers but if they’re not trained they don’t perform their function. The right way you can have trained soldiers and untrained soldiers. You can have soldiers that go rogue like a lot of your cancer cells, like a lot of your immune systems. They go rogue, they start attacking you. So you need to understand that you cannot boost the immune system but you can train it. Now we can’t train I. When you go back to anatomy whether you’re a nutritionist, a doctor, a pharmacist whatever a scientist, anatomy is great when we break down the immune system. And it’s so nice to use fancy words like macrophages and neutrophils and interleukins and cytokines and right red blood cells, and white blood cells. Yes, it sounds great when you understand the function.
Then you immediately google which foods will boost white blood cells. Now let me eat those foods. But nothing happens like in the case of chemotherapy which is wiping out all of your nutrition, white blood cells fall. You start eating foods that can boost white blood cells but you find it doesn’t work alone because it’s an intelligent system of everything working together like soldiers in an army. Each of them have a function and they have to be trained. So all of our immune systems have to be trained and today we’re going to learn simple ways on how to train your immune system.
Let’s go back to what’s happening in the COVID world right now. So a year ago it was a cytokine storm.
What are cytokines?
Cytokines are basically groups of protein that are responsible for cell signalling. So they’re constantly, they’re not bad, things unless they start behaving badly. So they’re constantly signalling to increase inflammation, decrease inflammation, they basically produce inflammation as an immune response. Inflammation is good needed to protect us but it becomes bad when it goes out of control because you have something called interleukins which is part of your immune system under a group of cytokines that are responsible for regulating the immune response and regulating the inflammatory response. Remember this very well, regulating the inflammatory response. So the cytokines can signal to increase inflammation and your interleukin signal when to bring it back to normal. And that’s not happening right now.
The cytokine storm takes over and right now in three to four days it’s out of control which is where all the damage is. So yes you could use steroids before. Some people still use steroids to kind of control the immune system which has gone out of control. But something’s gone wrong with the intelligence of the human system which is what scientists and doctors and everyone around the world are trying to understand right now. Why is the immune system out of control? Why is your own immune system which is designed to protect you now attacking you?
So we have to go back to the basics while science does its work, while the experts do its work what can we do?
Understand how to train your immune system
It is not about turmeric and garlic and ginger and all of that stuff.
- What does the intelligent immune system that most people haven’t yet understood even at a scientific level?
- How does it all come together to protect you every second of the day and night?
- How does it know when to stop protecting you?
- How does it know when to stop inflammation?
- How does it know when to go and clean up a wound?
This is intelligence that no one understands yet but we understand what the immune system requires to function.
What does the immune system require to function?
Nutrients from the food
It needs nutrients from the food that you eat. So it’s called food synergy. A lot of people having so much turmeric actually creating more problems but food synergy. More turmeric doesn’t mean less inflammation but you take the right amount of turmeric. You mix it with good fat, you add a little bit of black pepper because we know piperine is required to absorb the turmeric into your system. So like that, there are so many foods that we need to eat that are great for the immune system but people are doing it wrong. It’s called food synergy. Tomatoes are great for the immune system but when it’s cooked because a little bit of heat breaks down the cell walls and allows lysophene which is powerful for the immune system to now be available in your body.
So it’s not just about blindly googling foods and eating it. It’s about food synergy. How your immune system, how your digestive system breaks down different foods and how your immune system takes away amino acids, takes away micronutrients, vitamins, trace minerals energy from your macronutrients and puts it all together into a cocktail that gives your immune system the energy to function. The intelligence, the function, your mitochondria.
People are tired all the time even, even when they’re not sick what is your body trying to tell you that your mitochondria is unable to break down energy that your immune system requires to protect you. So our bodies constantly giving us signals all the time to live better, but we’re ignoring it. So we’re not training our immune system, we’re not training the soldiers to behave the right way when we’re struck with a virus or a bacteria or an infection or whatever it is.
Where do you get micronutrients?
You need micronutrients. Where do you get micronutrients? From your fruits, your vegetables, your nuts, your seeds.
You need macros from energy where do you get your macros. From good carbohydrates, good proteins, good fats. There’s a population in the world that is against all your macros and all of that stuff because their only vision is weight loss. Right now is the world talking about weight loss or is the world fighting for oxygen? Okay, parts of the world, not the whole world.
- Are they fighting for oxygen?
- Are they fighting for a better immune response?
- Are they fighting for a better inflammatory, anti-inflammatory response?
- Are these people talking about the excess weight that they have on their body one or two inches which depress them every single morning?
No, you need to look at nutrition and the immune system beyond weight loss. Yes, lose that extra weight it’s not good for you but if you’re losing that weight and depriving yourself of micronutrients that your immune system requires, you’re doing it the wrong way. You’ll have that fabulous body on a ventilator at some point. Does that make human sense to you? Absolutely not.
Great health is a great body – How To Train Your Immune System?
Great health is a great body, a decent body whipped great immune systems, great inflammatory responses and anti-inflammatory responses. So you’ve got to upgrade your thinking. So yes, we need macronutrients absolutely. Why would vitamin B complexes exist which have the ability to break down and convert carbohydrates into proteins and fats? If carbohydrates were not required we wouldn’t have the mechanism within us to break it down to convert it into energy.
Of course, there’s a whole load of people overdoing it on carbohydrates and the wrong kind of carbohydrates. That is different but yes we need all macronutrients in a way that it suits your composition, your body composition amino acids. Do you know that amino acids that you get from your food are required for the immune function to work? Your immune cells require amino acids. So if you’re not eating the right diet you’re not combining your right foods.
How to take protein the right way?
People are popping more and more protein-rich foods into their body. Half of them are not even breaking it down because they have low stomach acid. They don’t even know how to take protein the right way. If you need to be on a high protein diet do you have the right prebiotics to break it down? Are you drinking the right amount of water to metabolize your protein the right way? There are so many little things that people don’t do. It’s just about consumption, consumption and then hey look I have a low immunity but I take protein shakes. It doesn’t work that way, my friends.
Then we have exercise. if you’re sedentary right now you have a big issue. You need to move for blood circulation. Blood circulation is required to train the immune system and immune function. It’s as simple as that. So you don’t have an excuse.
You can’t train your immune system alone
The biggest thing you can’t train your immune system alone. What trains at the best your gut, your microbiome, which has trillions of strains of bacteria fungi all of that trains your immune system which is why yes it’s true when they tell you that 70 to 80 per cent of your immune system starts in your gut. You have a weak gut, you have a weak immune system, you have a weak gut, you cannot regulate your immune system the right way. There are bacterias in your gut today, that can protect you from colon cancers and the very same bacteria if they grow out of control they can cause colon cancer.
Microbiome – Microbes
So you see there’s an intelligence in your microbiome, there is an intelligence in your microbiota that trains your entire immune system. They’re called microbes. We need these microbes on our skin but we’re constantly having showers and washing it off with all the chemicals, soaps and all of that stuff decreasing our own immune system on our skin. We have an immune system everywhere, every part of the body but we’re either trying to be too alkaline and killing our stomach acid levels. So it can’t protect us from bacterias and viruses that get into us from our food. We’re overdoing health. We are too health-obsessed or we’re not health-obsessed. That’s a big problem as well. Too much, too little where is the balance.
Your microbiome trains your immune system and one in two people out there live with acidity, constipation, IBS, bloating. These are signs that you cannot ignore. It’s been ignored by most of the medical world for the longest time. Take an antacid you’ll be fine, take a probiotic you’ll be fine. But these are serious indicators telling you that you have a poor gut microbiome which in turn means you have a poor inflammatory response, have a poor immune response, and all of that.
Now today with everything happening we have to rise beyond and open up our eyes and listen to these signals. It is not okay to be constipated, it is not okay to have constant IBS, it is not okay to be constantly bloated, it is not okay. You have to understand these indicators and take the right action so that you can improve them. Not just suppress it, suppresses the symptom with constant Allopathic medication. Yes, allopathy is required. It can save lives but the time has come where we cannot just depend on allopathy alone but we have to realize. Take your allopathy but also address the root cause and change your lifestyle.
What’s the next thing that causes our intelligence of the immune system to go all over the place? Antibiotics. If you are misusing antibiotics, you are prescribing antibiotics to yourself, self-medication, constantly abusing it guess what that’s the best way to ruin your gut microbiome, and in turn, ruin your immune system and its response. Okay, it’s like feeding soldiers the wrong food, you’re wiping out half of your army because you’re not feeding them the right food.
But yes, if you take your antibiotic are you taking your prebiotics, are you taking your probiotics, are you taking your B-complex? Are you working to address the root cause of the problem so that you don’t become dependent the next time that symptom comes up but you’re addressing it at a root cause level? So yes, your prebiotics and probiotics. Everyone’s popping probiotics. Your probiotics are useless if you don’t have a prebiotic. Your probiotics are live microbes but the live microbes need food which comes in from your prebiotics. So it goes back to your diet, the science and intelligence behind taking your supplements not just popping it. So if you have the right prebiotics and probiotics whether it’s from a food or a supplement it helps your immune system train itself it gets used.
Let me give you an example of chemotherapy. Every patient going through chemotherapy has the lowest gut health because chemotherapy and its honest attempt to kill the cancer cells is wiping up your microbiome. And if you as a patient you are not looking at building your microbiome while going through the treatment, your treatment is going to get worse for you, the side effects are going to get worse, your immune system is going to get worse. So you have to integrate lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, sleep, emotional wellness with your medication. It’s not the medication it’s what do you do with the medication.
Smoking it’s a no-brainer. If you are constantly smoking whether it’s shisha, hookah, cigarettes, whatever it is. Understand that you are literally poisoning or reprogramming your soldiers, your army of soldiers within you every time you smoke and fill up your lungs. Whether you smoke or whether you passive smoke you are causing confusion amongst your immune cells and then you expect it to be there for you.
Two immune systems, the innate and the adaptive
What’s happening right now is we have two immune systems, the innate and the adaptive. So the innate immediately I fall I get a cut, my innate immune system kicks in, I breathe in a bacteria germ, my innate system tries to kill it. But if it doesn’t, then my adaptive system needs to kick in which can take one day, two days, three days, five days, ten days. At this point, in the history of our planet, we need strong adaptive immune systems to kick in as quickly as possible and for that, you need to train it the right way and give it an environment.
Environment – How To Train Your Immune System?
That brings me to my last point, your environment outside of you and within you basically provides you with the platform to train your immune system. Let me give you an example. If I have a plant that requires sunlight to grow and thrive. I take this plant out of the sunlight and I put it into a dark room, the plant starts to die. I take that plant out and I put it back into the sun in the right environment it starts to thrive. Again, it’s the same thing with us. If we’re in the wrong environment, we create the wrong environment, how? By sleeping at times which are not human, by eating foods at the times when our bodies don’t require it, by eating late-night meals, your microbiome gets active and it thrives at night. But I’m eating my food late at night and getting into bed interfering with the process of my own microbiome regenerating, reproducing, cleaning itself out. I’m just coming and interfering with the own intelligence of my human body.
So we come down to the circadian rhythm which is nature’s rhythm and how we need to align as human beings. So you can have all the excuses in the world to sleep late, to eat late. Those are your excuses. Okay, we’re not responsible for your excuses, you are responsible for your excuses by moving to the right action. But you take a sick body and you put it into a sick environment to heal you, never heal you. Take a sick body and you put it in the right environment which is good family members around you, positivity, good friends, the right food, the right timings, the right amount of sleep at the right time, learning ways to control your stress, the environment allows the environment within you. It provides that intelligence in your body the platform it needs to thrive which is your immune system.
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So you can not expect your immune system to be strong for you and work for you if you don’t have the environment around you and within you which you control with all of your lifestyle, the right medication, the right lifestyles and all of that stuff.
How strong are you at this point?
You can start getting stronger right now. No, you’re not just going to be popping supplements to get strong. There are tons of people who pop supplements and are still sick. You need to make a 360-degree lifestyle change. I can’t emphasize this over and over again because till now everything’s failed all of us. Science has its limitations, medicine has its limitations, pray has its, everything. You have to make to change 360 degrees.
So when we look at the circadian rhythm what happens in a lab? If you’re a scientist or a student of chemistry or pharmacy what happens in a lab? you put a virus or a bacteria and you create the environment by controlling temperature, moisture to create the environment that you want to study or you want to do your experiments on that virus and bacteria. The same thing with the human body and the human immune system. We need the right environment, the right environment and we need to create it with the circadian rhythms with how we eat and all of these things.
Is it too late to invest in prevention? Is it too late to invest in recovery? Absolutely not because the human body is resilient, the immune system is intelligent beyond belief. But we’ve compromised it, we’ve come in between it. So now if we take this amazing body and we put it in the right environment and give it the right raw materials from food to nutrients, to oxygen, to the right people around us, everything, guess what? Your intelligence will harness itself to do the job that it is not doing for millions of people right now.
Top Lifestyle Hacks To Train Your Immune System – Luke Coutinho
What’s going to come up in the future?
Today, it’s the coronavirus the world is showing us. Tomorrow it could be a new virus, a new bacteria, something else. So we have to use the time right now to build strong bodies to train our immune systems by giving it what it needs. Gone are the days where we can just rely on that one allopathic drug, just rely on superfoods, just rely on our personal trainer. No, now we gotta stitch it all together 360degrees a holistic approach to your health.
It starts with you. I think we’ve reached a point in the world even the richest of the richest people, have all the money in the world but their money cannot buy an oxygen cylinder, their money cannot buy a bed in a hospital. So you see they say debt is a leveller. We don’t have to wait for the debt to happen. We have to just look around at what’s happening right now and decide to make that choice to create stronger environments, stronger people, stronger generations, and a stronger and more positive attitude.
From the above, it is clear that it is not about boosting your immune system, but how to train your immune system for better health and protection from harmful viruses and bacteria. To train your immune system, you have to change your lifestyle and remove bad habits. Good mindful habits, regular exercises, simple morning routines, healthy eating all are important for a healthy and successful life filled with full of happiness.
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Mathukutty P. V. is the founder of Simply Life Tips, a passionate Blogger, Content writer, Influencer, YouTuber. Lives with a notion “SIMPLE LIVING, CREATIVE THINKING”. Believe – “Sharing is caring.” “Learning never ends.”