Our bodies have an amazing immune system that looks after us every minute of every day, seeking out and destroying pathogens and other foreign invaders that can cause us to become ill, or infect open wounds and cuts.
To say we can ‘boost’ our immune system is technical incorrect, as it’s working at full capacity, or is at least in standby to be at full capacity, all of the time (unless we’re ill with an autoimmune disease or we’re immunocompromised). So be wary of products that claim to be able to boost the immune system.
That said, it is possible to eat a diet and live a lifestyle that supports a healthy immune system that’s strong for when we need it. This means exercising, eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping an eye on our stress levels, sleep and bad habits. Part of this virtuous living to support good immunity is also eating active, healing honey such as Necta & Hive Jarrah and Red Gum honey.
To understand how honey supports good immunity, we first need to understand how the immune system works.
How the Immune System Works
The immune system is a complex system of cells, molecules tissues and organs, each with its own role and that run throughout the entire body.
The immune system has two ‘branches’ – the innate immune system which is our defence against bacteria, fungi and viruses, and the adaptive immune system, which learns which pathogens it’s come into contact with before and forms antibodies against them to help fight them if we come into contact with them again.
The cells of the immune system are generally types of white blood cells, of which there are many. These include the B cells that produce the antibodies we need to fight infections such as the common cold and signalling cells such as CD4 helper T cells that send messages around the immune system. Macrophages engulf and destroy harmful pathogens.
The molecules of the immune system include antibodies and cytokines, types of messenger molecules to alert different aspects of the immune system to the presence of invaders.
Finally, the tissues and organs of the immune system include the appendix, spleen, lymph nodes, skin and bone marrow. Each has a different role in protecting us from disease and infection.
But like any bodily system, the immune system can become weakened and less efficient. This could be due to disease, stress, unhealthy living and a poor diet.
How Honey Helps Immunity
Numerous studies have shown that active, healing honeys can help to support a healthy immune system.
Honey such as ours is rich in antioxidants, and antioxidants help to neutralise unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals move around the body looking for spare oxygen molecules to make them stable, and in doing so, can cause damage to our cells, tissues and our DNA, including the cells and tissues of the immune system. This damage can lead to a condition called oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic disease.
The high antioxidant profile of honey helps to prevent immune system damage and disease. In fact, the higher the antioxidant levels, the darker the honey. Hence why our Jarrah and Red Gum honeys are deliciously dark and luxurious!
Honey also promotes the production of white blood cells, in particular, T and B cells and natural killer cells, all important components of the immune system. This helps to promote a healthier and stronger immune response.
So adding a teaspoon of our pure, unpasteurised honey to your daily health regime could provide the immune support you need!
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