The current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, highlighted the importance of how our immune system, the body’s ability to fight viruses, bacteria and other pathogens can help us fight diseases. But what does it really do? And why is it important to keep your immune system functioning optimally amid the health crisis?
An army against pathogens
Our immune system is made up of a very complex network of cells and protein that defends our body against infections. Among its main components include the white blood cells, antibodies, complement cascade, lymphatic system, spleen, thymus, and the bone marrow—all serving as our body’s guardians against pathogens.
According to a study by Clark WR, entitled “In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works in Managing Health and Disease,” our immune system has three types of responses—innate and adaptive. Innate response refers to the natural barriers we have against disease-causing pathogens. For instance, our skin acts as a barrier to block germs from entering the body. In fact, the acidity of the skin helps as a first line of defense by destroying certain pathogens that lands on the skin surface.
Then, there is the adaptive response, which develops when we are exposed to diseases or when we are immunized against the either through vaccines or antibodies we form. Vaccination safely helps our immune system to fight these pathogens and prevent diseases like polio and measles. Unfortunately, there is still no available vaccine yet for COVID 19 so, we need to continue looking after our physical and mental health to aid our immune system.
Keeping the immune system healthy
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends observing the basic protective measure against COVID-19, which include frequent washing of hands with soap and water or sanitizing with alcohol; maintaining physical distancing, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth; and covering your nose and mouth with a bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing and wearing face masks and gloves.
On the other hand, the WHO also says that while we are advised to stay at home, we need to prioritize our health and wellness to help our immune system function well. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to eat a healthy and nutritious diet. It also pays to limit alcohol consumption and avoid sugary drinks. Smoking should also be avoided as it increases the risk of developing severe diseases if infected with COVID-19. Exercise, on the other hand, must be done regularly for at least 30 minutes for adults and one hour a day for children.
And, of course, looking after our mental health is also equally important. It is normal to feel stressed, confused and scared during a crisis. Talking to people you trust, listening to music, reading or meditating are just some of the things we can do to relieve stress and anxiety, says the WHO.
Helping it more
While we are born with the kind of immune system we have, taking steps to help it perform at optimum levels is a preventive way of keeping safe and protected. To keep its optimal health, it pays to take vitamins and food supplements—this mindset is what Santé has been promoting to help everyone live more and do more in life.
With Santé Barley as its flagship product, the company has developed a comprehensive selection of everyday barley-based products. Barley grass has been a subject of interest in the scientific community because of its potential source of nutritional substances. According to a study published in Czech J. Food Sci., barley contains significant amounts of dietary fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It includes beta-glucans, superoxide dismutase content, and Vitamin C.
Beta-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeast, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. An article published in Madicina (Kaunas) said that beta-glucans are taken as herbal medicines to prevent and treat HIV, cancer, and diabetes, as well as to lower cholesterol. They are also used to enable an immune system weakened by conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, physical and emotional stress, or treatments like radiation or chemotherapy respond better.
Another notable nutritional value of barley grass is its superoxide dismutase content. It is an enzyme that acts as an antioxidant, providing cellular defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS), which, according to a study by Hughes DA, causes many types of cell damage.
Barley also contains Vitamin C, ranging from 19.4 548.0 mg/100g. Generally, the content varies depending on the growth stage, processing technology, and various cultivars.
All these nutrients are found in Santé Barley, as well as in other Santé products made, specifically, with organic pure barley from farms, as certified by BioGro, New Zealand’s leading organic certification agency.
With the emergence of new microbes, our immune systems will be our primary defense in the first 48-72 hours of attack by these vicious and unfamiliar predators. By following these simple steps, we can prevent contracting diseases, especially amid the current pandemic.
To learn more about Santé, visit its website at santebarley.com.