I want to share some interesting facts about the immune system + 13 science-backed ways to boost your immune system today.

Now more than ever, people are obsessed with boosting and protecting their immune system. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon because it’s relevant, important, and incredibly “trendy.”

I’m here to tell you that I’ve made the immune system relevant and important long before now. And I will continue with the trend long after this season of life.


Because remember, most of the immune system cells lie within the gut.

The ONLY thing I care about on A Gutsy Girl is the gut. 

If you’ve been around for any length of time and have adopted many of the things I teach, preach, and practice, you’re already well on your way to a stronger immune system.

And if this is your first time here – welcome – you’re about to reap the benefits of my extensive research, writing, and personal trials, errors, and — yes — successes.

But today it’s all about the science. I have 13 science-backed, healthy ways to boost your immune system.

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Episode Resources

  1. FREE download: Master Gutsy Resource Spreadsheet
  2. A Gutsy Girl’s probiotic of choice {HERE + use code AGUTSYGIRL at checkout to save 15%}
  3. Tummy Soothe {get it HERE + use code BLOG at checkout to save 15% off your entire first order}
  4. Full post + resources HERE
  5. Guthealingsupplements.com

But first let’s do a quick overview of how the immune system works along with some interesting facts about the immune system.

Human Body Immune System

The immune system is basically a collection of cells and organs that fight against foreign invaders and infection from outside our body.

Everyday we breathe, eat, and touch so many harmful microbes, and it is up to our immune system to protect us from these.

Here are some of the key elements of + interesting facts about the immune system:

  • white blood cells- fight infection
  • antibodies- proteins that fight specific pathogens
  • lymphatic system- system of fatty fluid that circulates throughout our body to remove toxins
  • thymus- makes T cells
  • spleen- filters blood
  • bone marrow- makes white blood cells
Interesting Facts About the Immune System {Plus 13 Science Backed Ways to Boost Your Immune System} agutsygirl.com

One of the most important are white blood cells, which our basically our body’s way of actively fighting infection.

They are made of several different types, all which have a specific function.

  • B-cells- produce new antibodies, which bind to foreign particles
  • T-cells- kill cancerous or infected cells
  • natural killer cells

Human Immune System

How does the immune system work?

The immune system is split into two types of immunity; innate immunity and adaptive immunity.

Both of these pieces work together to create a strong immune response.

The innate immune system is the first response to any sort of infection or foreign substance. It basically decides that something is off and needed to be addressed. Consider it the “alarm system.”

The adaptive immune response is made up of the B and T cells that actually fight the infection. They can more specifically decide what is wrong in the body and the proper reaction to it. For instance, they can distinguish between viral infections and cancerous cells, and release the correct response.

Now that you have a better understanding of the immune system, let’s dive into some ways that you can help boost your own!

Sources: HERE, HERE, and HERE

Interesting Facts About the Immune System {Plus 13 Science Backed Ways to Boost Your Immune System}

Click HERE to save this post on interesting facts about the immune system for later.

p.s. Because this is a professional website and I’m constantly citing my resources and references, linking to the sources is nothing new. But because I’m telling you that they are “science-backed” ways, I’ll put the source for each right in line with the item.

Interesting Facts About the Immune System +13 Science Backed Ways to Boost Your Immune System agutsygirl.com

1. Gut

70-90% of the immune system cells can be found within the gut.

I don’t need to say anything more on that. And, in fact, even though you’ll find “a healthy diet” listed as a science-backed ways to boost the immune system, I’m not putting it on this list.

The reason is that I need you to understand that the diet which heals your gut is the one you need for boosting your immune system.

All the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from “a healthy diet” are almost useless unless you can absorb them, too. Heal that gut! Need ideas for where and how to start? Click HERE.

Tummy Soothe immune gut guthealingsupplements.com

Tummy Soothe, the product we brought to the marketplace:

  • Supports gut health
  • Supports GI mucosal health
  • Supports gut and systemic immune function
  • Supports GI barrier integrity

Use code ‘AGUTSYGIRL’ at checkout to save 15% off your entire first purchase.

2. Take a probiotic

  1. One of the major mechanisms of probiotic action is through the regulation of host immune response. source I take the Just Thrive Probiotic, as does our entire family.
  2. These are proven to help fight a virus. (Code: AGUTSYGIRL at the Just Thrive checkout HERE to save 15% on anything from them.)
  3. Probiotics physically bind to epithelial cells of the intestines (gut lining) and help stimulate a healthy immune response. By binding to this external lining, they strengthen the border and prevent pathogens from entering. Some strains of Lactobacillus have even been found to increase mucous production of the gut lining, which traps toxins.. More mucus means less work for the immune system!

3. Don’t Smoke

  1. Smoking harms the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease. Additionally, smoking is known to compromise the equilibrium, or balance, of the immune system.
  2. This increases the risk for several immune and autoimmune diseases (conditions caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues). source

4. Exercise regularly, not excessively

  1. These data confirm a positive effect of moderate exercise on immune function and a decrease in susceptibility to viral infection by inducing Th1 cytokine profile shift. It also helps to drain your lymph nodes and decrease all around inflammation, both which are key to maintain healthy tissue.
  2. However, prolonged and overtraining exercise causes numerous changes in immunity that possibly reflects physiological stress and immune suppression. source

5. Adequate Vitamin C intake

  1. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress. source
  2. Learn more with Vitamin C for Gut Healing HERE.

6. Get enough Vitamin D

  1. The active form of vitamin D tempers the damaging inflammatory response of some white blood cells, while it also boosts immune cells’ production of microbe-fighting proteins. Try to aim for a couple minutes of unprotected time in the sun a day. (Do be careful of a particularly sunny day- skin cancer is still always a risk)
  2. Adults who have low vitamin D levels are more likely to report having had a recent cough, cold, or upper respiratory tract infection. source Want more? Check out Vitamin D3 for Gut Health HERE.

7. Check your Zinc levels

  1. Zinc is important for the growth and function of neutrophils and macrophages, both which are types of white blood cells. Macrophages literally “eat” foreign bodies (phagocytosis) and break them down. Without Zinc, their ability to function is compromised. source
  2. Zinc also helps prevent oxidative stress, which leads to an increased risk of health problems, including destruction of immune cells.

8. Consume alcohol only in moderation

Clinicians have long observed an association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia. source

9. Get more sleep

  1. Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions. source For full support of your immune system, your body needs seven to eight hours of sleep every single night. If you are a teenager, bump that up to nine or ten.
  2. Did you know our body breaks down some of our stored sugar when we sleep. The activation of the immune system requires glucose to function and depends on the glucose we break down while sleeping. Without enough sleep we are actively depriving our immune cells of the fuel they need to work at their best! source
  3. Just like how sleep improves the memory of our brain, it also improves the memory cells of the immune system. The way the immune system interacts with its components at night is crucial for it to retain information on how to defend the body. With sleep deprivation comes a lower ability to fight infection. source

10. Snuggle those pets

  1. Living with a pet as a child also revs up your immune system. In fact, just a brief pet encounter can invigorate your disease-defense system. In one study, petting a dog for only 18 minutes raised immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels in college students’ saliva, a sign of robust immune function. source
  2. And also, pets are great for the microbiome, which goes back to number one on this list! Just be careful with them licking your face! They can eat an array of bad things, which you certainly do not want in your system!

11. Stress less

  1. Prolonged periods of intense stress can affect the immune system, according to the National Cancer Institute. Stress makes the brain boost production of the hormone cortisol, which impairs the function of infection-fighting T cells. It can also have a significant effect on the inflammatory tissue in our body, leading to long term issues and impaired overall health. source
  2. Stressing less is hard and complicated, amiright? But it doesn’t have to be. I’m here to help. Check out THESE ways to manage it.

12. Hydration nation

  1. Water plays several major roles in a healthy immune system (it’s also critical for the digestive system). Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause illness. source
  2. Water is large part of lymphoid tissue in our blood, which contains immune cells called lymphocytes that directly fight infection and pathogens.
  3. Water also helps strengthen the mucous membranes in our gut lining. They moisten these membranes and help make them more efficient at trapping toxins and foreign substance. source

Note: Make sure you’re not just staying hydrated with water, but that your electrolytes are in balance, too. Read more about this HERE.

13. Skincare

  1. The skin is your body’s largest organ and plays an important role in overall immunity by providing a barrier of protection to the body. Skin is the first thing that pollution, chemicals, and all the crud from the environment touches. So why would we add even more harmful substances through our personal care, skincare, and makeup products?
  2. Reduce your exposure to carcinogens and environmental toxins by choosing BPA-free products, natural cosmetics and beauty products. source Go on a FREE 12-Day to Safer Beauty Journey HERE and/or check out my recommendations via the ‘Makeup, Skincare, Personal Care’ tab HERE.
  3. Skincare experts recommend using products with few ingredients and limited added scents. Shop for your skincare the same way you shop for your food, emphasizing healthy, unprocessed ingredients. Learn more about non-toxic skincare HERE.

And there you have my 13 science-backed ways to boost your immune system. These are some of the easiest, and best ways to give your immune system the support it needs and deserves.

Let’s all get “boosted!”

If you liked these interesting facts about the immune system, you might also enjoy:

  1. 15 Supplements for Stomach Lining Support
  2. Fight a Virus by Protecting Your Gut
  3. Immune Boosting Gut Health Support


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