How much do you actually know about your immune system?

You probably know that there are white blood cells that fight off infection, but how well do you understand the incredibly complex system that keeps your body safe from disease, bacteria, injury, chronic inflammation, and oxidative damage?

Sadly, there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about the immune system floating around, as people simply don’t understand enough about their immunity to know the full truth.

You’re in luck! Below, we’re going to bust a few myths and share a few important truths you need to know about one of your body’s most important internal functions:

Myth: Sleep well or you’ll get sick.

Sleep Well

This one is absolutely true! The quality of your sleep is directly linked to your body’s ability to protect itself from disease and infection.

Deep, restorative sleep has been linked to higher immunity and better resistance to disease, as well as greater activity of the cells (T-cells, white blood cells, and more) that make up your immune system.

Sleeping enough every night (7-8 hours for adults, 9-10 hours for teenagers, and 10 or more hours for school-aged children) is vital for boosting your immunity!

Myth: Fruits and Veggies are crucial for a healthy immune system.

This one’s true, too! All fruits and vegetables contain minerals and vitamins that play a role in your immune health. From Vitamin C in citrus fruits to Vitamin A in carrots to calcium in broccoli to magnesium in berries, these nutrients are critical for keeping your immune system fully active and protecting your body from invaders.

Myth: Get a lot of specific vitamins and minerals to maximize health.

This one’s false, though it’s important to explain why. Our bodies needs a lot of vitamins and minerals in order to function, or to keep our immune system healthy. The “daily recommended dose” of these nutrients are established with our immune systems in mind. Getting that daily dose will provide your body with enough to maintain your immunity and protect you from disease.

However, there is no proof that taking a double-dose or maxing out on any specific immune-boosting vitamin—like Vitamin C, for example—will have a positive effect. While it can help combat nutrient deficiencies, taking more than the daily recommended dose of certain vitamins won’t make your body more effective at protecting itself. It could, however, put you at risk of vitamin overdose, which can have nasty consequences. It’s best to stick with the daily recommended dose of these vitamins and minerals so you keep your body healthy effectively without putting it at risk or wasting your money on pricey supplements.

Myth: Your immune system is only affected by physical things.

Absolutely false! Yes, the physical aspects are very important. Avoiding things that could make you ill, sleeping better, exercising, and eating right are all vital for maintaining a healthy immune system. However, good immunity can be as psychological as it is physical!

Experts agree that a positive attitude can be as vital for your immune system as a healthy diet and good rest. Positivity can actually make you feel better and help your body to resist infections more effectively. In fact, studies have proven that a positive attitude can speed up healing after a major surgery or serious disease.

Myth: Covering your mouth with your hand doesn’t stop germs from spreading.

This one is true, but not in the way you think!

When you cover your mouth with your hand, you can stop most of the sneeze or cough particles from escaping your mouth to spread infection. Notice that word “most”. That’s because your hand can’t fully cover your mouth or nose, or cover it enough to keep the germs from getting out.

The key is to sneeze into the crook of your elbow. That’s a much larger part of your body and can do a better job of stopping the germs from spreading. You can also sneeze into your shoulder, though it’s only marginally more effective than your hands.

Myth: Supplements won’t really help to boost your immunity.

Immunity Supplements

This one is, surprisingly enough, both true and false.

As we mentioned above, vitamins and minerals can really only be used by your body in certain quantities. That’s what the “daily recommended dose” is all about—giving your body enough of those micronutrients that it can put them to use, but not in such high quantities that there is too much of the nutrients to absorb.

Supplements that contain more than the daily recommended dose of certain vitamins or minerals won’t really work to boost your immunity more effectively than smaller-dose supplements. You’re better off sticking with a supplement that provides you with what you need and no more.

However, not all supplements are formulated the same. Some will work on improving other aspects of your health or providing specific nutrients that will boost your immunity in other ways.

Take Pure Life Organics’ Pure Immunity supplement, for example. It loaded with green superfoods that provide a dose of the Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K that your body needs for a healthy immune system. However, it also contains antioxidants that can raise your body’s natural immune response and eliminate the free radicals that could interfere with your body’s ability to combat disease.

It also provides prebiotics that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut—you know, the ones that eliminate all bad bacteria from the food you eat before they can spread into your body and cause problems. Probiotics and prebiotics that boost your gut bacteria will drastically raise your body’s immunity because it will help your digestive system shut down problems before they settle in. That’s what makes these other supplements so effective!