What is immunity
These days, you hear the word ‘immunity’ around you a lot, but what does it actually mean?
Immunity is the capability of your body to remain unaffected by diseases or infections that attack it. The immune system has different parts, all of which work together to fight off outside attackers like germs. Every day your immune system battles to keep you healthy and feeling at your best.
Types of immunity
There are two types of immunity. One is already present in the body and is called Innate or non-specific Immunity and the other develops after coming in contact with a harmful germ or infection. This second type of immunity is called Acquired Immunity.
How does the immune system work?
Innate immunity is the first line of defence of the body that provides a basic resistance to any infection. However, innate immunity has no memory of the attacking germs and does not provide protection against future infections.
Acquired immunity is the second and more specific line of defence against germs. After innate immunity provides the basic first line defence, acquired immunity responds by making special cells called antibodies. Antibodies get rid of the attacking germs and help you get well. These antibodies now remain in your body, have a memory of the type of germs and infection, and guard you against similar germs in the future also. (Though this may not hold true for every kind of infection!)
Now that you’ve learned about nutrition, immunity and your specialized needs during this phase of life, let us look at various key nutrients individually and their role in immunity and other important functions.