Your Best Line of Defense Is And Always Will Be, Your Immune System



Whether you are dealing with a pandemic, a cold, the flu, cancer or any auto-immune disease, the way your body either resists or succumbs to any virus, bacteria, or any epigenetic condition will depend on the strength of your immune system.

Your immune system in turn will be affected by 3 key factors: (1) your body’s PH balance; (2) your microbiome; and (3) inflammation.   These 3 elements get to the root cause of disease and how well you can respond and even heal.

The PH balance scale chart in a human body vector illustration infographics

First, let’s look at PH balance.  PH is the measure of the acidity and alkalinity in your blood.  Why should you care?  If your body is chronically acidic it can lead to metabolic and respiratory acidosis, it can damage the kidneys, cause osteoporosis, lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, negatively impact all systems in the body, create an imbalance in your microbiome and even open the door to cancer. [1]

Conversely, being too alkaline is not good either. It comes with its own set of problems including irritability, muscle spasms, numbness, and tingling.[2] Thus, extremes are never good.  Your ideal PH levels, on a scale of 0-14, should be in the range of 7.35 to 7.45.  Anything below a 7 is acidic and anything above a 7 is alkaline.[3]

Your diet will determine your PH levels.  And of course, what you eat will affect the delicate gut flora known as your microbiome.  The standard American diet consists of a lot of acidic foods[4], such as:

  • Sugar – is highly acidic
  • Hydrogenated oils and trans fats
  • Grains because they break down quickly as sugar
  • Processed meats
  • Certain dairy products
  • Fruit juices
  • Processed foods

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but avoiding these foods is key if you want to avoid not only high acidity but also inflammation.  I consider them the worst offenders.

Some examples of alkaline foods[5] include:



  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Citrus fruits and lemon – although they are acidic, when consumed, they have an alkalizing effect on the body
  • All herbs and spices
  • Root vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Certain nuts
  • Fruits

These alkalizing foods offer the body more than PH balance, they also offer nutrients that nourish the body and fiber that feed the good bacteria in our gut.  Your microbiome houses the majority of your immune system.  An unbalanced acidic diet will create an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut and lead to leaky gut syndrome which can lead to autoimmune diseases. [6]  These autoimmune diseases include common ailments such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, skin disorders, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, Chron’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.[7]

Your gut health is so critical because it affects all the systems in the body.  There are no walls inside our body, all the organs are interdependent on one another. Thus, when the microbiome is negatively impacted and assaulted by a poor and highly acidic diet, it creates a cascading effect throughout the entire body.  As a result, your immune system is not functioning properly and the quality of life declines: you are overweight, your energy levels are low, you have a “foggy brain”, you get sick easily, you start developing medical conditions that need to be “managed” with medications, you are in pain, you have poor sleep, low libido, you feel anxious and depressed, etc.  Over time, this can turn into a vicious spiral of decline.  As if that is not bad enough, you have to pay for costly medications as your house slowly turns into a pharmacy, because you are taking more and more medicines to counteract side effects from the prior meds.

When the friendly bacteria in your gut are outweighed by the bad, then your gut becomes inflamed and auto-toxic. The auto-intoxication of the gut impairs mental health, mood, behavior, and cognitive impairment.[8]  In addition, the indigestible proteins found in gluten further inflame the gut and causes leaky gut syndrome.[9]  That is when the tight junctions of the lining of the gut rupture and undigested food particles leak into the bloodstream.  When this happens, your immune system sees these particles as foreign invaders and immediately starts to attack them.  The problem with this is, these foreign particles that were just attacked by your immune system look similar to the molecular structure of your joints, cartilage, and thyroid.  So, in essence, chronic leaky gut syndrome trains the body to start attacking itself.[10]  Very bad idea!  Inflammation begins in the gut and spreads throughout the entire body on a cellular level, making it difficult to detox and for hormones to communicate properly because the cell receptors are inflamed. There Are No Walls Inside the Body, When One System Breaks Down, It Creates a Cascading Domino Effect Spreading More Damage

Stop the madness and pay attention to what you eat!

Proper nutrition is essential to living a happy, healthy, and vibrant life.  When you feed the body the right foods, it has an innate ability to heal itself.  The sad truth is most people are more concerned about the fuel they put in their cars than the fuel they put in their bodies.


However, a proper diet alone is not enough to strengthen the immune system.  A healthy, low-glycemic (low sugar) diet needs to be fortified with high-quality supplements.  Unfortunately, modern agriculture has depleted and stripped the soil from essential vitamins and minerals[11] thus making supplementation a necessity.  Key supplements that support immune health include Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3 with K2, Calcium, Aloe Vera juice, Magnesium, Omega 3 fish oils, Pycnogenol, Astaxanthin, Resveratrol, Curcumin, Black Seed Cumin Oil[12], Beta Glucans, and Co-enzyme Q10 — just to name a few.  For someone who has a severe distaste for green leafy vegetables and just cannot eat them, I recommend they take a green supplement like Complete Greens.  It will provide the benefits of eating the chlorophyll and vitamins and minerals that these vegetables provide, minus the taste.  These vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants cross-reference and benefit many systems in the body, so they shore up the immune system while detoxing the cells and cooling inflammation in the body.  This promotes the homeostasis your body seeks.

Aging begins in our 30s.[13] Taking high-quality supplements plays a key role in slowing down the breakdown, retarding aging, shoring up our immune system, and looking and feeling younger.  We lose 1% of collagen every year after the age of 30.  Thus it is important to supplement with collagen as well to keep our joints, skin, connective tissues, and organs healthy.  The collagen I like best is called liquid Bio-Cell and you can find more information about it here.

  Getting quality sleep, having healthy supportive relationships, and addressing stress without engaging in self-destructive behaviors is just as important to support your immune health as eating a nutrient-based diet and taking supplements.  Chronic sleep deprivation leads to, among other things, cognitive decline, weakened immunity, anxiety, stress, and obesity.[14]  Being around toxic people increases your stress levels and can lead to depression and isolation.  And “managing” stress by drinking or drugging your way through it, not only does it not solve your stress, it creates more stress from the problems associated with those self-destructive behaviors.  Exercise is a much better alternative to dealing with stress.  Chronic stress elevates your cortisol levels.  Having chronically elevated cortisol levels corrode your organs, damage your adrenals and opens the door to disease[15], including cancer[16].

Diet, high-quality absorbable supplements, adequate sleep, and stress management all play an important role in keeping our immune system strong.  Once you strengthen your immune system, it knows how to heal you and how to kill pathogens.  The human body has an innate and brilliant ability to heal, recover, and persevere.  It is up to us to provide the lifestyle and environment to empower our own immune system to heal us and take care of us.  Your best line of defense begins with YOU!

About the Author

Dina Arvanitakis is an attorney that is passionate about health and wellness and is an avid reader on nutrition and how it impacts and heals the human body.  As a naturopath, she blogs, educates, and coaches people on the innate wisdom of letting “food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” to help them live a more vibrant life. Her desire is to share her knowledge to help people make a positive difference in their lives.












[12] Black seed Cumin oil is a powerful anti inflammatory that has been studied for its anti-viral properties.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) black seed cumin oil has been shown to kill strains of the corona virus.  You can view the publication here:





Dina Arvanitakis
Dina is a certified functional medicine nutrition coach and author that is passionate about health and wellness. As a health advocate, she coaches clients on how to implement anti-aging techniques and weight-loss strategies and solutions so they can become their own powerful success stories. She believes that everyone can enjoy a healthy vibrant life once they are empowered with knowledge and the right tools to make effective changes in their lives. A healthy you is a FABULOUS you!