Your immune system is made up of millions of cells, tissues and organs that protect you from all types of foreign invaders that shouldn’t be in or around your body. When bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses and other nasties enter your body via your nose, mouth or eyes, in food, water, or air, or through sores or cracks on your skin, your immune system launches its defensive attack (the inflammatory response). White blood cells are able to engulf and destroy these abnormal cells, including cancer cells. It can also tell the difference between normal, healthy tissue and infected, mutated tissue, and then is able to mark and destroy the abnormality. Not only does your immune system fight off baddies, it also prevents your cells from deteriorating and mutating by protecting them from carcinogen attacks.
Cancer cells are not introduced into the body from an outside source. They are abnormal cells that once made up the body’s normal tissues. Virtually all malignant tumours have a single ancestral cell that mutated and changed into a cancerous cell at some point. Hundreds of cancer cells are formed in the body every day but this is normally not a problem as a strong immune system is well-equipped to destroy these mutated cells. However, if your body is overrun with carcinogens, or your immune system is weak or preoccupied taking care of other bits of the body, then cancer cells can sometimes slip through unnoticed and begin to divide and multiply. This is when problems start.
Simply put, there is a war going on inside your body every second of every day. Imagine your body is a country and there are baddies constantly attacking your country’s defences. If your army (your immune system) is strong it can protect the inhabitants (your organs) from these constant barrages. But if you don’t supply your army with the weapons it needs to fight off the baddies, or if there are too many baddies, they will overpower your army and break through your borders and plant their flags where they shouldn’t plant their flags.
Our diet plays a massive role in the strength of our immune system and how it behaves. So you can think of the food you eat as the weapons and fuel your army needs to keep the carcinogenic baddies at bay and your body running smoothly. By eating the right things you will keep your immune system well-nourished and supported, and it will be able to provide the defence you need to stay healthy.