The thymus is a vital organ for the proper development of the immune system of newborns. With the immune system compromised, newborns with a dysfunctional or non-working thymus are prone to infections and disease. As you age, the thymus reduces in size and becomes weaker. At this point, your immune system should be fully developed and strong, but as you enter your old age the decline of the thymus and other organs results in a less efficient immune system. However, the reduction is not as severe as that experienced in newborns. There are several steps you can take to improve the functioning of your thymus and strengthen your immune system.
Consume dietary supplements like echinacea, rosehips and olive leaf. These supplements can be found in capsular form and have been linked to a strengthening of the immune system and improved thymus health.
Eat five to seven servings of vegetables each day, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. These veggies contain glucosinolates, which fight cancer and other cellular abnormalities and can help to protect and enhance your thymus.
Consume foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E or those that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants will search the thymus cell for damaging free radicals that can suppress normal functioning of thymus cells.
Exercise daily to ensure blood circulates throughout the body and the thymus. The increased blood flow will ensure that thymus waste products are removed promptly and do not cause damage to the thymus. Furthermore, key nutrients will be shuttled around the body more rapidly, allowing quicker recovery to take place.
According to Dr. Jeff Migdow, yoga exercises are particularly beneficial for improved thymus functioning. You may want to seek a trained yoga professional to learn specific poses that help open up the chest and neck area for the thymus.
Before consuming any supplements, changing your diet or exercise pattern, consult your doctor to ensure that these measures are safe for you. Changing your daily routine may interfere with medications you may be taking, so consultation with your doctor is vital in preventing adverse reactions to changes.
- University of Illoniois - Champaign: Thymus
- Britannica.com: Thymus (gland)
- TreeLite.com: Improving Thymus Function - Building the Body's Immune Regulating Gland
- Linus Pauling Institute: Cruciferous Vegetables
- Patients for Alternative Medicine: The Thymus Gland: Foundation for Immunity
- YogaSite.com: Balancing the Immune System with Yoga