Determined to live long and healthy lives, we go to war against germs and viruses that can jeopardize our health and well-being. But how often do we consider creating a balance between battling toxins and building immunity?

To destroy biological invaders in your body, you might take antibiotics or other medications that can have strong side effects. Uncomfortable though you may be with the gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches, or other symptoms of a war being waged within you, you might be so focused on getting well again that you forget to consider how those toxins and bacteria entered your system in the first place. How did they come to find sanctuary within you?

You can’t eradicate every germ, virus, or bacteria toxin that enters your body. However, you might be able to stop them from moving in and putting their feet up on the coffee table, so to speak. You might build our immunity so that your system can kill them off quickly.

Eating large quantities of sugar, whether as sweets or processed flour in breads and cereals, can weaken your ability to maintain strong immunity. Indulging in these carbohydrates can cause you to lay out a banquet for yeast and bacteria to feed upon. Then you battle infections or struggle with your weight. But much of that fighting would not be necessary if you were willing to avoid these foods and do a better job building and maintaining a strong immune system.

Building immunity requires taking in fewer foods that your system has trouble processing and getting rid of while favoring foods that support a healthy system. Green, leafy vegetables, healthy sources of proteins such as nuts and seeds, and fermented foods are all known to support strong immunity. Adding these foods to your diets can help you to be prepared for the inevitable invasion of toxins and battles necessary for your health. If you lie to yourself about what you are consuming, you get stuck having to wage unnecessary wars and wishing your immune systems were stronger. Illness and even disease can result.

Your bodies has cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, and even toxic manmade chemicals within it that will threaten your health if you are not vigilant. You can tolerate a certain amount of assaults against your natural state of health. Too many attacks and your body can’t keep up the fight. Building your immunity gives your body more power to wage important battles. You can choose to keep your body in better shape for overpowering a virus quickly, or healing an infection that begins to develop.

As you think about your own body’s fitness for battle, think about how prepared you are for doing the hard work of maintaining your health and well-being. Do you work at it daily or wait for something to go wrong? Do you build your immunity or do you eat as you please until symptoms of a problem show up, or a medical test reveals a health problem?

If you consciously choose to find a balance between doing battle and building immunity, you will find it easier to stay healthy. Be honest with yourself about whether your eating habits prevent you from achieving that balance and set you up for all-out, exhausting wars against bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and manmade toxins. If that is the case, how might you make sure you eat more foods that boost your immunity? Could you find substitute foods that would give you the strength to fight threats to your body while limiting how inviting your body is to these biological foes?

As you consider building your immunity, remember that every warrior needs rest and restoration. Your immune system can be the home base from which those rare wars are waged—if you are willing to change the story of your health and alter your health habits.