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    Know Yourself Blog

    Can eating an apple every day really help your immune system? Or, is the saying simply an old wives’ tale?  The answer might not be as simple as you think.  Apples contain vitamin C, which research shows can reduce your overall likelihood of getting sick, and can also make your symptoms less severe if you do come down with something. 
    Your immune system protects your most important resource: you! And its defenses are formidable: harmful invaders like bacteria, viruses, or parasites have to get through several complex layers of protection to do their damage. Not only do they have to breach physical and chemical barriers, they’ve got to dodge front-line cells and evade tools specially trained to seek and destroy them. The three lines of defense are barrier defenses, the innate immune system, and the adaptive immune system.
    Hey there, Adventurers. Today you’ve injected me with some great questions! I’m thrilled to return the favor and you with answers! As a skeleton, I don't have any muscle tissue or bloodstreams to receive a vaccine through, so while I may not understand your experience getting a shot, I can tell you all about them anyway! I am Dr. B, after all. I also don’t have a nose, so I can’t pick it like some of you do (c’mon, be honest!). But, I can tell you all about your favorite topic - loogies, boogies, nose gold... what else do the kids call it these days? Ah! Yes! Boogers! Snot! You might think they’re gross, but boogers and snot actually play really important roles in keeping us healthy.
    Aaaahhh-choo! We’ve all had a cold or flu before, but have you ever seen the virus that makes you feel so sick? Turns out, viruses are so tiny that we can only see them under a powerful microscope—they’re nearly 4000 times smaller than a grain of salt! That’s hard to imagine, but we can make a model of an influenza virus to see what it might look like if it were much larger.
    Try the activity below to see how fiber pulls in water inside of your intestines to begin forming a gel that supports digestion. Psyllium husk is made of mostly fiber - just two tablespoons contain 10 grams of fiber! To get that amount of fiber in your diet, you would have to eat almost 3 cups of brown rice, 5 large carrots, or 2 whole apples. 
    We eat every day, but how often do we stop to think about how that process happens? The answers lie in your digestive system! Your digestive system works with many parts to break down what you eat. Through the digestive process, your body absorbs needed nutrients from your food and gets rid of excess waste and any indigestible parts of whatever you have eaten.  To gain a bigger picture of how it all works, it might help to follow your food! 
    Macronutrients are what we call the chemical compounds that make up the foods we eat. You’ve probably heard of them before - the major macronutrients are carbohydrates ( “carbs”), proteins, and fats. Along with micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and water, macronutrients provide the energy we need to live and grow.
    Welcome back, Adventurers! Are you ready to digestsome knowledge? The digestive system is responsible for powering your daily activities. It does this by absorbing nutrients from your food and removing waste through excretion. The digestive system is a BIG deal - literally! If you laid an adult’s small intestine out in a straight line, it would measure around 20 feet in length.