Today we want to give you a more global vision of everything that affects you and how to improve the immune system, and it is that the Western lifestyle harms our immunity through several factors, which makes us more vulnerable to infections such as the Covid-19.
With this we want to make you aware that a bottle with vitamins is enough for us, food supplements are just that, supplements, and although they can help you, the most convenient thing is that you incorporate the necessary changes to improve your habits and with it your defences and quality of life.
This way you will not only be more effective “fighting” against pathogens such as coronavirus, but you will prevent many more diseases: heart, neurodegenerative, rheumatic, digestive … Don’t you think it’s worth it? Today we are going to focus on how to improve the immune system , you will see that its importance goes far beyond the prevention of infections.
What Is The Immune System?
To begin with, let’s define in a simple way what immunity is: “The set of biological elements and biochemical reactions that protect us against potential external or internal damage .”
This means that just as it must defend ourselves against viral or bacterial infections, it must also do so against blows, burns, cancer cells … but there is something else, and that is that the immune system is largely concerned with the regeneration processes of tissues, so it is also key to avoid degenerative pathologies, such as osteoarthritis.
But before entering to develop how to improve the immune system, it is interesting to also know that immunity develops fundamentally up to 7 years, and in this process, it has a decisive influence:
- The type of birth: delivery or cesarean section
- Breastfeeding time
- The gut microbiota
- Consumption of antibiotics
- Use of other drugs, such as corticosteroids
- Contact with microorganisms
After this stage of development, we have to keep our immune system in the best possible conditions, and that is not achieved only with mandarins and orange juice. What more would we like! Because although we have already told you that vitamin C is important to protect ourselves against viruses, many other issues affect it.
What Influences Our Defences?
- We are going to discover how to improve the immune system, so that these weeks of isolation due to the coronavirus are especially present, although, in reality, you should take them into account every day:
- Stress management
Actually we could say that these are the 4 pillars of health, as the 4 legs of a chair. They are all important, and if one fails us… we go to the ground, that is, sooner or later we get sick.
Now let’s delve into each of them to understand how to improve our immunity. Step by Step:
1. Nutritional Status
The nutritional state is decisive so that our defences are alert, in addition to the vitamins we were talking about the other day, there are 3 outstanding minerals that you cannot miss:
All 3 are involved in very important functions in “the part” of the immune system that fights viruses. Zinc can be found in abundance in meats and molluscs, as well as selenium, which is also in great quantity in oily fish such as tuna, and in some nuts, especially Brazil nuts.
In any case, I would like to emphasize iron, which is so common in its deficiency, even more so among women.
I remind you that iron is found mainly in meats, followed by molluscs, such as mussels or cockles, and also in fish, so it is recommended to include at least one serving of some food from this group daily. Keep in mind that, in addition, all of them are a source of complete proteins, so you win twice
The strength of your defences does not depend only on some vitamins
2. Stress Management
This widespread evil today is probably the greatest handicap for a strong immune system. When we are stressed, we produce cortisol, a hormone with great immunosuppressive activity, that is, it lowers our defences.
Think that stress is not only caused by work or an argument, frequent rush, fatigue, very intense exercise or fear, are other forms of stress.
To reduce it, dedicate time to leisure, cultivate relaxing hobbies such as yoga, practice mindfulness (mindfulness techniques), go for a walk, read, laugh a lot … I leave you one of our articles on simple yoga exercises, they can surely help you. In any case, whatever your strategy, relax!
Relaxing practices like yoga can help you strengthen your immune system
3. The Dream
We live in one of the European countries where sleep is fewer hours, and it seems that sleep is not valued. Well, let me tell you that during the hours of night sleep is when the immune system is most active, and what does this translate into? Well, in those hours it fights more effectively against pathogens and is also capable of regenerating our tissues much better.
In fact, if we don’t get enough sleep, inflammation in the body increases, and we are more susceptible to a multitude of diseases, from viral infections to some tumours.
Therefore, try to sleep at least the recommended minimum 7 hours, and avoid the use of screens at least one hour before going to bed to facilitate conciliation, as their use greatly affects the sleep cycle.
Moderate exercise practised frequently improves our defences. For that, you do not have to, necessarily, join the gym. Actually staying active is enough: walk a lot, go up and downstairs, dance, do exercises at home, even if they are few and easy, start with what you can.
The body is very grateful and any form of physical activity is beneficial, in these weeks when it is recommended to be at home, it is very important that you move as much as you can.
Also, keep in mind that with exercise you can go overboard. In a society as sedentary as today this message is probably secondary, but this also happens. Very intense physical exercise, or without enough rest, increases cortisol. Do you remember? It is the stress hormone, which is capable of immunosuppressing you, therefore, everything in its proper measure!
With this, you already have all the keys to improving your defences, either to defeat the coronavirus, to better regenerate your tissues or to detect and destroy tumour cells more effectively. Because for all that and more! Serve your immune system.