Immunity is our primary defense against colds and viral threats during cold and flu season. There are all sorts of ways to strengthen it, but it must be understood that the immune system needs to be strengthened throughout the year. Immunity is our body’s defense system against something foreign that is dangerous to us. The defense reaction begins from the moment when the enemy “agent” is recognized, then it is eliminated and the negative traces of this infection in the body are eliminated. In the structure of immunity, 2 types are distinguished: innate and acquired. Innate immunity acts immediately. Its soldiers: phagocytes, interferons, inflammatory mediators. As soon as the enemy is seen, it is destroyed. Acquired immunity is more complex. So, in the memory of acquired immunity there is a whole list of our “enemies”.
Special organs are responsible for the production of cells involved in the defense of the organism. These are the thymus gland (or thymus) and the bone marrow. In them, cell maturation and selection occur. And the initiation of these processes is helped by the lymph nodes located in the large joints (shoulder, elbow, knee, hip) and neck. In addition, immunity depends on the intestinal microflora. It is believed that 70% of the immune system is located there. The task of this area is to recognize dangerous particles that enter the oral cavity, neutralize them and let the less dangerous ones pass so that the body reacts and develops protective cells.
Additionally, immunity can be boosted by taking various vitamins in concentrated amounts. In this article, you will discover supplements to boost your immune system.
What weakens our immunity?
Immunity is affected by several factors, such as lack of sleep, poor diet, constant stress, being indoors and not being physically active. Excessive physical activity also harms the body’s defences.
A sufficient amount of vitamin D in the body ensures an adequate response of immune cells to viruses, physical stimuli and bacteria. In Latvian latitudes, the majority of Latvian residents are deficient in vitamin D. Therefore, during the winter months, everyone is recommended to check their blood level of vitamin D. If this is not enough, vitamin D must be taken with food supplements to ensure the proper functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin C must be taken daily because it is not produced by the body. It is recommended to take 1000-2000 mg of vitamin C daily. Don’t be afraid to overindulge in vitamin C, as this vitamin is water soluble and is quickly eliminated from the body. This vitamin has a beneficial effect on metabolic processes, strengthens the immune system, and also promotes collagen synthesis, an important process for joints, tendons and skin. Vitamin C also protects cells from free radicals, promotes wound healing and strengthens blood vessel walls. It is also involved in the absorption of various minerals like iron.
Like vitamin C, it is a water-soluble vitamin that must be taken daily. This vitamin contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system by participating in the body’s biochemical reactions.
A very powerful antioxidant that protects cells in the body (including immune cells), this vitamin is essential for boosting immunity.
Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics are a system of microflora in the body and are directly related to processes that occur in the body since immunity begins in the intestines. These are bacteria that produce active substances to support the immune system and prevent the reproduction of disease-causing pathogens. Probiotics also provide a healthy intestinal mucosa for the absorption of active substances and vitamins needed by the body. Probiotics are recommended as a preventive measure to strengthen immunity in the form of a cure: 2-3 weeks. It is also advisable to take them after taking antibiotics, as antibiotics kill both bad and good bacteria.
Prebiotics are the fiber that ensures the regeneration and nutrition of the microflora. It is advisable to take them daily to ensure the active action of the probiotics.
Immunity can be enhanced by various homeopathic and phytotherapeutic remedies (various tea complexes). They can be used prophylactically, as well as in the early stages of the disease, to relieve and shorten the disease.
How to boost immunity?
Boosting the immune system can be complex. Reinforcement measures include:
1) Correction of lifestyle and nutrition;
2) Take steps to maintain and strengthen immunity.
Moderate exercise is important at any age. With its help, we maintain normal body weight. Normal body weight is the basis of strong immunity. Aerobic activities such as light running, walking, and cycling reduce the risk of seasonal illnesses by almost half. There are studies proving the positive effect of physical activity on the intestinal microflora.
The emotional state directly affects our immune system. With a long predominance of any emotional reaction, the immune system is exhausted and weakened. Constant stress, long-term aggression or anger, depression, and even long-term social isolation cause chronic diseases to exacerbate and increase the risk of contracting new diseases. And vice versa – positive emotions and hobbies (meditation, needlework, watching funny and nice movies) can help the body cope with infections faster.