The immune system is sometimes up and sometimes down with many vaccines, viruses, and respiratory infections. Often lately, this one has been mentioned. It is not for less, and it is the body’s mechanism to deal with the external microorganisms that manage to break into it.
Suppose we join the coolest months of the year to the COVID-19 pandemic and look for the appropriate vaccine. In that case, assured the priority: we want to ensure that our antibodies and the “machinery” that creates them are in good shape when needed to get into action. Now, is there anything we can do to strengthen your immune system? Yes: as in almost everything, follow healthy lifestyle habits.
Yes, there are different ways to get our immune system to reach its highest performance levels, all of them at the scope of our hands and with a very low cost, according to our preferences.
And how do we do it? The recommendations to keep our immune system in good condition are the same. We have to consider good health in general and to have healthy lifestyles.
A small advance to strengthen you immune system:
- Having the recommended vaccines up to date.
- Exercising regularly, following a balanced diet.
- Sleeping between 7 and 8 hours per day.
- Putting aside prolonged stress situations.
- Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol are the habits that science points out as possible allies of our immune system.
Strengthen You Immune System
A vaccine is a drug intended to generate acquired immunity against a disease. To achieve this, it stimulates the production of antibodies. These proteins recognize foreign substances that the body considers, such as viruses, bacteria, or toxins, and neutralize them, preventing us from getting sick.
By introducing an antigen such as a virus or bacteria deactivated through a vaccine into our body, the immune system acts as if it were alive and arms itself against it.
In this way, the individual gets protection. Before a second infection, which can be with the virus or bacteria already ‘alive,’ recognizes it before and ends with it.
A simple and cheap gesture, having all the recommended vaccines up to date. It is an excellent way to train our ‘soldiers’ against a series of pathogens that we will not have to worry about again.
Exercise Moderately And Regularly
We are not going to discover America if we repeat that physical activity is related to numerous health benefits,’ including the proper functioning of the immune system. Choosing a sport that you like and practicing it several times a week in a sensible way is highly recommended.
Many studies show that exercising is a strengthen your immune system. We have seen that the distribution of ‘warriors’ in the body increases, causing them to reach more places in our bodies. And, therefore, have greater opportunities to fight against the invaders. It also reduces systemic inflammation or even increases the response to vaccination in older people.
Experts are currently conducting studies on the relationship between physical exercise and the aging of the immune system. In the words of the expert, it seems that the first could delay the malfunction of antibodies associated with age. The reasons why physical exercise produces all these responses are not entirely clear.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Diet is another factor that influences both a healthy life and the fine-tuning of the immune system. A good diet for this is a complete and varied diet: legumes, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products, and pasta. It is also important to avoid excess sweets and ready-made fast food.
It comprises warriors and soldiers who have many different functions: patrol our bodies searching for invaders, kill them, produce antibodies, and repair damaged tissues. To carry out all these tasks, and like any other, Another cell in our body, raw materials are required: from fats to build cell membranes, to proteins to make antibodies, sugars as a source of energy, and vitamins and minerals to reach an optimal state of function.
A balanced diet can provide all the nutrients and obtain those necessary raw materials so that soldiers and warriors can act in the best possible way.
No, Superfoods Do Not Exist, Not Even About The Immune System
No single food or ‘superfood’ contains all the resources that antibodies need to be effective; neither are aloe vera, baobab fruit, or laurel. Using the concept of ‘superfood’ shows that you are only pursuing a marketing purpose. Since it reduces a complex immune system to a simple and easy concept in which a simple action can modify everything.
We must know that specific dietary patterns can better prepare the body for microbial attacks and excess inflammation. However, foods that individuals are offering special protection are unlikely.
Diets are limited in quality and low in nutrients, such as those consisting essentially of ultra-processed foods. And a lack of minimally processed foods can negatively affect a healthy immune system. They also believe that a Western diet is rich in refined sugar and red meat. Also, note that it is low in fruits and vegetables can promote disturbances in healthy gut microorganisms. It results in chronic inflammation of the gut and associated suppressed immunity.
Getting enough sleep (and getting a good night’s sleep) is also an essential variable for the immune system to do its best. According to CDC, Studies show that lack of sleep can affect different parts of the immune system and develop various disorders.
The recommendations regarding sleep from the Harvard School of Public Health stressed the need to maintain a schedule, wake up, and go to bed at approximately the same time every day.
Our body clock regulates the sensation of drowsiness and restlessness. So having a regular sleep schedule maintains a balanced circadian rhythm to enter deeper and more restful sleep.
Avoid Stressful Situations, Alcohol, And Tobacco
Suppose we start from the case of a person with an intact immune system. In that case, some of the situations that will negatively modify the function of their antibodies are, without a doubt, smoking, drinking alcohol, and stress.
The expert emphasizes that the latter is a great enemy of our defenses, especially if maintained on a chronic basis. It causes an increase in cortisol in our blood, which suppresses the immune system.
Experts also point out the importance of managing stress. Although easier to say than done, try to find some healthy strategies. They work well for you and your lifestyle, whether it’s exercise, meditation, a particular hobby, or talking to a trusted friend. Another tip is to practice breathing mindful and regular throughout the day and when feelings of stress arise. It doesn’t have to be long, and even a few breaths can help.
Smoke, due to tobacco, contains more than 7,000 chemical components, many of which can interfere with the immune system, according to the CDC. If they do it and it doesn’t work efficiently, it’s easier for us to get sick. Some pathologies that can worsen in people who smoke regularly are viral and bacterial infections, especially those that affect the lungs.
On the other hand, alcohol exposure, particularly chronic consumption, affects all aspects of the body’s immune response. Both are innate, made up of the mechanisms existing before the infection develops, which produce rapid responses to microorganisms and adaptive, stimulated after exposure to infectious agents.
The scientific evidence indicates that these effects can affect the body’s defenses against many pathogens, including viruses and bacteria, and self-harm and affect tissues and organs throughout the body.
Although the solution seems very simple to avoid or minimize alcohol and tobacco intake, it eliminates stress. Putting it into practice can make it more complicated due to the lifestyle associated with our times. However, if such decisions are maintained, they will have a very positive impact on the future.
Don’t Trust Supplements
With supplements in healthy individuals, whatever kind they may be, the same thing happens with superfoods. It is an assumption that taking one will affect the entire immune system. Particularly forgetting that it is a combination of many cells with very disparate functions: what could be adequate for some may not be enough for others. If we read somewhere that ‘this supplement or this other product strengthen your immune system,’ be suspicious.
Since the immune system is very complex, taking a single supplement or food will not benefit all its protagonists: various elements must work properly.
There is a lot of reliable, scientific information, reviewed by researchers from all over the world, scientific societies, which we can access to ask our doubts, recalls the expert. On many occasions, supplements or ‘superfoods’ will not create any problem, except spending our money on a placebo effect. However, there are other situations in which certain products can become dangerous.
What To Do When Faced With A Health Problem That Affects The Immune System?
So far, we have covered what does and does not help those who do not have diagnosed problems in their immune system. If this does not work well due to a pathology, you have to go to the doctor. He will be the one to indicate the appropriate treatment and confirm if it is due to a transitory situation. It is like, living a specific moment of stress, or if it is advisable, to change habits and bet on a healthier routine.
The expert exposes her conclusion and recommendation: practice healthy lifestyle habits from childhood to maintain them throughout our lives until old age. Thus, even if our immune system is more “exhausted,” if we have taken care of it, it will be able to continue protecting us.