7 Best Tips to Increase Immunity
As we know that some people get sick more frequently than others?
Even looking back on our own life, it may have happened that we do not get sick for a very long time and suddenly go through entire periods always cold or in bed with the flu.
It happens especially when the commitments they overlap and the stress increases in traffic , work and management of the life daily , making us more tired and vulnerable.
In these conditions it is normal for the immune system to have moments of failure and is less efficient .. but is it possible to strengthen it in some way?
What “forces” we can count on
The human immune system is something really complex that has developed over the course of the entire evolution and which, as we will see, is constantly changing.
Its job is to protect the body with a true and his team combat acting in different ways: from bacteria to viruses, fungi pests of all kinds, are in fact plenty of potential pathogens that can get us some damage.
Knowing how to protect ourselves differently depending on who attacks us is our great strength.
In fact, our health is protected by different levels of defense, which can be grouped into two large subsets: the innate immune system and the adaptive one.
The innate immune response is non-specific, that is, it acts indiscriminately against any pathogen in a short time and represents the first line of defense. This type of immunity is essential for maintaining homeostasis and preventing invasion of microbes.
The components of innate immunity include mechanical, chemical or biological barriers: skin, eyelashes, sweat, mucus, but also intestinal micro biota and stomach acid pH are all ways by which a sort of obstacle to external agents is created.
Cytokines, some types of antibodies and lymphocytes are also mechanisms that belong to the innate immune system.
Only vertebrates, on the other hand, possess the adaptive immune response, which acts in a more specific way against all those pathogens that also have the ability to adapt and evolve in a very short time.
The task of the immune system is not only to act against foreign elements, but also includes the elimination of old, damaged or altered cells present in our body, preventing proliferations that would be dangerous in the long run.
Immune system and age
With advancing age, numerous changes occur in the human body, including a certain reduction in the immune response capacity, with a consequent increase in the chances of getting sick and being a victim of often fatal infections.
The thesis is confirmed by the data: we are an “old” country , according to Istat , second only to Japan, but even if life expectancy has extended to about 83 years, the state of health stops on average around 60 years.
Not exactly reassuring data: it means that we live in a state of disease for a quarter of our existence.
The decline of the immune system with age is reflected in increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, poor response to vaccination, increased prevalence of cancer, autoimmune diseases and other chronic diseases.
Both innate and adaptive immune responses are affected by the aging process .
In addition, elderly individuals tend to have a low-grade chronic inflammatory state which often causes many age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and metabolic diseases.
And the state of nutrition can affect immunity of the elderly: older people tend to eat less and less variety, making it more likely a deficiency of micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macro nutrients (especially proteins), undermining efficiency of the production of all those components of the immune system that are based on these molecules.
When the immune system is weakened
When we accuse even simple symptoms such as redness, inflammation or pain it means that we are under attack : but even a simple fever is the signal that our defense system is already working.
In fact, fever is nothing more than the body’s way of protecting itself: many pathogens do not resist certain temperatures and raising the temperature of a few degrees in the body environment is the first tactic that the innate immune system puts in place and that also favors his speech.
When we experience a state of prolonged exhaustion & fatigue, or we easily become vulnerable to infections by bacteria or fungi (as within the case of candida or herpes).
It means our system is weakened which an intervention is required to try to to not risk getting sick and weakening ourselves an excessive amount of in some particular cases the immune system “goes crazy” and does not recognize cells that are actually healthy, attacking them and triggering autoimmune diseases: type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are just a few examples , and medical treatment is imperative.
The weapons at our disposal
For these type of situation, the immune defenses can be improved .
The same studies highlighting the links between decreased immune system function and old age have also seen how some individuals reach advanced ages without serious health problems, probably due to genetic and environmental factors.
So let’s go back to the initial question: can we do something to strengthen our immune system?
While we can do very little on the genetic component, in fact, following some basic principles that provide for a perfect combination of virtuous habits can help us make our defenses more efficient.
L ‘ physical activity in general and in particular a focused workout that stimulates skeletal and muscular system provides an additional defense against diseases and physical degeneration and reduces the incidence of depression and susceptibility to infectious diseases.
Eliminate the stress
Reducing stress is advice that is given in many circumstances, it is also often considered a trigger for illness situations due to the collapse of the immune system. You can therefore try to adopt good habits that allow you to live better, not underestimating, for example, the power of relationships and a positive attitude towards life.
Relaxation techniques or a few minutes of daily meditation to increase self-awareness can make a huge difference if practiced consistently.
Take care of hygiene
When it is cold periods it is easier for people to stay closed in closed, poorly ventilated areas for a long time.
Simple steps like washing your hands or airing the rooms could make the difference between a day of health or flu.
Rest is very essential to help recover the lost energy. Sleep and immunity are very much connected: activation of the immune system alters sleep, and sleep in turn affects our body’s defense system.
A good night’s recovery is associated with a reduced risk of infection and may improve the outcome of infection and vaccination responses, while prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with various diseases that have a component inflammatory, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and neuro degeneration.
Cultivate social relationships
To achieve this, we as humans need to improve not only our metabolic health, but also our psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and social .
In fact, in many studies the lack of social connections is now considered a high risk factor in specific phases of life, like physical inactivity or hypertension.
It integrates vitamins and minerals
A common place that for once is true about the antioxidant power and strengthening the immune system with vitamin C.
Another vitamin to be taken into special consideration for a possible supplementation is vitamin D. It is advisable to take a vitamin D supplement in the fall, when there is little sun and this vitamin cannot be produced because there is no exposure of the skin to sunlight.
It would therefore be useful, on the advice of your doctor, to resort to a vitamin D and vitamin C supplement during the period in which the flu is more wide spread, or better to use low-dose and broad-spectrum multivitamin supplements throughout the year.
Improve your diet
Integrating without having a good food base is of little use: the consumption of fruit and vegetables in each of the 3 main meals is very important, in at least 5 daily portions.
For example, a good amount of vitamin C is found not only in citrus fruits, but also in kiwis, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and chicory, broccoli, cabbage, pineapple, tomatoes and peppers.
There are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods that are particularly protective against fevers: some examples are garlic, unsweetened green tea, or spices such as turmeric and cinnamon that strengthen the system. immune and also have positive effects on health in general.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
This would be the only basic principle for strengthening the immune system because it encompasses all the above. A healthy lifestyle requires more nutrition and the adoption of virtuous habits.
Finally, it eliminates smoking and alcohol: as regards smoking, it is confirmed that nicotine reduces the beneficial action of vitamin C; the same goes for alcohol, which lowers the immune system, so you should never exceed the amount of one glass of wine a day for women and two for men.