Colder days are coming and with them various viruses and flu, read this text to protect yourself in time.
What is the immune system?The immune system is a system of many biological structures that protect the body from various diseases. In order to work properly, the immune system must detect a wide range of pathogens from parasites, viruses, etc. and distinguish them from healthy tissues in the body.
How does the immune system work?
- Creating a barrier that prevents bacteria and viruses from entering your body.
- Detecting and eliminating bacteria and viruses that manage to enter the body before they have a chance to multiply.
- Eliminating viruses or bacteria that have multiplied enough to start causing problems.
- Finding cancerous (or other unwanted) cells and eliminating them.
The most obvious parts of the immune system are easily visible obstacles - skin, eyes, nose and mouth. The skin is firm and resistant to bacteria and secretes antibacterial substances. Tears and mucus contain an enzyme that destroys the cell walls of many bacteria. Saliva also has antibacterial properties. And if some microbes pass saliva, the next level of defense is stomach acid.Most bacteria and viruses do not cross the body's first line of defense, but some succeed, and once they are in the body, the immune system fights them at another level - the level of confrontation and victory. For most people, viral and bacterial infections are the most common causes of the disease. They generally last until the body becomes immune to certain microbes and recovers.
Now we will talk about things that improve and destroy the immune system.
Foods and habits that destroy the immune system:
Sugar has been blackened by a health organization for a very good reason - it does not contain nutrients, and it is also associated with tooth decay and a negative impact on the brain. Susan Levin, director of nutrition education at the Medical Committee for Responsible Medicine, says high blood sugar levels significantly reduce the ability of white blood cells to fight viruses and bacteria. Susan Levin states that during the flu and cold season, it is advisable to avoid refined and processed foods due to their high sugar content.
These are products such as candies, biscuits, carbonated juices and other processed foods. However, that may be easier said than done - the American Heart Association states that Americans consume an average of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. In Europe, the situation is somewhat better. To successfully avoid sugar, choose foods rich in fiber such as brown rice that will regulate sugar levels in the body and keep the immune system under control.
Simple carbohydrates contribute greatly to increased sugar intake.
The average person is literally 'drowning' in sugar. "Refined cereals and bread are very quickly converted into glucose when digesting food," says clinical nutritionist Katie Swift. However, does that mean we should give up flakes and toast for breakfast? Super foods like millet, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth are also available in the form of bread and breakfast cereals. Another great breakfast option that will boost immunity are oatmeal with bananas, cinnamon and almond milk.
Too little sleep.
You may have noticed that you are more susceptible to colds and various infections when you do not get enough sleep. Many studies have shown that people who get enough sleep at night have better immunity than those people who do not get enough sleep. Insufficient amount of sleep leads to increased secretion of stress hormones (cortisol).What can lead to infections in your body Although scientists are not sure at this time exactly how much sleep leads to increased immunity, it is clear that 7 to 9 hours of sleep for an adult is the key to a healthy body.
You don't have enough physical activity.
Try to train for at least 30 minutes a day, this can help your immune system fight infections.
If you don't exercise regularly, you're much more likely to get the virus, the flu, than people who play sports. Exercising in the gym also forces the body to release the hormones of happiness (serotonin) and pleasure hormones (dopamine) these hormones can help you sleep better. And they're also good for your immune system.
Your diet is bad.
Eating or drinking too much sugar weakens the cells of the immune system that attack the bacteria. Our recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables, because they are rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, beta carotene and zinc. Eat as many different fruits and vegetables as possible, especially seasonal ones. Our recommendations are: various berries, citrus fruits, kiwis, apples, black grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, sauerkraut and shiitake mushrooms that increase the ability to defend the immune system
You are always stressed.
Each of us is under some amount of stress, it’s a part of life. But if you are under stress for a long time or if you are depressed it can lead you to susceptibility to various infections or even serious illnesses. Chronic stress exposes your body to the secretion of stress hormones that suppress the immune system.
You may not be able to get rid of stress and negative feelings and thoughts, but you can certainly reduce them with the following methods:
Learn to meditate.
- Enjoy the little things.
- Connect with other people.
- Work out in the gym to get rid of negative energy.
Stress relief reduces stress hormone levels (cortisol). Which helps you sleep better, which improves your immune system.
People who meditate have a healthier immune system, many studies have shown. In one study, people who meditated for 8 weeks had more antibodies than those who were vaccinated but did not meditate.
Don't take probiotics.
Probiotics are "good bacteria" that serve to regulate the intestinal flora in diarrhea, to strengthen the body's defenses, when using antibiotics (to prevent disruption of the normal intestinal flora), intestinal candidiasis. to reduce the occurrence of atopic eczema in children, in traveler's diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (stomach pain, bloating, indigestion), infectious intestinal diseases, ulcerative colitis. Recent research suggests that probiotics also strengthen the body's defenses, although the mechanism of this action has not yet been fully elucidated.
Types of probiotics:
The most commonly used probiotics are different species of the genus Bifidobacterium (normal colon inhabitants, 30 species isolated) and Lactobacillus (normal inhabitants) intestines and vagina, isolated 56 species) such as:
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Bifidobacterium infantis
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus GG
Other species : Lactococcus, Saccharomyces (probiotic yeast), Enterococcus Yogurt bacteria, but without probiotic effect:
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Streptococcus thermophilus
Lactic acid bacteria have long been used in the food industry, due to their ability to convert sugars (including lactose) and other carbohydrates into lactic acid. They enable not only the fermentation process but also the preservation of food, lowering the PH and preventing bacterial growth. Lactic acid bacteria are used in the traditional preparation of yogurt, kefir, cheese, sausages and sauerkraut>, so these fermented foods are valuable sources of these bacteria, although they often do not have a proven probiotic effect. Today, there is a range of probiotic preparations on the market (bacteria in dry frozen form) in the form of powders, capsules, tablets and in liquid form . Capsules are thought to be more effective than tablets because they better protect bacteria from stomach acid. Probotics can be bought in doctors and are not prescribed by a doctor.
You don't drink enough water.
It is recommended that you drink 3-4 liters of water a day to get rid of all toxins from your body.
You do not take multivitamin-multimineral supplements.
It is simply impossible to take all the micronutrients from food, so there are these supplements that will allow you to more easily take in essential vitamins and minerals that we mentioned earlier.