An intact immune system is the best protection to protect against bacteria and viruses. Without our immune system, we would be at the mercy of any pathogen. The current coronavirus also has fewer chances if you have a strong immune system.
Immune system simply explained
The tasks of the immune system can be divided into three areas:
1. Detecting pathogens
2. Fighting pathogens
3. Protect the body from morbidly altered cells.
The whole organism is involved in the immune system. These include organs, white blood cells and mucous membranes.
The immune system consists of a non-specific and a specific part. The non-specific defense is active from birth and forms the first front to defend against intruders with their so-called “killer cells”. These are designed to prevent viruses or other strangers from entering the body. They are trying to absorb and destroy an intruder. In addition, the body has a kind of protective wall through the skin, hairs and mucous membranes.
The specific defense only develops during the fight against an intruder in the body. The specific defense is the white blood cells. The immune system remembers the pathogens and can then react to them again and again during life. Sometimes pathogens cannot be directly recognized by the body as such. The specific part of the immune system marks these pathogens so that the killer cells can recognize it and render it harmless.
There are several ways you can support your immune system in its work.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Diet has a huge impact on our immune system. One of the positive effects is a healthy intestinal flora, which is absolutely necessary for the defenses, since many immune cells are located in the intestine. In addition, some vitamins and minerals are particularly valuable in this respect. These include vitamin C, zinc and selenium. Zinc is an important trace element. It controls several enzymes in the body, influences various metabolic processes and reduces metabolic stress. For example, there is plenty of vitamin C in citrus and broccoli. Ginger also has a positive effect.
In addition to solid food, a sufficient supply of liquid is very important. You should eat enough water every day. This prevents the nasal and throat from drying out, thus maintaining a natural barrier against the intrusion of viruses.
Alcohol and cigarettes have a negative effect on your immune system. Alcohol consumption disables important parts of the immune system for up to 24 hours. Smoking reduces the number of antibodies in the blood. You should give up these stimulants as far as possible, for the sake of your health. Too much sugar can also affect the ability of white blood cells to ward off viruses and other invaders, as the concentration of the important vitamin C in the body is reduced. A healthy diet is therefore also advisable with regard to sugar consumption.
THE BENEFICIAL EFFECT OF THE SUN
Vitamin D occupies a special position among vitamins. This can only be absorbed to a limited extent by food, but only by solar radiation. Strictly speaking, vitamin D is not a real vitamin, but the precursor to a hormone that mobilizes the body’s defenses. Therefore, you should go for a regular walk, or stay on the balcony or in the garden to soak up some sun.
FRESH AIR IS IMPORTANT
This applies both to regular going out and to airing in the apartment. A few minutes of shock ventilation already leads to a healthy air exchange. Also, take regular walks and keep your circulation going. At the current pandemic, it is best to choose quiet, under-lived paths to minimize the risk of infection. If you have a garden, you can also represent your legs here on safe terrain.
Exercise generally has a positive effect on the immune system. For many sports you do not need to leave your apartment at all. For example, you can do great yoga, gymnastics or strength exercises at home. You can even use household goods, such as a water bottle, to help. You can find more about this topic in our article Fit in your own four walls. However, make sure that sport and recreation strike a balance.
AVOID STRESS AND LACK OF SLEEP
You should sleep 8 hours a night to be rested and fit for the day. During sleep, the body releases a lot of immune substances that strengthen the defenses. In addition to healthy sleep, it is also important to avoid other stress such as work related stress or even the broad mites that are affecting your plants. The body’s own stress hormones, such as adrenaline, temporarily overload the organism and the number of immune cells decreases. If you add enough relaxation to your everyday life, the body will have more energy left over for the immune system. Stress in old age is a very underestimated issue.