In these times, when different viruses and diseases diverge, we must take care of our immune system. It will make us more resilient and less prone to getting sick, but at the same time, we will be getting well sooner. Let us provide body hygiene from the inside out and say no to viruses.
The immune system restores tissue after damage and serves to protect the body against potential pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In some cases, immune system suppression (immunodepression) can occur, which increases the body’s vulnerability to infection. Multiple types of stress, like heavyweight training or running, can cause immunodepression in athletes, leading to an increased risk of disease, especially of the upper respiratory tract. Nutritional deficiencies also weaken the immune system.
Immune system functions and cellular components
The immune system recognizes, attacks and destroys substances that are foreign to the body. The immune system has two broad features: nonspecific immunity, which is natural and adaptive, and specific immunity, which is acquired. They work synergistically.
What happens when we get infected?
If an infectious agent enters the body, nonspecific immunity is immediately triggered. The first line of defense restricts the entry of microorganisms into the body:
- physical or structural barriers (skin, epithelial cells, mucous secretions);
- chemical barriers (pH of body fluids and soluble factors);
- phagocytic cells (neutrophils and macrophages or monocytes).
Nonspecific immunity failure and subsequent infection activate an adaptive system that helps cure the disease. It is also aided by specific T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes, to which receptors bind, which recognize foreign molecules (antigens) in the body. These cells have a “memory,” so a subsequent infection triggers an even more potent immune response.
Main components of the immune system
The components of the immune system are composed of both cellular and soluble elements, whether they are nonspecific or specific immunity.
- Nonspecific immunity:
- cellular components: natural killer cells, phagocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, macrophages)
- soluble components: acute-phase proteins, complement, lysozyme, cytokines
- specific immunity
- cellular components: T-cells, B-cells
- soluble components: immunoglobulins (IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, IgM)
Blood cells are composed of plasma, which is the liquid part of the blood and makes up 55% of blood cell tissue. The other 45% consists of;
- Red blood cells; erythrocytes
- White blood cells; leukocytes
- Platelets; thrombocytes
There are fewer leukocytes in the blood than erythrocytes. The increased number of leukocytes in the blood is called leukocytosis. Leukocytes are produced like all blood cells in the bone marrow, but they work in tissues, so blood is only a way of transporting them. They pass from the blood through the endothelial cells through a process called diapedesis.
Platelets or thrombocytes are not real cells because they lack the nucleus and are just a detached part of the cytoplasm in the bone marrow. Platelets are involved in stopping bleeding after damage to a blood vessel.
One of the most important and useful things that will help you keep your health in check is regular activity and exercise. It is the fastest solution to boost your immune system quickly. When our energies stagnate, we become sluggish and therefore resist moving. Our bodies are more prone to diseases when their spirit is low. That is why it is crucial to keep our bodies in motion, raising body temperature, and continue using it the way they are meant to be used. You don’t need a marathon of a workout. Start with a simple 30-minute walk a day, and then add some resistance training or bodyweight exercises. Not only will you enhance your immune system, but you will make those sweet gains and improve your overall physique and posture.
That is a pretty obvious one. If you don’t get a good night’s rest, you might as well forget about a sound immune system. It is so simple, yet so effective. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day. If you cant meet this standard, take an occasional nap throughout the day, it can do wonders!
Major vitamins that boost the immune system are;
The latest research urges us to take this potent antioxidant promptly if we want to get the most out of it. In addition to boosting immunity, Vitamin C is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties, strengthen the adrenal glands, and help to eliminate certain toxins from the body. However, you should start taking it much earlier and not just at the first sign of a cold or flu. Vitamin C should be taken regularly, since people who use it continuously have a reduced incidence of colds, by 8% for adults and 14% for children. The frequency of colds for those exposed to extreme physical exertion, such as athletes and soldiers, has decreased significantly (even by 50%). A similar response was achieved by those who were under psychological stress. People who are vitamin C deficient will get the most out of supplementation with vitamin C.
Vitamin A is indispensable for catching free radicals, among others. It eliminates colds and flu, sore throat, and bowel inflammation. It helps with various injuries and significantly strengthens the immune system.
Vitamin A should be obtained from retinol (an animal source). It is also consumed in the form of beta-carotene (a plant source), which is converted into vitamin A in the gut. Animal sources are liver, butter, egg yolk, cheese.
The plant sources are red-orange and dark green colored fruits and vegetables.
In addition to its many functions, Vitamin E also boosts the immune system and helps it heal damaged tissues faster. It is an important antioxidant that inhibits cell aging.
Sources of Vitamin E
- wheat germ,
- egg yolk,
- vegetable oils,
- full grain flour,
- green leafy vegetables.
Acid foods to avoid!
At least during times of reduced resistance and difficulty, do not eat foods that acidify, poison, and increase the formation of mucus of the respiratory tract. Those include;
- white sugar,
- white flour,
- and large quantities of meat
Sustenance like this will stimulate the production of mucus, so it is best to avoid them when trying to improve immunity.
If you eat such a diet, it will reduce the effectiveness of the defense powers and create a better condition for the pathogenic microbes to flourish.
Foods that boost the immune system
In traditional Chinese medicine, we find the following foods that are advised in balancing the immune system;
- Algae-moisturizes mucous membranes, dilute the mucus
- Peanuts (eco)-moisturizes the lungs, stimulates the spleen and pancreas
- Bananas-moisturizes the lungs and colon
- Asparagus-strengthens the lungs and kidneys
- Brazil nuts-strengthens the lungs, spleen and salivary gland
- Peach-moisturizes the lungs and regulates digestion
- Cauliflower-eliminates heat in the lungs and stomach
- Mushrooms-thins the mucus and relieves coughing
- Radish-rares mucus in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract
- Horseradish-relieves bloating and cramps, soften mucus and eases coughing
- Pears-eliminates the heat in the stomach and strengthens the lungs
- algae (spirulina),
- mushrooms reishi,
- organic juices
Colostrum is the first milk to be created immediately after the birth of a mammal. Because it is full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, growth factors, and especially immune factors (G-Ig G immunoglobulins), it is an indispensable first food for the health of the newborn.
By ingesting pure colostrum by the best organically raised cows, we, therefore, ingest the basic building blocks necessary for the successful functioning of our immune system.
Colostrum is known for enhancing natural resistance, helping to conserve energy and vitality. Also, it has a beneficial effect on digestion. Many studies have also been done with colostrum in patients with bowel disease.
Colostrum is a great way to strengthen defenses during the winter season.
Spirulina is a superfood because it contains 18 types of amino acids and vitamins that our body needs.
Another great thing is to include the supplementation of red reishi mushrooms.
Reishi Mushrooms are known to help with reducing inflammation. They have strong antioxidant properties and promote liver and kidney function while supporting detoxification of the body.
Also great for heart health, balancing blood pressure, leveling blood sugar levels, improve hormones, fight allergies, and so on.
Even more intense is the action of spices, where you can achieve dramatic effects on the functioning of the body with a single pinch. We can start spicing our food with warm and sharp spices: mucus that dilutes mucus and promote metabolism.
Check my post about spices here;
Garlic for good health
Garlic is also worth mentioning! In addition to its many beneficial properties, Garlic also can enhance the activity of natural killer cells and the activity of antibodies. It is an excellent natural antibiotic.
Garlic is only valid when the infection has not erupted. However, it is one of the best disease prevention. So start using Garlic as a natural remedy or supplement.
L-glutamine and immune system
The L-glutamine amino acid is needed in the face of increased physical activity, various injuries, burns, and infections. Although glutamine is not an essential amino acid, it is the largest of all amino acids in the body. All rapidly dividing cells, including those of the immune system, are primarily dependent on L-glutamine! That is further evidenced by the fact that mortality after bone marrow transplantation decreased significantly with glutamine supplementation. Glutamine supports the immune system by supporting the action of lymphocytes and macrophages. It is also an energy source for the brain and gastrointestinal tract.
The best sources of glutamine are cottage cheese and can also be found in eggs, yogurt, meat, nuts, milk, and cheese.
During TM meditation, psychophysiological changes occur that are opposite to those in a stress state. Therefore, during TM exercise, stress decreases. An exceptional state of active rest appears, which stimulates the natural mechanisms of self-renewal of the body.
People who practice TM have higher levels of lymphocytes that protect the body against viruses. Healthy people who practiced TM had more:
- T cells that destroy virus-infected cells and tumor cells;
- B lymphocytes that identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses;
- Natural killer cells that provide rapid response to virus-infected cells and tumor formation.
These results suggest that TM exercise can increase the body’s protection against viral infections.
If you want to know more about Transcendental meditation, you can check my post here;
Vim hof method
The vim hof method is one of the proven ways by which we can naturally influence the chemical processes in the body. These are simple breathing exercises, which will aid with releasing stress.
The cells start to regenerate; the immune system gets stronger; we sleep better at night. The vim hof method also helps with mental focus and clarity. It improves physical performance and helps to regenerate faster after a workout.
Everyone today has the privilege of being able to try these breathing techniques.
Not only will it help you regain your lost balance in the body, but it will strengthen your immune system by only breathing! The method is entirely free, and you can watch it in the following video.
I have tried the method myself and have practiced it occasionally. It is so simple yet so effective. You will feel like you have just been reborn. And don’t knock it until you try it. It just might be the best thing for health you have discovered online.
I hope you have found something useful in this article. Keep eating healthy, spice your food, take some vitamin supplements, if needed, and safeguard your health with training, meditation, and breathing!