What should we do to strengthen the immune system? How should we be fed? Which foods and foods strengthen the immune system? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
What to do to strengthen the immune system?
A strong immune system usually copes well with harmful effects. However, if the immune system is weakened, it is much easier for pathogens such as viruses or bacteria to affect us. In fact, you can adopt a number of healthy lifestyle habits to boost the immune system.
Here are the things to do to strengthen the immune system, substance by substance:
- Reduce stress. Learn relaxation techniques.
- Eat well. Preferably consume plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Exercise or play sports regularly in the fresh air, but don’t overdo it.
- Stay in the sun more often. In this way, the body can produce vitamin D and thus support the normal function of the immune system.
- Drink enough fluids. Natural water and herbal teas are good for this.
- Get enough sleep to wake up well-rested in the morning. Because lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to infections.
- Wash your hands thoroughly regularly. So you can prevent pathogens from entering the face or mucous membrane of the eyes, mouth or nose.
- Do not smoke to strengthen the immune system. Because smoking weakens the immune system.
- Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation.
- Revitalize the vegetative nervous system with alternating showers. Alternatively, use both hot and cold water when showering. Finish your shower with cold water. This is how you train your immune system.
- Ventilate yourself regularly to strengthen the immune system. The right temperature (about 20 degrees Celsius) and oxygen saturation are beneficial for the normal function of the body’s own defense system. Weather that is too hot or too cold is a strain on the immune system.
Proper nutrition to strengthen the immune system
The intestine plays an important role in the immune system because the body’s own defense system and the intestinal flora are in constant communication with each other. For example, one-sided feeding harms healthy intestinal flora. As a result, a lack of beneficial bacteria occurs and we become vulnerable by pathogens.
Foods are important to strengthen the immune system. Most can be produced by the body, but some are not and we have to get them from outside. If there is a lack of essential nutrients, the metabolism and therefore the immune system will also suffer.
In order to prevent the development of a deficiency symptom in the first place, a healthy eating habit with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits should be adopted. Because a balanced diet affects the composition of the intestinal flora. This is very important for the immune system. For example, short fat chains that our body does not produce are important for strengthening the immune system.
Nutritionists recommend a varied meal plan with plenty of fiber, minerals and vitamins to boost the immune system to fight bacteria, viruses, fungi and other harmful foreign substances. Sugar and meat consumption should be reduced as much as possible. On the other hand, fish should be included in every eating habit as it provides our body with vital omega-3 fatty acids.
Other foods to boost the immune system include plant-based foods such as flaxseed oil, flaxseed, walnuts, rapeseed, and soybean oil. These enable us to produce short-chain fatty acids that gut bacteria provide from food and strengthen our immune system.
Vitamins to strengthen the immune system
Vitamins are very important for a strong immune system. The basis of this is a healthy and balanced diet. The most important vitamins for the immune system include vitamin A, B vitamins (B2, B6, B12), vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E. Each of these vitamins makes a special contribution to our immune system and is largely found in many foods.
- A Vitamini
Vitamin A is responsible for keeping pathogens away. It is important to protect the skin and mucous membranes by taking vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in liver, cabbage, parsley, dill, carrots and dried apricots, among other things.
- Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 contributes to a normal energy metabolism, protection of the skin and mucous membranes, and the normal functioning of the nervous system. Especially meat (especially offal), milk and dairy products and fish such as coal fish are rich in vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is also found in whole grain products and broccoli, asparagus, spinach or kale.
- B6 vitamins
Vitamin B6 is also very important to strengthen the immune system. Vitamin B6 affects metabolism, hormones and nerves and contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, reducing fatigue. It also has a strong effect on the immune system. Vitamin B6 is found in fish such as salmon and mackerel, as well as meat and liver. It is also found in plant-based foods such as nuts, whole grains, potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum and legumes.
- B12 vitamins
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the breakdown of some fatty acids. It also has an important function in folic acid metabolism and plays a role in blood formation. Vitamin B12 is also important for energy metabolism and the nervous system. It is mainly found in animal foods such as liver, lean meat, fish and eggs.
- Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an important vitamin to strengthen the immune system. It captures free radicals and therefore has an antioxidant effect. Vitamin C is central to the development of collagen (connective tissue, cartilage and bones), carnitine and hormones. It also increases the absorption of iron and prevents the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Vitamin C is found in almost all animal and plant foods. With 100 mg of fresh fruit and vegetables, you can easily meet the average daily vitamin C requirement. Rose hips and black currants contain particularly large amounts of vitamin C. Citrus fruits such as potatoes, broccoli, oranges and kiwis are also rich in vitamin C.
Related article: All about vitamin C
- D vitamins
Vitamin D is very important for both strengthening the immune system and bone and dental health. Vitamin D also plays an important role in maintaining the normal function of the muscles and immune system.
The body produces vitamin D mainly in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D can also be obtained to a lesser extent through food. It is mostly found in oily marine fish such as herring, salmon and mackerel. It is also found in liver, egg yolk and some edible mushrooms.
- And vitamins
Vitamin E is one of the most important protective vitamins found in every cell in the body. Among other things, vitamin E protects blood vessels and makes a decisive contribution to the functioning of our immune system. Vitamin E is mainly found in oils such as wheat germ oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, but also in nuts, fruits, vegetables and bread.
Vitamin D to strengthen the immune system
Vitamin D plays a particularly important role in the activity of the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system. If the skin is exposed to sufficient sunlight, the body can produce 80 to 90 percent of its vitamin D.
To produce enough vitamin D, you must be outside for about twelve minutes at least three times a week. Especially in winter, UV radiation decreases and the level of vitamin D in the blood decreases. Intake of vitamin D through meals alone is often insufficient. That’s why you might want to consider regular vitamin D checks.
Trace elements to strengthen the immune system
Trace elements are involved in numerous metabolic processes in the body. Like copper and iron, zinc and selenium are particularly important for boosting the immune system:
Zinc is necessary for the body’s defense system and protects us against various diseases. This trace element is found in many foods. Particularly high-quality sources of zinc are found in meat (beef, poultry and pork), offal, fish and shellfish, hard cheese and eggs.
Selenium protects the body’s cells against the attacks of free radicals. Selenium is also necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and sperm formation. Selenium deficiency, for example, leads to immune system disorders and limitations in muscle function.
Selenium can be obtained from foods such as meat, fish, sausage, eggs and seafood. It can also be ingested through plant-based foods such as Brazil nuts (consume only in moderation), asparagus, mushrooms, kale and legumes.
Copper is important for basic metabolic functions and the life of body cells. Copper is also an important trace element to strengthen the immune system. copper; You can get it by consuming offal such as fish, nuts, whole grain products, legumes, cocoa and liver.
Iron, an important trace element, undertakes many functions in the body, including transporting oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, storing oxygen in the muscles, and transferring electrons in energy metabolism. It is also important for the normal functioning of the immune system. Iron; It can be ingested through foods such as dark meat, liver, and legumes.
Healthy eating to strengthen the immune system
Vegetables and fresh fruits should be a big part of the daily diet to strengthen the immune system. They provide many important nutrients and fiber for the gut and intestinal flora. They also contain antioxidants that relax the immune system.
Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, dark fruits and grapes, citrus fruits and nuts are particularly good for boosting the immune system. Those who have a varied and healthy diet do not need additional food supplements.
meditation to strengthen the immune system
Many examples show that meditation can have positive effects on physical complaints such as high blood pressure or chronic pain. In fact, there are also studies sticking to the effects of mindfulness meditation on measurable parameters of the immune system.
According to the cautious assessment of the scientists, it appears that mindfulness meditation can have a positive effect on individual immune parameters such as inflammation, cell-mediated immune response and enzyme activity in relation to cell aging.
( Source )
Exercise to strengthen the immune system
Studies have shown that even moderate physical activity has a positive effect on the immune system. Regular exercise such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming strengthens both the cardiovascular system and the immune system. You should not overdo it, as our bodies weaken immediately after a strenuous exercise and are more susceptible to infections.
relaxation to strengthen the immune system
Stress weakens the immune system by altering its functioning. Therefore, one should avoid too much stress and also practice relaxation methods that provide greater balance. For example, breathing exercises and exercises such as yoga are particularly effective for reducing stress, relaxing you, and strengthening your immune system.
What to do to strengthen the immune system during pregnancy?
The immune system changes during pregnancy. This can make pregnant women more susceptible to infections than usual. Experts assume that most preterm births are at least partially due to some type of infection.
There is also evidence that viral or bacterial prenatal infections increase a child’s chances of developing allergies or even serious illnesses later on. Therefore, it is important for expectant mothers to maintain a healthy immune system.
To strengthen the immune system during pregnancy, the following are recommended:
- Adequate sleep: Pregnant women should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If necessary, they should also take a nap during the day.
- Get moving: About two to three hours a week of moderate exercise or aerobic exercise is recommended for pregnant women to boost their immune system.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables: The more varied the pregnant women’s meals, the better. The need for essential vitamins and trace elements, such as vitamin C, must be met.
- Reducing stress: Regular practice of relaxation techniques has a positive effect on the immune system.
What to do to strengthen the immune system in children?
A toddler gets an average of twelve infections per year. Each of these infections trains and strengthens the immune system.
Children who have at least two viral infections at the end of their first year of life have stronger immune systems than children who have fewer infections during that time. Although it may not sound good, this is how his body needs to practice to strengthen the child’s immune system.
In addition, the following can be done to strengthen the immune system in children:
- Hygiene in moderation: Only when in contact with viruses and bacteria can babies and young children develop their immune system.
- Getting enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is important because the number of immune cells increases during sleep.
- Exercise in the fresh air: When exercising outside, even if it’s cold or rainy, the immune system gets used to the change between cold and heat. In this way, the immune system is trained and new defense cells are created.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: A varied diet provides important vitamins such as vitamin C and trace elements necessary to strengthen the immune system.