There are many factors that can depress our defense or immune system, including situations such as stress, fear and anxiety, or various chronic diseases such as insomnia, lupus, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, irritable colon... and which by decreasing the activity of the immune system favor the emergence of new diseases.
Likewise, the use of antibiotics, corticosteroids and many others with immunosuppressive effects can also negatively affect the strength of our immune system.
But in addition to these aforementioned factors such as disease, environmental factors or the use of certain medications, the correct functioning of the immune system is closely related to our lifestyle and with those habits such as lack of physical activity, insufficient rest, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, junk food and a shopping cart full of manufactured goods.
It would be very interesting to know some symptoms that offer us clues about the state of our immune system and if it is weakened.
If we suffer from small but recurring fungal infections, herpes, sore throat, earaches...; or we go through simple illnesses with some difficulty such as a cold or the flu, we suffer from frequent fever and chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and inexplicable diarrhea; spots on the skin; hair loss; we may be facing a problem.
So if any of these symptoms are common to you, it would not hurt to take measures to stimulate our immunity by adopting a healthy diet, choosing natural foods and avoiding ultra-processed foods; practice physical activity of moderate intensity regularly, and watch our weight; sleep between 7 and 8 hours a day, avoid excessive alcohol; we also have to flee from stress and fear; and of course assess whether the contribution of some vital nutrients for our immune system can be an option thanks to nutritional supplements.
That nutrition plays an important role in the proper functioning of the immune system is not new, but let's review what those nutrients can really be our allies.
Foods with a high concentration of omega-3, selenium, zinc, probiotics, vitamins A, C and E... are the most suitable for boosting the immune system because they are involved in the processes for the synthesis of defensive cells, ensuring our immune efficiency .
- NAC: thanks to its direct effect (elimination of the production of free radicals) and its indirect effect (increase in glutathione) as a powerful endogenous antioxidant, Acetylcysteine is one of the most interesting allies against oxidative stress and therefore, the stimulation of immune system.
- Omega-3: oily fish (sardine salmon, herring, tuna) and of vegetable origin such as walnuts, flax and chia seeds.
- Selenium: nuts (Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds), cereals (whole wheat and rice), eggs (especially the yolk), chicken meat, cheese, vegetables (cabbage, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli).
- Zinc: nuts (pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts), fish and shellfish (oysters, prawns or shrimp), meats (beef, chicken, turkey and liver, cereals (wheat germ and whole grains).
- Vitamin C: fruits (orange, tangerine, pineapple, lemon, strawberries, papaya, melon, mango, kiwi, watermelon) vegetables (broccoli, tomato, cabbage, sweet potato).
- Vitamin E: nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds), fruit (papaya and mango), oils (sunflower and olive).
- Vitamin A: vegetables (carrots, beets, spinach, red pepper, sweet potato, chard, broccoli, lettuce), fruits (mango, melon), egg (yolk),
- Probiotics: kefir-type fermented milk, natural yogurt, Kombucha, Miso, Natto, Kimchi, and Sauerkraut or fermented cabbage.
QUESTION OF HABITS
Joining good habits can help us strengthen our defenses much more than we imagine and they are not so difficult to adopt. Let's see:
# Perform moderate physical activity daily
# Sleep between 7 and 8 hours a day.
# Consume 2 liters of mineral water daily.
# Sunbathe every day, preferably in the morning until 11:00 a.m. and/or after 5:00 p.m. (without using sunscreen).
# Include fruits, vegetables and legumes, preferably organic, in the diet.
# Escape from junk food (fast food), ultra-processed and/or pre-cooked foods.
# Run away from stress,
# Avoid tobacco smoke and combustion vehicles.
CAN OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM RAISE?
Nutritional supplements and the immune system
As we have reviewed up to now, strengthening the immune system in order to prevent the development of some diseases and helping our body to be able to react efficiently against them requires us to modify our consumption habits and opt for natural foods high in vitamins and minerals while time we reduce consumption of ultra-processed foods, etc. but sometimes and due to multiple circumstances, our eating habits are not easily modifiable and the use of supplements or nutritional supplements can become the perfect tool to boost our immune system.
- Vitamin D3 vitamin D3 our response to infections. In addition to being known for its positive effect on the bone system, teeth, and allergies, its ability to boost the immune system is not in dispute.
- Vitamin C: among its properties there seem to be stimulating abilities in the production of immunoglobulins and the response of white blood cells, but we are going to highlight its corroborated antioxidant power and how this affects the correct function of the cells of the immune system that look very influenced by the balance of antioxidant substances.
- Zinc: one of the most relevant essential nutrients for health and its concentration in the body ranks second after iron. And it is of enormous help to the immune system to fight the bacteria and viruses that invade the body.
- Vitamin E : protects cells from oxidation and increases collagen, excellent supplement to raise defenses and prevent colds, flu, fever or allergies. Always consume this supplement with breakfast.
- Black Garlic : It is an antimicrobial, antibiotic and is a decongestant. Garlic is an excellent supplement to raise the defenses, and in fact if you are already sick it will help you feel better the next day. Garlic strengthens the immune system, eliminates infections and can even heal wounds. Purify your body, cleanse and regenerate the skin. Garlic also helps strengthen your nails and doesn't break as often. Garlic is also famous for eliminating cholesterol, as it purifies the blood. Consume daily for 3 months and you will notice the difference.
- Vitamin B: the B group vitamin complexes are involved in immune defense, providing the energy our system needs, and participating (vitamins B6, B12 and Folate -B9-) in the formation of protein structures of vital immune cells (lymphocytes). for the immune system.
- Iron : iron is a fundamental element for the normal development of the immune system and its proper functioning, since it is directly involved in the transport of oxygen to the tissues, something that can affect the oxidative capacity of the immune system and its ability to fight infections. . So iron is not only an essential mineral for the proliferation and maturation of immune cells but also for their effectiveness.
- Bovine colostrum : Bovine colostrum is food is rich in immunoglobulins and lactoferrins, antimicrobial and growth factors, which promote tissue growth and maturation of the digestive tract and immune function, both in animals and humans.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are capable of modulating the immune and inflammatory response in the intestine thanks to these bacteria positively interacting with the mucosa and immune cells of the intestine. But its action is not limited to the digestive system, these friendly bacteria also influence the mucous membranes of the respiratory system and the defenses (cells and antibodies) in the blood.
- Magnesium: is able to stimulate the immune system's ability to fight infection by activating all immune cells.
- Copper: being part of the structure of many proteins, intervening in the metabolism of iron, of several amino acids, plays an important role for normal immune function and protection from oxidative damage.
- Proteins: represent elements of vital importance for the production of antibodies, immunoglobulins, white blood cells and the functioning of organs of the immune system such as the spleen and thymus.
- Arginine : promotes the development and function of lymphocytes.
- Glutamine: Glutamine is an alternative energy source to glucose for the immune system while facilitating adequate production of lymphocytes and cytokines. It has a positive effect on the intestinal mucosa that enhances the barrier function against infections.
- Cysteine: its sulfur content allows the bonds capable of supporting the protein structures in the body, especially the skin and mucous membranes.
- Carbohydrates: immunologically speaking, these nutrients play a fundamental role in the cellular immune response, since all immunoglobulins and many other factors are linked to a carbohydrate. Guiding viruses, bacteria or fungi towards the defensive activity of the immune system is a function carried out by certain molecules that bind carbohydrates to proteins.
As we can see, the basis of a strong immune system has to do with a lifestyle, habits and a healthy diet that can be supplemented with food supplements in extraordinary situations.
Understand how your defense machinery works, make your adjustments and find the complement/s that best suit your particularities.
Based on comprehensive health, a positive mind and powerful vital energy, we can enjoy an invincible immune system.