Immunity is the amazing power of our body to release itself from the effects of the adverse factors that cause all kinds of diseases. It protects us not only from bacteria and viruses, but from cellular changes leading to premature aging and cancer.
Doctors Distinguish Two Types of Immunity
Cellular immunity consists of T-cells (belonging to the group of white blood cells). It protects us from viruses and microbes, radiation, stress and allergic reactions.
Humoral immunity includes blood, lymph and the complement system (it complements antibodies, it is known as the innate immune system). This part cleanses the body of toxins, nourishes it with nutrients, supplies it with “healthy” clean blood. It is also responsible for the formation of antibodies connected to the so-called B cells formed in bone marrow and stem cells.
Antibodies are immunoglobulin proteins. The following immunoglobulins have been found so far: IgM, IgG, IgA, IgD and IgE. The most numerous, the most universal and well-studied are the classes of immunoglobulins A and G – they neutralize 99% of infectious pathogens and toxins that enter our body.
On the one hand, we get specific immunity by inheritance – through our parents’ genes. On the other hand, we create a non-specific immune system, because viruses constantly mutate and our body has to adapt to protect itself from a new danger.
So, in order to create reliable immunity, we need to supply the body with appropriate “building material” in the form of food. According to doctors, this is especially necessary today, when as much as we try to live healthy, it is difficult to avoid the traps of processed foods, genetically modified foods, food preservatives and food dyes.
What Are The Signs of a Weakened Immune System?
Among the most common signs that the immune system is not working well are chronic fatigue, drowsiness or insomnia, headaches, muscle and joint pain. The next stage is chronic illness or long-term – as soon as you recover, you immediately get ill from something else.
Oral herpes means that something is wrong and you need to take immediate action. The last stage is a whole set of chronic diseases and more complications.
There are a number of medical studies that indicate that a sharp decrease in immunity most often occurs with stress and heavy workloads. Therefore, in the risk group fall people with stressful professions – astronauts, pilots, businessmen, professional athletes, etc.
Doctors note that immunity is also impaired in during surgical operations. Babies are also at risk, so breastfeeding and prevention of dysbiosis are especially important between 6 and 12 months. People who regularly do not get enough sleep or have low physical activity are also at risk.
What Are Factors For a Weakened Immune System?
Water, air or radiation.
Low-quality, artificial, contaminated, pickled food containing preservatives, stabilizers, dyes, etc. Products with a high sugar content, as well as acidic and carbonated beverages (drinks) weaken the immune system.
In women, a serious blow to the immune system is caused by starvation and bad diets. Both overweight and underweight are harmful – so it is not good to starve neither to overeat.
Deficiency of Vitamins and Trace Elements
Vitamin A deficiency weakens the body’s immune response against the penetration of foreign proteins. Vitamin B stimulates immune activity and periods of physical stress. Vitamin C deficiency reduces the rate of antibody production to fight infections.
Recent research by German doctors shows that any antibiotic, even if it is used for its intended purpose, weakens the immune system by 50-75%. In addition to the fact that you should never self-medicate, it is also important to monitor the origin of the meat that you consume. Meat industry often gives chickens antibiotics to stimulate their growth and protect them from diseases.
What Are Immunity Best Friends?
Most important for the immune system are vitamins A, B5, C, D, F, PP. In fact every plant food, especially colored yellow and red (carrot, red pepper, watermelon, tomato, pumpkin) contains beta-carotene, which in the body is converted to vitamin A.
These substances are responsible for the strength of the immune response and are able to protect us from cancer to a certain extent. Vitamin C guarantees the production of immune cells and its deficiency reduces the rate of antibody production. It is found in the largest quantities in blueberries, rose hips, citrus fruits, parsley, sauerkraut.
Vitamins of the Group B stimulate the functions of the immune system under stress, after surgery or trauma. They are found in whole seeds, wheat flour, nuts, buckwheat, beans, sprouted seeds, mushrooms and cheese.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells from aging. The main source of vitamin E can be found in crude and refined vegetable oils.
The most important minerals for immunity are selenium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, iron, iodine and manganese. The leaders in mineral content are nuts, legumes, seeds, spirulina, whole grains, cocoa, dark chocolate.
Blue-green algae has a history of millions of years and has been recognized as a superfood from ancient civilizations. Spirulina is naturally rich in protein, vitamins, unique antioxidants, minerals and contains all eight essential amino acids that can only be supplied through food.
Spirulina has been shown to improve the protection of the body from various viruses, reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are about 15 different types of spirulina, but most commonly you’ll find it on the market as tablets or powder.
What to Eat to Avoid Getting Sick?
It is good to eat meat twice a week, there are no restrictions on fish. Beans, peas and lentils consume 1-2 times a week.
Fruits and vegetables
If you want to keep your immune system in great shape, consume at least three of the excellent immune boosters every day: carrots, beets, cabbage, beans, turnips, red pepper, pomegranate, raisins, dried plums, chokeberry, apricots, apples, red grapes, blueberries, nuts, horseradish, garlic, onions, red wine, tomatoes.
The unsaturated fatty acids contained in fish and seafood greatly increase the body’s defenses. But keep in mind that prolonged heat treatment destroys the useful substances in them. Doctors mostly recommend squid and algae.
Products Containing Potassium
Most of this mineral is found in potatoes roasted with skin (without peeling), dried apricots, nuts, buckwheat and oats.
Foods Rich in Zinc
This is one of the most powerful stimulators of the immune system and can suppress its functions. The mineral helps spread white blood cells and other antibodies, which makes them better prepared to resist infections.
In addition, zinc prevents the development of bacteria and viruses in the body by stimulating the immune response at the site of infection. Crabs, oysters, beans, beef and turkey are rich in zinc. But be careful not to overdo it, as too high levels of zinc can be toxic.
Especially recommended are those with live bacteria. They contain interferons (which play an important role in the body’s immune response to foreign pathogens – particularly viruses and cancer cells) and methionine (a powerful antioxidant that improves digestion and reduces the risk of developing pancreatic cancer).
The best way to remove toxins from the body.
They are one of the best ways to boost immunity. They contain five times more phosphorus, potassium and iron than regular eggs. Some doctors recommend giving children one quail egg every day for 2 to 3 months to improve the body’s resistance.
In addition to boosting the immune system, they tone up fatigue, treat headaches, improve digestive system activity.
More Useful Tips
Include in your weekly menu as often as possible broccoli, carrots, dairy products, strawberries, kiwi, salmon, pine nuts, olive oil, turkey meat, citrus fruits.
Consume as many vegetables as possible. Add to your meals parsley, dill, celery (leaves and roots). The effect of the constant use of zucchini and pumpkin is remarkable.
Doctors recommend eating more foods that increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the body. Among the most famous probiotics products are – onions, leeks, garlic, apples, bananas.
Gifts From Nature
There are natural remedies that boost immunity: echinacea, ginseng, lemongrass, lemongrass, cat’s claw (uncaria tomentosa), aloe vera.
Did you know that one of the most common causes of colds and infectious diseases is insufficient consumption of regular drinking water? The reason is that with a reduced amount of water in the body, it is difficult for the kidneys to function normally and part of their work is taken over by the liver.
Drinking water relieves the kidneys and liver, which in turn controls the functions of the immune system. Lack of moisture can also have an effect on the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx, which is the first natural barrier to infection.
There are foods that have the ability to kill germs directly, without the involvement of the immune system.
Raspberries, French grapes, apples, blueberries, pears, pomegranate, plums, horseradish, turnips, onions, garlic, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, peppers – they are all wonderful natural antibiotics.