How to strengthen your immune system ?

How to strengthen your immune system ?

Our immune system protects us every second against armies of viruses, bacteria, fungi and other parasites. A weakness, and it’s the disease that sets in. So how do you strengthen your immune system?

A real army at the service of our survival
Since the dawn of time, all of our biological programming has focused on two well-defined activities: reproduction and survival.

We would almost forget about it, but every second, our survival is threatened: viruses, bacteria, fungi and other parasites that are ubiquitous around us, could destroy us in no time if we did not have a defense system as perfected as it is effective, the immune system.

Complex complex involving numerous organs (called lymphoid organs) distributed throughout the body, our immune system constantly protects us from many threats. A small failure, and it is the disease that triggers: colds, tonsillitis, gastroenteritis, and sometimes much worse.

How do we know if our immunity is failing?
Immune system The immune system is so complex that it is difficult to know whether it is functioning at its optimal state (in any event, there is little chance, if only because we live in a society where water, air and food we eat are polluted to varying degrees).

Nevertheless, there are a few clues that can alert us to a truly deficient immunity:

-Chronic or persistent fatigue;
-Frequent infections (colds, urinary tract infections, etc.);
-Wounds that heal poorly.

What influences immunity?
There are many factors that influence immunity, by decreasing or strengthening it.

When our immunity is weakened, we speak of immunosuppression or immunodeficiency. There are many factors and causes: age, illness, malnutrition, physical inactivity or on the contrary overtraining, overweight, stress, lack of sleep, pollutants, tobacco use, alcohol in excess, hard drugs …

Good lifestyle On the other hand, good immunity is favored by a set of factors: healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity, stress management and / or meditative practice, maintenance of good muscle mass, sleep repairer, nutrition, etc.

Diet is therefore only a small part of what promotes a good immune system, but it is certainly not a part to be overlooked, and above all, there are some good reflexes to take to improve your immunity.

These factors that could improve our immunity
Monitor your vitamin D levels
Vitamin D Vitamin D has been the talk of the town in recent years. In winter, we are almost all deficient.

Vitamin D is closely linked to our immune system: a recent study published in the magazine Nature shows that our first line of defense, T lymphocytes, are only activated in the presence of vitamin D. A deficit of the latter and these cells killers remain dormant.

Following this discovery, the researchers exclaimed:

We hadn't realized how crucial this vitamin is to activate the immune system!

It is therefore important to supplement this vitamin during the winter (after blood test), without forgetting vitamin A, with which vitamin D works in concert, and which is also an essential vitamin for immunity which we can easily miss if we don't eat organ meats regularly.
In terms of dosage, as much as the official RDAs seem ridiculously low, it is useless to supplement with mega-doses as we often see recommended. And if you are not too deficient at the start, 2000 IU per day in winter could largely be enough to maintain physiological levels of vitamin D.

What about vitamin C?
Vitamin CVitamin of immunity par excellence in the collective consciousness, it is the one that we think of as soon as we have a small cold.

In theory, vitamin C can stimulate the immune system, especially in the production of T lymphocytes. In practice, studies carried out on it are less convincing: it does not seem to prevent colds or flu, except in athletes or people under intense stress.

This may, however, be due to the fact that the absorption of vitamin C is very limited when taken in large amounts, and especially because it does not act alone.

On the other hand, certain studies show a real interest of vitamin C to prevent or cure colds, when this one is taken jointly with zinc (in sublingual in the studies).

Protect your gut
Digestive system Often called the second brain, because of the number of neural connections there, our gut is also our first defense organ. If it's in bad shape, it's a huge door open to allergic or inflammatory reactions.

This immune defense is based in part on an extremely rich and complex bacterial flora, and above all very individual. This flora allows us to tolerate and digest food well, but certain strains of bacteria are also linked to our production of T lymphocytes.

When this flora is attacked, either during gastroenteritis, or by taking antibiotics, or by poor nutrition, it is our entire immune system that is defective. To remedy this, two solutions exist.

-1- Probiotics
Taking probiotics is becoming more common. In theory, it would replace bad bacteria or lost bacteria with good bacteria.

In practice, this is less safe, firstly because it is not certain that these good bacteria can proliferate in your microbiota (where it may not be suitable); second, because the quality of probiotics varies enormously from one brand to another; and finally, because we do not yet know very well how these bacteria act, which are really useful and effective, at what dosage, with what synergies, etc. Science is not yet complete on this subject, each seller goes there for his patented strains, his fermentation techniques, etc.

In addition, it would seem that the probiotics taken in complement do not have the capacity to settle durably within our microbiota. This therefore means that their presence should be maintained by regular intake, two to three times a week after a "loading phase" with daily intake.

-2- Fermented foods
Kimchi The other method (and for the moment, the most effective it seems) is through food.

Our bacteria are selected and proliferate based on our diet. Foods that promote a healthy microbiota appear to be fermented foods, such as yogurt, cheese, kefir, sauerkraut or Korean kimchi, pickles, olives, soy sauce, miso, etc.

Likewise, bacteria proliferate thanks to prebiotics, which are mainly found in fruits, vegetables and honey. It is therefore important (once again) to consume fruits and vegetables in order to maintain your intestinal flora.

The power of garlic
Garlic has been the subject of numerous studies on all kinds of pathologies, ranging from colds to cancers. It has been shown to be very effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

The only problem is that most of these studies are in vitro or in rats, and those in humans are not perfect.

In 2006, a large observational study showed an inverse correlation between the consumption of garlic and onions and the risk of cancer.

We do not yet know what garlic compounds work or for what purpose: there is a good chance that they work synergistically.

Also, some compounds are sensitive to heat, so do not overcook and crush them, so that the various compounds mix. In addition, it is possible that the amount of garlic required for a real effect is difficult to apply on a daily basis, unless you are bound to a real discipline or take supplements.

These mushrooms that protect
Shitake Certain fungi, like oyster mushrooms or shiitakes, have also shown very interesting capacities in vitro.

Shiitake lentinans are particularly studied for anti-cancer properties, but have also been studied to restore immunodeficiencies or to help conventional treatments against AIDS for example.

Again, well-researched studies on humans are lacking, but the existing data is convincing enough to add these delicious dishes to your diet.

The famous chicken broth
Chicken broth Certainly, there is no randomized double-blind study attesting to the effectiveness of chicken broth against small winter diseases.

Nevertheless, supported by a long tradition which goes back to the civilization of Ancient Egypt, this reputation has recently been taken up by an in vitro study: a recipe for chicken broth made from chicken bones, onions, sweet potato, parsnips , turnip, carrots, celery and parsley managed to block the neutrophil chemotaxis phenomenon.

In other words, a certain type of white blood cell no longer migrates to the site of infection to create inflammation and release mucus, which causes colds, coughs, and congestion.

In addition, it can be used to make delicious soups: all you have to do is cook the vegetables with gentle steam or in a pressure cooker, then mix them with the said broth.

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