A strong immune system is considered the cornerstone of a healthy wellbeing. Every day our body fights pathogenic microorganisms and protects us from getting ill. The way we live, we eat and we sleep also affect the immune system. So what are the main steps we must take to obtain a powerful shield against microbes?
Take care of your gut
The health of our gut plays a crucial role in overall health. Disruption of intestinal microflora can lead to dysbiosis, which further affects immunity and increases the risk of infections. Good bacteria that live in our gut, protect us from pathogenic microorganisms but also produce substances that enhance immunity. Taking probiotics in combination with prebiotics daily, both via diet and supplements, is essential to restore bowel health.
Sleep as much as you need
Many studies have shown that when we sleep for a few hours in a day, we are much more vulnerable to infections and microbes. According to studies, adults should sleep 7-8 hours a day. However, it is not just the quantity, but also the quality of sleep that matters. Prefer a quiet place without intense light, in order to be calm during sleep.
Fight back stress
Stress has disastrous effects, even for the immune system. Increased anxiety results in the secretion of hormones (cortisol and noradrenaline) that promote inflammation and are associated with the ability of the immune system to respond quickly and effectively against pathogenic microorganisms.
Get out in the sun
Many studies have revealed that vitamin D is strongly associated with chronic or autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and depression. Vitamin D is mainly produced on the skin after exposure to sunlight (UV radiation) a process called photosynthesis.
Eat properly and everything
Of course, all of the above presupposes that our diet is complete and there isn’t any deficiency in any nutrient. Adopt the Mediterranean diet, integrate whole grain cereals into your diet, increase fruit and vegetable intake and avoid processed foods. Certain food substances and herbs have the ability to boost the immune system, so in demanding periods you can take food supplements (eg. Vitamin C and Echinacea). Do not forget to drink water!
Time for exercise
Many studies have shown that exercise is associated with a strong immune system. People who exercise daily get less sick than others. The reason is that exercise “activates” the immune system and helps fight pathogenic microorganisms more effectively. Besides, it has protective effects against cardiovascular disease.
Breastfeed your baby
The risk of developing cancer, diabetes, obesity and even other chronic diseases is determined by whether a baby has been breastfed during infancy. Breastfeeding provides antibodies and shields the immune system of your baby. According to studies, people who have been breastfed, have fewer chances of getting sick and even to develop chronic diseases later in the adulthood.