Today we are going to talk about very important matter - our immune system. Immunity is the ability of our body to resist particular infections or toxins by producing specific antibodies and white blood cells. This ability depends directly on what we do or what we do not do.
It is worth mentioning that our immune sytem has a kind of memory. It does "remember" the antigenes it has encountered to be able to repel them effectively later, when they come the second time. However some antigens cannot be remembered, some are remembered for several years and some for the whole life of the body. This kind of memory is used when people are vaccinate against certain deseases.
There is a one more thing to mention. At the first encounter with any of antigens the body responds badly, but its response improves from the following enounters. That is what you have to know with allergic reactions. For the first time it might be only a small itching spot but next time it might cause angieedema and anaphylactic shock. This is why it can be very surprising while you have never thought that this particular irritant may cause such a havoc since you have not noticed your first reaction to this irritant long ago.
Now let's walk through the list of ways which can help you get sick less often and feel better. We put the most important ones first, although what is important is the cumulative effect of measures.
First of all, the most important question is how good is your diet.
Immune system of an adult weighs approximately 1 kg. The most part of it is taken by cells which are being constantly renewed and it takes a lot of … proteins! Lack of proteins, glutamine in particular, impedes reproduction of such immune system cells as leukocytes, lymphocytes, eosinophils, macrocytes and so on.
The whole immune system consists of proteins. Can this system survive and act effeciently without adequate protein supply? The answer is no.
Besides proteins, the immune system, which is working hard non-stop, needs other nutrients and energy: carbs, polyunsaturated fatty acids and so on. The first enemies of the immune system are protein and calorie deficiencies and unbalanced diet.
Reducing contacts wuth antigens
Permanent contact with antigens distracts immune system. Alongside with fighting bacteria, viruses and other agressive substance the system has to spend its precious resources with innumerable other antigens: clothing, food, drugs, detergents, cosmetics, pets’ fur and dander.
You have to develop good hygienic habits which will help to unload the immune system. It is important not to go into paranoid mode and not to try to live in a sterile cocoon, contacting with the outside world through hypoallergic suit. Without any stimuli at all the system loses its skill and gets weaker.
It is obvious that we have to wash hands, body, change cloths, clean ears and abide by simple hygienic rules. It is important to cure all possible spots with chronic infections: teeth, skin lesions, gastric infections, fungus and so on. They all reduce ability of the immune system to fight anything else more serious that those minor troubles since it is walready pretty busy. It is also worth to eliminate or reduce contact with the sick.
Keep an eye on your reaction to food and other allergenes and avoid contact with them. If you are allergic to animals and you keep catching colds, while the animal lives in your house you will not be able to get rid of your cold.
If you are either overweight or underweight both have negative impact on the immune system. Overweight people are more prone to infections, blood sepsis, skin lesions, their wounds take longer to heal. Quik loss of weight or constant weight deficit also hit your immune system hard.
Cold/ice baths as a positive stimulus to immune system
Cold or ice baths or ablutions are just stress. Any stress sends your body into an alerted state. Any living organism then tries to respond with improving its capabilities and reserves. Although chronic stress (either psychological stress or constant cold) debilitates the immune system and the body switches into survival mode.
Sports and exercise stimulate the immune system and resistance to stress in the same way as cold but with a profit of improving all other systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, hormone. Physical exercise boosts metabolic activity, bowel movement, lowering risks of pathologies in there, it is impossible to enumate all effects.
At the same time, immoderate or even extreme physical exercise overload the immune system. That is if you want to complete a very punishing training session you had better avoid exposure to cold air and consume enough proteins and cards after training.
There has already been an infopost about sleep, but we want to repeat that healthy sleep is important for the immune system. Lack of sleep is a negative stress to the body.
It is proven that psychological stress has negative impact on the body and upset its systems. Keep your feet warm and head cold (figuratively). Everything that improves your mood, music, reading, jokes, positive attitude, it also improves your immune system.
Onion, garlic and phytoncides
These measures do work. We do not know what is more important, eithe phytoncides that kill bacteria or other biologically active substances but these plants have positive effect on your immune system. Just take care of your breath.
I am not of a high oponion of natural immunomodulators. I think they should be prescribed by your doctor.
Beach holidays, and I mean by the sea, are very beneficial to the body and the immune system (but not for everyone). Just take into account that it works only if you spend at least two weeks by the sea since it takes 7-10 days to get used to the climate. The best if is 3-4 weeks in a row. If you cannot go to the sea, try pine forests or rivers. Responsible sunbathing is conducive too. Spending 2-3 weeks away two times a year is what your health needs.
Everything else you could figure out (if you follow first 4 ways) could be summed up in strength as 1 way. All these probiotic yogurts, salt lamps, silver balls and live water - all together they will add no more then just 1 point.
REMINDER: If you take every single one of them and use together their commlutative effect would be LOWER than the effect just from good dieting.
So is there any need to spend money on such kind of stuff? I have stated my point of view, but it is, as always up to you.