What is Immunity?
These are the protective properties of our body, which are manifested in the ability to detect bacteria and viruses alien to it, and also to fight them. Good immunity determines our health.
There are usually two types of immunity:
- Natural (or innate) immunity is one that is acquired in diseases, and then inherited.
- Artificial immunity is one that a person acquires as a result of the introduction of ready-made antibodies or vaccines (vaccinations). In this case, the body begins to produce its own antibodies, and this ability persists for many years.
The body begins to build the immune system from birth and finishes its formation only after puberty.
But even the strongest immunity can weaken with age, and any of the following factors can be to blame.
Causes of decreased immunity
Among the main causes of decreased immunity:
- Regular stress and depression.
- Mental and physical fatigue.
- Lack of sleep.
- Surgery and chemotherapy.
- Taking antibiotics and other medications for a long time.
- Drinking alcohol, smoking and other bad habits.
- Improper nutrition, that is, an excess in the diet of fat, sugar, salt, unnatural foods with various harmful dyes and preservatives.
- Passive lifestyle.
Signs of weakened and weakened immunity
A temporary decrease in immunity is initially determined by the general condition of a person. If necessary, laboratory tests are carried out. Based on the test results, the immunologist can diagnose secondary immunodeficiency and prescribe corrective treatment. Radical methods of restoring immunity are sometimes needed, but they have their drawbacks.
In order to detect the problem early and help the immune system to bounce back in more gentle ways, it is important to listen carefully to the body. The following symptoms should alert you:
- Frequent colds. Normally, an adult is sick no more than four times a year.
- Fatigue, poor performance, memory impairment. If your daily routine and living conditions do not change, and the overall vitality is declining, this is a cause for concern.
- Sleepiness during the day, especially if it occurs even when you get enough sleep at night and stay asleep.
- Frequent mood swings, apathy. Don’t be indifferent to your state of mind. Seasonal depression can last no more than two weeks. If the bad mood lasts longer, you need to acknowledge the problem and take action.
- Change in appearance. The skin becomes dry, allergies worsen for no apparent reason, there is puffiness, dark circles under the eyes. The condition of hair and nails deteriorates.
- Low temperature. She can hold on during the day or rise in the evening for no reason.
How to raise immunity at home
You can increase the defenses of your body and strengthen your immunity with the help of:
- physical activity;
- healthy sleep;
- avoidance of stress;
- giving up bad habits;
- positive mood.
Equally important is proper nutrition, which involves:
- the use of healthy natural products;
- balanced diet;
- strengthening the body with folk remedies;
- taking dietary supplements and vitamins.
The main rules of hardening:
- Hardening should only be started when you are healthy.
- The temperature should be reduced gradually. For example, you can start by simply washing your face with cool water. Then slowly lower the temperature and expand the hardening range (s).
- It is important to harden regularly. A runny nose is not a reason to stop it. This is just the body’s response to changes.
There are many ways to harden. Basic:
- Air baths are a stay at a temperature not higher than 15 degrees. Start with 3 minutes and then extend this time by 1–2 minutes every day.
- Drying off with a wet towel. Rub your back, chest, neck, hips, legs with vigorous movements for 3-4 minutes. The water temperature should be lowered gradually, starting from 30 degrees and decreasing by 5 degrees every week.
- Dousing. They are best done in the morning. Start by partially dousing your body with water at room temperature. After a couple of weeks, you can douse yourself whole and gradually lower the temperature.
- A contrast shower helps to strengthen the walls of blood vessels and the heart. Alternate hot and cold water, starting at 10 seconds at each temperature.
- Walking barefoot. It is not necessary to walk barefoot on the ground for this procedure. Everything can be arranged at home. Pour cold water into the bottom of the tub and sit in it for a few minutes. Change the duration and temperature gradually.
Hardening procedures have a positive effect on blood circulation, skin condition, help to strengthen the walls of blood vessels and, in general, activate the work of all organs.
Moderate exercise is another way to boost your immune system. Excessive physical activity can, on the contrary, disrupt it. This is due to competitive stress, hormonal changes and overstrain of the body. And if your main goal is to activate the protective functions of the body, and not to participate in a bodybuilding competition, go jogging, cycling, do exercises, walk a lot. This will have a good effect on well-being, health, improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, help remove mucus from the bronchi and increase the response of the immune system. With regular, moderate exercise, the likelihood of contracting respiratory infections is reduced by 50 percent.
Get enough sleep at night
Human biological rhythms are arranged in such a way that it is at night that the main hormones, enzymes are produced and important metabolic processes take place, which are necessary for the full functioning of the body during the day. If people sleep less than seven hours, then they are more likely than others to experience a decrease in immunity. The fact is that the lack of sleep is compensated by the rapid consumption of the body’s resources.
Occasionally faced with stressful situations, the body reacts with a burst of adrenaline. At the same time, certain elements of the immune system are strengthened – vital resources are redistributed and adequately respond to the problem. However, chronic stress depletes vital resources: somatic diseases arise, the immune system ceases to function in the usual way. If your daily life, work is associated with stress, be sure to find an opportunity to rest and recuperate.
Get rid of bad habits
Alcohol, smoking, overeating are habits, the abuse of which most often leads to negative consequences. However, there are other, less obvious patterns of behavior that negatively affect the body. These include a passion for gambling, non-compliance with sleep patterns, low water consumption during the day, regular use of medicines without a specialist’s appointment. Real health care is not an easy task, but nothing is impossible in it.
Finding More Reasons to Be Happy
You can’t be happy on a schedule. But it is necessary to find small joys in every day. Everyone can be sad and angry at the world around them, but in order to see the positive, you need to try. Psychologists recommend before going to bed to remember the best moments that happened during the day, be sure to thank the people who are with you for their words and actions towards you.
Buy things that make you happy, surround yourself with positive people, move more and travel (even for an hour to a neighboring city where you have never been) – all this will have a beneficial effect on your mood and health.
The most important condition for a good immune system is healthy and wholesome food. It is necessary to exclude from the diet or minimize the use of harmful foods, such as:
- transgenic fats (margarine, mayonnaise);
- sugar, sweets, cakes;
- strong alcoholic drinks;
- carbonated drinks;
- fast food;
- fried food;
- sausages and canned food;
- premium flour pasta.
Changing your eating habits is easier than it sounds. Indeed, many harmful products can be easily replaced with useful analogues.
|Harmful product||Useful analogue|
|Sugar||Stevia, fructose or honey|
|Mayonnaise||Low-fat sour cream|
|Margarine||Low fat butter|
|Sweets, cakes||Dried fruits, fresh fruits|
|Premium flour pasta||Whole wheat pasta, buckwheat noodles|
|Canned vegetables||Natural vegetables|
|Chips, salted nuts||Walnuts and other nuts|
|fried food||Baked food|
|Spirits||A small amount of dry red wine|
Do not neglect folk remedies
You should not neglect proven folk remedies, which are considered recognized catalysts for immunity:
- Rosehip is famous for its powerful antibacterial effect, as well as its high content of vitamin C – in this it even overtakes lemon and currant. Pour boiling water over the berries and leave for several hours. Drink a glass of tincture daily to prevent colds. You can completely replace rosehip infusion and save yourself the hassle of brewing and infusing the drink.
- Honey is rightfully considered one of the richest foods in trace elements and minerals. One tablespoon a day is enough to maintain immunity. However, in case of illness, you can enhance the effect of honey by adding other medicinal products to it. The recipe for the mixture is very simple: grind 3 cloves of garlic, 1 lemon in a blender, add ½ cup of honey. It is recommended to take the mixture a tablespoon on an empty stomach and at bedtime. You can use ginger or aloe juice instead of garlic.
- Aloe juice can be added to herbal teas or even honey. It is also a natural remedy for the common cold. To do this, just drip a few drops of juice into the nasal passages.
- Ginseng root is rich in trace elements and is considered a champion in boosting the immune system. It increases the speed of immune responses, lowers the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, improves vision, reduces tachycardia and much more. Natural ginseng is difficult to find. Therefore, it is consumed in the form of alcoholic tinctures, tea, tablets and capsules.
- Lemon is indispensable for diseases associated with colds. With sore throat and pharyngitis, you can gargle with lemon juice diluted in a glass of water. For colds, table salt is added to the same solution.
- Ginger root is used for the preparation of decoctions and inhalations. Ginger will help you quickly cope with a cold, restore strength after an illness.
- Garlic contains a natural antibiotic – allicin, which kills harmful microorganisms, increases immunity and resistance to stress. For the prevention of colds, it is enough to consume a clove of garlic once a day. And for those who are afraid of an unpleasant smell and cannot eat fresh garlic.
- Walnuts not only contain a huge amount of vitamins and essential oils, but also have a high nutritional value. So 100 g of walnuts can replace a piece of chop. Mixtures of walnuts with lemon, raisins, dried apricots and prunes are very convenient to use – just mix the listed chopped products in equal parts and add honey.
- Green tea contains alkaloids (activates mental activity, improves work capacity) and polyphenols (helps prevent vascular diseases). You can drink green tea in any quantity. And if this drink does not give you pleasure, you can take the Fruit and Vegetable Concentrate , which contains, among other things, green tea extracts.
Drink dietary supplements as prescribed by a specialist
Unfortunately, residents of big cities do not always have the opportunity to cook dishes from high-quality fresh vegetables and monitor the balance of vitamins and microelements in their diet. In this case, after consulting with a specialist, you can resort to the help of dietary supplements. For example, dietary supplement contains a core set of essential vitamins and minerals. One tablet contains the same amount of iodine as 280 grams of pink salmon, as well as vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from 6 plants. One package is enough for a month.
Read more about the vitamin complex for an active life
Vitamin D is involved in many metabolic processes in the body : it promotes the absorption of calcium, improves the functioning of the immune, digestive, circulatory and nervous systems, is responsible for the production of dopamine (the hormone of good mood). Due to the predominantly northern geographic location of our country, most Russians do not get enough sun. For example, in southern cities the number of sunny days reaches 90–120 days a year, and in cities of the central and northern zones – only 60–70 days a year. This means that most of the population does not have enough solar energy to produce the vitamin. The deficiency of this element negatively affects the body, but is asymptomatic.
With food, the body should receive up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D every day. So many elements are contained in 45 chicken eggs or 160 grams of fatty Atlantic herring.