The task of immunity is to protect the body from pathogenic microorganisms and foreign substances. And, if the immune system weakens for some reason, even a not too dangerous infection can cause a serious illness.
What damages immunity?
One of the important factors that negatively affect the immune system is unhealthy diet – mainly, non-adherence to the diet prescribed by the doctor or simply an unbalanced diet.
With insufficient calorie intake, the immune system stops working normally. But not only the calorie content determines the usefulness of the diet – the immune system also suffers with various diets that limit the intake of certain nutrients and vitamins.
For example, when following a low-carb diet, the body looks for a source of energy in protein. “At the same time, for the current needs of the body – the creation of hormones, enzymes and antibodies for the immune system – there are no longer any proteins left, and their body will borrow from the muscles,” explains Elena Chedia, a nutritionist of the highest category at the Clinic of the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.
One of the reasons for a decrease in immunity or its manifestation can be a violation in the ratio of the normal microflora of the gastrointestinal tract. A normally functioning healthy intestinal microflora stimulates the body’s immune defenses by producing nutrients and participating in better food breakdown.
Bad habits – smoking and regular alcohol consumption – reduce the activity of the cells of the immune system. In addition, nicotine and alcohol inhibit or completely disrupt the absorption of vitamins from food or destroy their existing reserves, which also strongly affects the state of immunity.
In addition, smoking over time leads to the development of chronic respiratory tract infections, thereby increasing the detrimental effect on the immune system.
Focuses of chronic infection, for example, caries, gum disease and others, take away all the forces of the immune system to fight them, thereby weakening it in front of an external aggressor.
Residents of megacities, as a rule, have weakened immunity. This is how the negative impact on the body of various environmental factors is manifested – harmful emissions from enterprises, car exhaust, city dust and constant passive smoking.
The ecological purity of food is also one of the important factors affecting the functioning of the immune system and its formation.
Stress, chronic fatigue, disturbed sleep and wakefulness are the main manifestations in the life of a workaholic. These phenomena, in turn, disrupt the work of not only the nervous, cardiovascular, but also the immune system of the body.
What helps the immune system?
The substances useful for the immune system include antioxidants – vitamins A, C, E, group B and bioflavonoids, which are often called “vitamin PP”. Particularly important is the regular and sufficient intake of ascorbic acid – vitamin C – involved in the regulation of the production of immune cells of phagocytes and activates the synthesis of antibodies. In addition, minerals are necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system: iron, iodine, magnesium, calcium and zinc.
In order to maintain good immunity, you need to eat enough and varied, avoiding a sharp decrease in body weight. The diet must contain complete proteins: meat, fish or legumes. Fish is especially useful – the fatty acids contained in it increase the body’s defenses.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are necessary to strengthen the immune system – raw or cooked in such a way that they retain useful substances and vitamins.
Buy groceries only in reliable places – in stores or in large organized markets, but not from hands. Only in this way you will receive a guarantee of the quality and purity of the purchased food.
The beneficial bacteria in the large intestine are also involved in the formation of immunity. To maintain them in a viable and active state, probiotics and prebiotics should be included in the diet: substances rich in fiber and fermented milk products containing lactic acid bacteria.
It is not for nothing that an active lifestyle is considered the best way to strengthen the immune system. Properly selected physical activity, and even outdoors, improves metabolism and helps the immune system to work properly. For this, it is not necessary to go in for sports – it is enough to find the type of physical activity that suits you specifically.
But it is better for an untrained person to avoid excessive physical exertion – due to severe fatigue or injury, immunity can only worsen.
To prevent serious stress and chronic fatigue from damaging the immune system, doctors recommend learning how to relax: master breathing exercises or just go for a walk in the nearest park or square.