Keys to improve the immune system and raise defenses
We can improve our immune system modifying the lifestyle from minute one. This is confirmed by Dr. África González Fernández, Professor of Immunology at the University of Vigo and President of the Spanish Society of Immunology. "If we take care of aspects such as feeding, he exercise wave hygiene, the beneficial effects on the immune system can be immediate and notice them in a few days or weeks, "explains the professor.
Have some high defenses It is important, since "they are responsible for defending ourselves against pathogens, they carry out anti-tumor surveillance and respond to danger signals." Hence it is key to know what signals the body sends when its immune system begins to weaken: "Infections frequent (respiratory, fungal …), fatigue, sleeplessness, paleness, apathy… ”, lists Dr. González.
Dr. Miguel Martín Almendros, specialist in Family and Community Medicine and member of the board of directors of Infito, Center for Research on Phytotherapy, insists that "80% of our immune system is in the intestine, that is why health is so important of the microbiota and its balance with respect to the intestinal mucosa. We finally begin to recognize that this is not simply a series of bacteria curious that they look like those of yogurts, but it is an organ in itself ”. His advice: “Food and nutrition. Opt for local and seasonal products, with maximum concentration in phytonutrients. And avoid refined sugar. It is a true fertilizer for pathogens, fungi and yeasts of the intestinal system ”.
Keys to improve our defenses:
- FOOD: Take foods rich in vitamins and minerals: rice, chicken or egg yolk (selenium); citrus (vitamin E); beef, liver and nuts for zinc; yogurt for its probiotics … Reduces fat, sugar and industrial products.
- HYDRATION: The water (two liters a day) helps to eliminate toxins, keeps the mucous membranes moist and prevents germs from sticking to the walls of the nose and lungs.
- EXERCISE: According to Dr. África González, it is better to be moderate, because if it is very intense it can increase infections. Dr. Martín adds that breaking with regular physical activity (exercise bike, dancing …) can lead to immunosuppression.
- HOURS OF SLEEP: "Seven or eight hours provide a correct circadian rhythm, which favors the production of hormones necessary for the development of leukocytes," explains the president of the Spanish Society of Immunology.
- MENTAL BALANCE: Living under stress or anxiety releases cortisol, a hormone that depresses the immune system. Reverses its effect with endorphins (they are released with laughter and exercise).
- ALCOHOL AND NICOTINE: They are very dangerous. "Tobacco alters the line of defense of the respiratory mucosa and alcohol damages the defenses as does stress or depression," adds González.
It is in our best interest to treat our microbiota well. Thanks to research in other coronavirus outbreaks (especially from the Sars-Cov that caused the epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS, in Southeast Asian countries in 2003), scientists today they are connecting Cov-19 with the gastrointestinal tract. During that crisis, the same enzyme was found in the respiratory and intestinal tracts, and the existence of an intestine-lung axis similar to the much better-known intestine-brain axis was raised. So, the famous probiotics not only would they improve digestive function, but they could protect the respiratory system.