Still a hot topic today, the immune system is as important as ever, especially after the holiday gatherings and not to mention virus season.
We tend to be reminded of the importance of hand washing, social distancing and wearing a mask, but few talk about good lifestyle habits or supplements that can help strengthen our immune system or make it more efficient. It is very disappointing.
However, on this last element, our lifestyle, including our stress and anxiety levels, play a crucial role in preventing infections, especially in preventing the complications that may result. The purpose of this article is to provide more information on this topic, and we hope that some of these additional measures will be useful to you.
What is the immune system?
Our immune system is extraordinarily complex and does not guarantee the absence of infection, but instead, it defends our bodies against intruders, such as bacteria and viruses.
Its effectiveness varies over time and from person to person. Several factors influence its effectiveness, such as age, stress, diet, alcohol, exercise, sleep, sun exposure, smoking, obesity, genetics, our health conditions, vaccination, etc.
The types of immune responses
When an intruder is present, such as a bacteria or a virus, our immune system can respond in two different ways.
The first type of defence is what is called innate immunity. Everyone has this type of defence and it is the first to intervene. This first line of defence consists of an external barrier which is our skin, our saliva, and even the acidity of our stomach that constitute an effective barrier to prevent the entry and multiplication of several intruders into our body and cells.Also, innate immunity has an internal barrier that consists of cells (such as macrophages) and the production of specific proteins that cause inflammatory reactions (i.e., cytokines).This internal defence interferes with the development of the intruder inside of us. It causes many symptoms such as fever, respiratory inflammation, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle pain, etc.
The second type of defence is so-called adaptive or acquired immunity. As described by its name, it takes time to develop because it is created through learning in the presence of an infection. This second type of defence is, therefore, more targeted and is mainly characterized by the development of antibodies, that is, cells that will specifically recognize the intruder and attack it. It is this type of defence that is developed by vaccination.
Are there ways to improve our immune system and strengthen it naturally?
At this point, it is first important to mention that no measure allows for 100% perfect immunity. There is no miracle recipe. Rather, it is through a holistic approach, by improving our lifestyle habits, that we have the best chance of optimizing our immune system, to make it effective, and reduce the risk of too much inflammatory reaction that can be harmful to our health.
- Stress and anxiety:
The more stressed and anxious we are, the less effective our immune system will be. Stress leads to the production of cortisol.When produced in too much quantity, cortisol interferes with the effectiveness of our immune system. Exercise, yoga, or other relaxation exercises improve our stress resistance, and some supplements promote calm and relaxation (i.e., hops, valerian, and Passiflora).Taking magnesium can also help when we are under significant stress.
Nutrition plays a particularly important role in the effectiveness of our immune system. Studies show that a diet rich in bad fats and sugar facilitates inflammation and impairs our immunity. Avoiding junk food, avoiding processed products, and cooking your own meals are simple and effective ways to improve our immune system. Choose good fats such as fish, olive oil, cashews, avocados, and increase your intake of colorful fruits and vegetables.
Short nights and light sleep damage the immune system and weaken it. Good regular sleep is a great way to allow our body and its many functions to recover.There are many ways to get better sleep:go to bed at the same time, develop a routine, avoid screens, reduce the intensity of lights in the evening, and avoid long exposure to tablets or mobile devices. Taking melatonin supplements is also an excellent way to help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often.
- Exposure to the sun:
Exposure to the sun makes it possible to naturally produce vitamin D.This vitamin plays an essential role in the proper functioning of our immune system. Not only does it stimulate the immune system, but it also moderates the inflammatory immune response.Of course, the winter period makes it essential to take a quality vitamin D supplement. Choose a liquid supplement as it increases the amount absorbed and ensures a sufficient daily dose. To learn more about our D3 vitamins, see our full page on these vitamins here.
Excess alcoholis bad for the immune system: alcoholpasses through the bloodstream, and so throughout the entire body, increases the production of metabolites, which weaken immune defences and make them lessresistant to disease. Avoid excesses and drink less.
- Physical exercise:
The practice of physical activity, regular and without excess, stimulates the immune system. It helps to keep fit and healthy. Stress and fatigue weaken the immune system,which becomes more vulnerable to pathogenic attacks (which can create an infectious disease).Take regular walks, dance, or practice your favorite sport.
What about natural health supplements?
As with lifestyle habits, no supplement is the miracle solution to all ailments. On the other hand, adding some supplements can be a remarkably interesting complementary measure. Taking a supplement ensures adequate doses of some nutrients that are more difficult to obtain regularly through our diet. Here are some recognized supplements to help our immune system.
- Vitamin D
- Purple Echinacea Root
- Land Art's Immuni-Pro is the perfect ally for cold and flu season. To be taken for prevention or as soon as the first symptoms appear, Immuni-Pro will help reduce cold symptoms and help reduce the duration of infections and viruses.
- American Ginseng
- Land Art's Mushrooms Extract contains 5 different mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi, Chaga, Lion's Mane) and is certified organic by Ecocert. Each mushroom offers different immune system benefits, so we invite you to read our blog post on this wonderful product, so easy to add to any sauce, dressing or smoothie.
- Astragalus Root
- Vitamin C
- Land Art's Vitamin C is a wonderful supplement for the whole family from the age of 1 to help support the immune system. With a good taste of apple and passion fruit, this product is easy to give, even to picky eaters.
- Oregano Oil
- Black Cumin Oil
To discover all of our immune products, click on the following link : Immune System Land Art
Take care of yourselves.
By Nicolas Martineau