When it comes to immune defenses, our body resembles a fortified castle. When the defense elements are in place, viruses and bacteria are kept at bay. Problem: environmental pollution coupled with poor lifestyle weakens the ramparts and allows the enemy to invade.
So how can we strengthen our immune defenses , which guarantee strong health? As the famous adage says, “let’s prepare for war to have peace”!
How do you know if you have a good immune system?
Several symptoms can appear and mean that your immune system is weak, we have selected the most common:
- persistent fatigue, which often hides chronic stress or lack of sleep, 2 factors that weaken immunity
- increased susceptibility to infections, which is observed by frequent colds, urinary infections, herpes rashes etc.
- wounds that take time to heal or heal
People at risk
Some people are more affected by a weakened immune system. They are often weakened by one of the following factors:
- a chronic illness
- heavy treatment: for example, chemotherapy against cancer.
In general, older adults tend to have more compromised immune systems than middle-aged adults. It is linked to their appetite which is often smaller and their diet less varied. Thinning of the skin and drying of the mucous membranes also contribute to this. In fact, the body's envelope is a real shield against infections. However, over time, the body produces fewer white blood cells and causes the immune system to weaken.
To strengthen your immune system in the long term, as recommended, choose a varied and balanced diet. Above all, this is strongly recommended for people following antibiotic treatment which can unbalance the intestinal flora, or drug treatments such as chemotherapy.
Scientific studies have also confirmed that stress plays a vital role and can truly have an impact on the proper functioning of the body and therefore the immune system. Secretions of cortisol (the stress hormone) in excess and over time thus make the immune defenses vulnerable.
This amazing immune system
The immune system is our body's means of defending itself against external attacks. It works on a daily basis without us even realizing it to check that what comes from outside does not constitute a danger for us (bacteria, viruses, toxic substances). The white blood cells are the royal guard of our castle.
Our lines of defense are experiencing more and more disruption:
- Allergies or intolerances: sign of an excessive reaction of our defense system.
- Autoimmune diseases: resulting from a dysfunction of the immune system, leading the latter to attack healthy cells in our body.
What weakens our immune system?
70% of our immune system is located in the intestine! You understand why an unbalanced microbiota (intestinal flora) is favorable to the appearance of all kinds of pathologies, since it no longer fulfills its barrier role.
Here are the main sources of imbalances:
- A poor diet
- Chronic stress and poor management of our emotions
- A lack of sleep
- Excessive consumption of stimulants such as tobacco, coffee, tea, etc.
- Excess of antibiotics
- Lack of physical exercise
- Environmental pollution (pollution, pesticides, endocrine disruptors)
All of these elements will weaken our terrain, a component of several factors contributing to ensuring the maintenance of good health. However, as Béchamp said, echoed by Pasteur at the end of his life: “the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything”. Favorable terrain = a top immune system = optimal health! The strategy ? Strengthen it by natural means.
Solutions to strengthen our immune defenses
- Food hygiene
It is the first pillar of good health! “Let your food be your first medicine” said Hippocrates. Remember to adapt your diet to your constitution and your needs. Adopt a diet that is as natural and simple as possible, favoring organic, local and seasonal foods.
Give pride of place to foods rich in vitamin C such as lemon, parsley, broccoli and those rich in omega 3 such as small fish from cold seas (mackerel, sardines, herring).
- Learn to manage your stress and emotions
The problem isn't the problem, it's the perception we have of it. Immunity is closely linked to our way of approaching things in life. Maintaining a positive mind is essential to avoid somatization. You certainly have a memory of a weekend migraine or of falling ill on the first day of your vacation, precisely when the stress subsides!
Take an interest in practices such as sophrology, meditation or even yoga which will allow you to regain a state of well-being by lowering the excessive level of cortisol, the chronic stress hormone, responsible for the decline in immunity.
- Practice regular physical activity without excess to circulate energy and activate your emunctories – the exit doors from your body – to promote the elimination of waste.
- Quality sleep
“To sleep is to heal a little.” If sleep time is important, its quality is essential to strengthen our immune defenses. While you sleep, your brain secretes hormones that help your immune system fight infections.
- A little help to get off to a good start ?
It is sometimes necessary to provide outside help when the body is having difficulty recovering from an attack.
- Consider vitamin D - preferably in drops - from October to April, when the sun's rays are low. You know its role for bones but it is also essential for optimal functioning of your immune system. Vitamin C is just as essential, prefer its natural form by starting the day with lemon juice in lukewarm water or acerola.
- Taking probiotics allows us to re-seed our intestinal flora with good bacteria, thus strengthening our defense lines.
- To strengthen the soil, plants such as echinacea, ginseng, elderberry or milk thistle have proven themselves.
- In aromatology, ravintsara essential oil is what you need in case of viruses! You will rather choose the tea tree for bacterial infections.
- Finally, have the propolis reflex, this wonder of nature, manufactured by bees to coat the inside of their hive and thus protect it from external attacks. It naturally contributes to the protection and resistance of your body, hence its nickname “natural antibiotic”!