What is immunity?
Immunity refers to the body's ability to defend itself against substances that threaten its proper functioning or survival. These threats can be microbes such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites, cells that have become cancerous, or a foreign body such as a splinter for example.
However, he has shown that the environment and the hygiene of life influence the quality of the immune response.
In this context, the cold seasons which coincide with a stronger circulation of viruses are generally unwelcome by the body. If immunity is at half mast as winter approaches, it is not without reason. In some people, the production of serotonin decreases between fall and winter, and causes the onset of depressive syndrome, fatigue and stress. However, this hormone is secreted not only by neurons, but also by cells of the immune system, and more than 95% of serotonin is not produced by the brain but by the intestine. It is not uncommon to have sugar cravings, especially at the end of the day and in the evening, when the days are getting shorter and the light is reduced. This is completely normal: the body tries to compensate for the decrease in serotonin in the brain. So boosting your serotonin production is fighting stress, and therefore boosting your immune system!
When should you especially strengthen your immune system?
It is important to do this at each change of season or in times of stress, but also when traveling where we may be confronted with new bacteria to which our body is not used.
First of all, you have to strengthen your immune system through a varied and balanced diet. It is also advisable for people taking antibiotics which can unbalance the intestinal flora, or drug treatments such as chemotherapy.
And finally, for people with a diet too rich in sugars, or animal proteins, it is also important to pay attention to their immune system.
To begin :
Reduce stress level
Scientific studies have confirmed that chronic stress can actually interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system. The secretions of cortisol (the stress hormone) in excess and over time thus weaken the immune system.
Practice regular physical activity
Regular physical activity reduces stress hormones but also boosts immune defenses during and after exercise. The result: less risk of contracting a virus but also less severe symptoms and faster recovery in the event of infection. Be careful, however: practiced to excess, sport would be likely to exhaust the immune system.
Fatigue and lack of sleep weaken the body. Thus, people with poor quality sleep would be more vulnerable to infections with a weaker immune response than those with good quality sleep.
Vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin C helps reduce both the severity and the duration of colds. It is also essential for the renewal of white blood cells.
In the diet it is found in raw vegetables (cabbage, peppers, etc.), raw fruits such as citrus fruits, exotic fruits or red fruits, etc.
Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be associated with an increased risk of infectious diseases.
In the diet, it is found in fatty fish such as cod liver, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovies ...
Vitamins A and E
Vitamin A has an important role. It contributes, in its action with vitamin E, to the proper functioning of the immune system.
Where can you find vitamin A in the diet? In offal, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, cabbage….
Where to find vitamin E in the diet? In hazelnut oils, walnuts, cereals ...
Zinc deficiency will directly weaken the immune system. Zinc is indeed a key mineral to fight infections. It is directly involved in the proper functioning of the thymus, the organ responsible for the production of white blood cells and antibodies.
Where to find zinc in the diet? In white and red meats, fish, seafood, crustaceans, eggs ...
Magnesium helps stimulate the production of white blood cells. It is recommended when you are tired or stressed and thus more susceptible to infections.
Magnesium is found in the germs of cereals, dried fruits, oilseeds, pulses ...
The iron will improve the immune system. It is a vital element for the proper functioning of the organism: it will transport oxygen in the body, participate in the formation of red blood cells and the regeneration of lymphocytes.
Iron deficiency mainly affects women and children. Children with iron deficiency present a very significant increased risk of disease, including the risk of recurrent infections such as ear infections.
Iron of animal origin: meat (especially red meat), black pudding, organ meats such as liver, seafood, fish, mussels, etc.
Iron of vegetable origin: pulses, algae ... Only, it is non-himnic iron, ie less well absorbed by the body than that of animal origin. To improve its absorption, bet on vitamin C at the same meal: this improves the absorption of iron present in plants.
Selenium contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system since it works with vitamin C to regenerate cells of the immune system. It also helps modulate inflammatory and immune reactions.
In the diet, one large Brazil nut is sufficient to provide the recommended daily allowance for an adult. Other sources of selenium: seafood, fish, etc.
Echinacea : immunostimulant and anti-infectious.
Cypress : a powerful antiviral.
Elderberry : anti-influenza first and foremost.
Blackcurrant : anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Black radish : known to detoxify the liver which is involved in immune regulation. It is also anti-bacterial, thinning bronchial secretions and nasal cavities.
Ganoderma : to strengthen the immunity system
Propolis : anti-infectious.
Ginseng : increase cell oxygenation while promoting the synthesis of neurotransmitters. In addition, ginseng fights fatigue and asthenia.
Thyme : antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal. It stimulates the immune system and also helps to counter coughs.
The noni : stimulates the immune system by destroying infectious germs. It is consumed in juice, it is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Rubus fructicosus : it is the mulberry bramble, its wild leaves are very effective in disinfecting and calming inflamed throats.
Turmeric : it promotes digestion and also helps strengthen the immune system.
Eleutherococcus : it stimulates the central nervous system and blood production. It is immuno-stimulating and activates recovery.
Cat's Claw : Amazonian plant has excellent anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antirheumatic, antileukemic and antitumor properties. It acts on the immune system and the digestive system.
The pachyme : against chronic fatigue and to stimulate the immune system.
Guarana : this plant is well known for its toning properties. This plant is also full of vitamins, magnesium, and iron, all of which are important for an optimally functioning immune system.
Ginger : it is composed of essential oil, starch, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, C) and minerals (manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron). Perfect for boosting our immune system, and helping the body to prevent and fight against flu symptoms.
Essential oils :
Eucalyptus, thyme or niaouli in diffusion
When there starts to be an epidemic, we can act through dissemination. Eucalyptus is the most pleasant essential oil in diffusion, but you can also use essential oil of thyme, or niaouli.
Not only will they strengthen the immune system, but they will also have an antibacterial and antiviral action. Enough to repel microbes!
The most practical remains the cold diffuser. But you can also use a humidifier to put on a radiator, or quite simply use a cup: you put ten drops in it, in a little water so as not to burn the essential oils.
Also, you can find cardboard or porcelain circles to put on the bulbs, which will heat the essential oil and diffuse it in the room.
Whatever mode of diffusion is used, if it is put in a child's room, it is important to remove the diffuser before he goes to bed.
Finally, on your desk for example, you can place a small porous pebble, on which you put two or three drops of the essential oil of your choice.
Eucalyptus, ravistara or oregano in massage
In prevention, massaging can be effective. But what are the essential oils that can be used in massage? Three drops of eucalyptus, ravintsara or oregano essential oil, diluted in a tablespoon of vegetable oil (sweet almond oil, sesame oil, or even olive oil.)
With this mixture, we massage the thorax, and the middle of the back for a few minutes, when getting out of the shower for example.
If you are in a hurry, you can add a few drops of any of these essential oils to your moisturizer. And voila !
Eucalyptus or lemon inhaled
When you feel that it tingles a little in the nose, in the throat, inhalations can be the solution.
In a bowl of hot water (not boiling, so as not to burn the respiratory tract), we put a drop of essential oil of eucalyptus or lemon.
You stand on top of the container, cover your head with a cloth or towel, and breathe in the water vapor for a few minutes.
Oral tea tree, niaouli or oregano
You can also take essential oils orally, as long as you do not take them pure.
There, we opt for the essential oil of tea tree, niaouli or oregano. Put 2 drops, either on a neutral tablet (found in pharmacies), or on a spoon of honey or olive oil.
This treatment, to be done morning and evening for a fortnight, is ideal when the seasons change, to strengthen its immunity.
Tea tree, niaouli or lavender in a hot tub
At the end of the day, when the temperatures drop, run a bath of very hot water, and add a tablespoon of shower gel (or whole milk), with 3 drops of essential oil in it. tea tree, 3 drops of essential oil of niaouli and 5 drops of essential oil of lavender.
Bask in this bath for a while, breathing in very deeply.
Not only will this allow the body to sweat to flush out toxins, but it will also help keep the airways clear.
Breathing tea tree on a handkerchief
Do your colleagues cough and blow their nose at the office? Do your neighbors sniffle in transport? Action reaction ! To protect yourself from germs, put 2 drops of tea tree essential oil on a (clean!) Handkerchief, which you breathe deeply.
It boosts your immune system and is antioxidant thanks to the vitamins A and E it contains. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial and anti-infectious properties. But its secret is the saturated fatty acids it contains. Once considered bad, fatty acids are now proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Anti-cholesterol, coconut oil protects your arteries and helps boost your immune system, thus protecting you from the development of malignant cells.
In addition to protecting your metabolism, coconut oil also protects our brain. It is especially popular with people with Alzheimer's disease. Its fatty acids convert into ketones, fats derived from glucose. Since patients are insensitive to insulin (a hormone that regulates glucose metabolism), coconut oil is essential so that their cells do not die out. According to Mary Newport, an American doctor, it could slow down memory loss.
It is endowed with an immunomodulatory action.
(Use of its 2 oils: 1 teaspoon morning and evening.)
Antibacterial and antiviral, it stimulates the body's defenses.
Be careful, however, it can only be used as a poultice!
Soak a clean cotton cloth with castor oil, place it on your stomach, and cover with a plastic wrap. Place a hot water bottle on top, and leave to act for at least 1 hour.