Hello my dears,
We all want to be healthy. Especially now, during this tough pandemic period.
People try to do their best to not get sick. Putting the mask, avoiding crowded places, taking vitamins (you never know..)
But actually, we often don’t even realize that we are already protected by a big brother, called… the immune system! Indeed, our immune system is a kind of massive filter against external threats, such as viruses, bad bacteria, microbes, and other not nice things. Without it (in case of AIDS infection f.ex), the person becomes so fragile that he/she can die in days from a tiny little cold!
We can also see it now with Covid – people who get hospitalized are often not healthy people but elderly and persons with a condition: diabetes, obesity, respiratory or cardiac diseases.. just because their immune system is very fragilized by their condition and can’t fight against the virus properly! Interesting fact: USA, country where almost 40% of the population are obese or/and diabetic register the highest amount of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations…
So, as you maybe already understood, the only good and useful thing we can all do to protect ourselves from bad consequences of Covid and other infections is taking care of our big immune bro.
But how? Actually, it is simple and at the same time very complicated. All that you should do is eat well, sleep well, avoid stress and bad habits (smoking, alcohol). Looks like a very exciting life eh? Don’t worry, you don’t have to be perfect, and following some simple rules will be already enough to keep it in a good shape.
Eat well. If you have to choose one, take this one! I will tell you a secret – the majority (70%) of your immune cells are located in your… GUT. Yes, belly.
Gut is actually such an important organ that scientists called it “a second brain” (I would even put it as a first one honestly but anyway). It contains a bunch of bacteria (100 trillion of them, meaning that there are more bacteria than your own cells in your body), called microflora which concretely “gives orders” to a lot of other organs (and the brain too) “how they should act and feel. These processes are very complexes and if you want to know more about this amazing organ, I really recommend you to read a book “Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ”.
But in a nutshell, to take care of our microflora, there are two main things to do: to feed them properly and to populate them with newcomers regularly.
By food I mean nutrients rich in fiber or “Prebiotics” and by newcomers, I mean the good bacteria or “Probiotics” which will renew and improve the existing microflora.
To consume enough Prebiotics, include in your diet vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and mushrooms. The probiotics are be found in all fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha. You can take them also in capsules, but it is less efficient, and they are less absorbed.
Moreover, it is essential to consume those regularly, on the everyday basis. Bacteria are very fragile organisms and require constant care.
Next factor which influence our immune system is stress. In small quantities stress can be actually a good thing for our health, preventing us about dangers. However, if it lasts for a long time, stress weakens directly our immune system, by killing the good bacteria in the gut.
Finally, third super important factor that impacts our immunity is the sleep. Indeed, numerous researches demonstrated that good quality sleep promotes your immune system. Recently, a German research found that good quality sleep improves the functioning of immune cells known as T cells. For people who get poor sleep, stress hormones may inhibit the ability of T cells to function as effectively. Dr. Dimitrov, leading this research explains: “Stress hormones (released during the external infection of inflammation) dip while the body is asleep. High levels of these substances might decrease the efficiency of T cell immune response to kill pathogens”. So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.
How much sleep do you need to boost and maintain your immune system in a good shape? It is very personal but in general an adult needs around 7-8 hours and Teenagers and kids around 10 hours of good quality sleep. In case you have issues with your sleep, do not hesitate to consult your doctor, as the consequences of the bad sleep might damage dramatically your immune system and by consequence your general health…
Take care of your big brother and he will take care of you 😉