HOW DOES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM WORK?
As a fortress against pathogens, the immune system deploys various defense strategies every second of our existence. Sometimes under pressure, over- or under-performing, it can fail. Understanding the immune system will help you stay protected.
WHAT DOES IMMUNE SYSTEM MEAN?Open tab
The immune response is the set of machineries the body has at its disposal to fight against the attack of an external agent recognized as a non-self. This may involve fighting against pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or fungi, but also other types of physical aggressions such as shocks, toxins, acids or dusts.
General Functioning of the Immune SystemOpen tab
Our immune system is designed to identify and destroy harmful foreign organisms (pathogenic agents) in the body and neutralize harmful components produced by certain bacteria and other potentially dangerous organisms mentioned above.
The immune system reacts to bacteria and viruses in a very complex way: it recognizes unique molecules (antigens of bacteria or viruses) and then produces antibodies (a type of protein) and special white blood cells (called lymphocytes) that mark the antigens for destruction.
These mechanisms regulated by numerous proteins and enzymes are very complicated and are still being studied worldwide. One of the objectives is to understand which compounds must be present and in what concentration to ensure excellent health and the best immune protection.
4 SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
1. STAYING FITOpen tab
To boost your immune system, there is no need to be a great athlete. Recent studies have shown that regular and moderate exercise significantly improved the efficiency of virus-killing cells, which in turn decreases the chances of catching a flu or cold.
To improve your immune system, we recommend activities such as fitness, jogging, cycling, body pump and Pilates. The time you should spend is only 30 minutes per day, which can be divided into a plan of 3 x 10 minutes only.
Beware, while moderate exercise is good to improve your immune protection, intense and prolonged efforts can on the contrary make you more fragile and more susceptible to being contaminated by a possible virus (especially during the hours following the effort).
2. A VARIED DIETOpen tab
Nutrition plays a key role in your health and immune system. Vitamins (A, C, D, B6, B9, B12), trace elements and heavy metals (zinc and selenium) and certain fatty acids are the main compounds that have benefits on immunity.
They are found in vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts and seeds. Dairy-based meals, eggs, red meats and stews should be eaten in moderation.
In addition to a varied food, dietary supplements can help you balance your body to improve your immune protection in a short period of time.
3. SLEEP WELLOpen tab
This advice may seem simple but getting 6 to 8 hours of restorative sleep each night is essential for the balance of your body and significantly improves the effectiveness of your immune system.
It has been shown that sufficient rest increases cell division, resulting in better protection against virus and bacteria.
4. REDUCE STRESSOpen tab
Excessive stress makes immune cells hyperactive. Researchers have just shown that intense and regular stress modifies the expression of genes present in blood cells. These modified cells are then subjected to excessive immune reaction (that can lead to inflammation) or a decrease in efficiency of the immune system.
We therefore advise you to undertake activities (i.e. meditation, reading, yoga, Tai chi and body balance) that lower your stress levels to improve your immunity and protect you from possible viral and bacterial infections.