Immunity – 5 natural ways to strengthen it

Fruits and vegetables arranged on a wooden floor - eggplant, walnuts, grapes, green peppers, zucchini, garlic, onions

Why the risk of infections increases with age

A huge study by 4 leading institutions in medicine shows that the weakening of the immunity with advancing age and blood cell mutations are linked.

It is clear that changes due to aging aggravate various health conditions, but the scientists’ conclusion provides an objective understanding of the effect that age has on the weakening of the immune system. 

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in collaboration with teams from Yale University and the US National Cancer Institute have established a link between aging and blood cell mutations that increase the risk of contracting various diseases. Results of their study were published in the journal Nature Medicine. 

An analysis of data from over 800,000 patients found that people with certain chromosomal changes are at higher risk of infections. This scientific project is colossal with the number of participants, the scientists, the tests taken and above all – with the conclusions it reaches, because it is known that the elderly have an increased risk of infection with the insidious pathogen. 

There are other factors responsible for the weakening of immunity: stress, immobility, taking many medications, smoking, sleep problems. Some of them could be avoided with lifestyle changes, there are also natural ways to strengthen the immune system: 

Fruits and vegetables arranged on a wooden table - eggplant, grapes, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, onions
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1. Reinforcement

Fruits and vegetables by the handful, five times a day – this is the recipe that guarantees intake of enough valuable vitamins and minerals. You can add half a handful of nuts to them, preferably raw. Natural seasonal fresh foods are preferable to vitamin supplements because they are easier to digest. Among the useful ingredients in them, we highlight several responsible for the surge of energy and strengthening of health: 

Zinc – the most important trace element for the immune system. With a lack in the body, nails become brittle, hair begins to weaken and fall out, wounds heal more slowly, irritability and absent-mindedness increase. It is found in fish and other seafood, some types of cheese, beef. 

Salmon cutlet baked and garnished with lemon and rosemary
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Magnesium – the influence of this mineral on muscles and nerves is of great importance and performs important physiological functions. With magnesium deficiency, we suffer from headaches, depression, muscle pain and cramps. It is found in various products: beans, rice, oats and wheat kernels. 

Selenium – this trace element is part of important amino acids and is considered a powerful antioxidant that can affect the oxidative stress accumulated as a result of the harmful effects of free radicals. Selenium is important for cellular and immune protection, and if you don’t get enough of it, it shows in emotional instability, lack of energy, thyroid problems. Natural sources: Brazil nuts, some fatty fish, rice. 

Different types of nuts - walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower, Brazil nuts
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Vitamin Cone of the most important nutrients, it is recommended to increase its consumption at risk of infections and viral diseases. You will find it in rose hips, cranberries, black currants, strawberries, tropical and citrus fruits, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower. 

Vitamin Eit is called thefertility vitaminand a strong antioxidant, and its lack can lead to anemia. In natural products, you will find it in vegetable and animal oil, sunflower seeds, milk, eggs, almonds, hazelnuts, wheat germ. 

Different types of nuts - walnuts, pistachios, pistachios
Photo: Unsplash

Vitamin B6it strongly affects mental health, the ability to concentrate, it participates in dozens of biochemical reactions, and its deficiency can aggravate various diseases. It’s definitely vital, it’s found in mackerel, lentils, walnuts, sesame. 

Lentil bowl topped with cherry tomatoes, cheese and green spices
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2. Tempering

Physical activity in the fresh air and the change in temperature stimulate blood circulation, which allows immune cells to move freely in the body. When it’s cold outside, put on several layers of clothes for the workout, and when the body warms up, take off the excess to avoid sweating. Exercising three times a week for half an hour is optimal, you can also train indoors, on a treadmill, for example. The combination of exercise with a few minutes in a sauna or steam bath, with swimming and massage is especially valuable. Hydrotherapy and temperature amplitudes increase the number of white blood cells that fight viruses. 

Silhouettes of a man and a woman running along the sea against the background of the sunset
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3. Thermoregulation

Our body constantly maintains a certain temperature and it varies depending on age, physical activity, metabolism, health status and it is assumed that normally it is around 37 degrees and is maintained through thermoregulation. We can help this process to maintain a temperature where we feel good by something very simple: by eating warm food at least once a day, preferably in the morning. Hot tea, oatmeal, soupThe advice is from Chinese traditional medicine. 

tea an elegant white cup with flowers on it and a beautiful golden spoon
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4. Unblocking

Massages are useful for tempering, but they also contribute to strengthening immunity because they release blocked points in the body. They stimulate the work of the endocrine system, which regulates basic life processes – from metabolism to behavior. Massaging and applying pressure to certain parts of the meridian system is a science perfected by Chinese medicine. 

The simplest thing you can do for general strengthening of the body is to massage the fold between the thumb and forefinger of one hand with light circular movements of the thumb and forefinger of the other hand. Attention: Self-massage is very useful, but it can also be dangerous if you practice it without the necessary knowledge – trust a qualified specialist. 

Female body lying in a massage position, black stones arranged one after the other on the back, beautiful flowers around the female body
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5. Phototherapy

The cells of the immune system are not produced inside the body, but on the surfacein the outermost layer of the skin (which is the largest organ of the human body). The defense mechanismthe main function of immunityis powered by sunlight. It is also the main source of vitamin D, the deficiency of which is responsible for some serious chronic diseases. The bottom line is clear: take every opportunity to do your phototherapy session in the sun. It is recommended to be outside for at least half an hour a day, while, of course, taking into account the negative effect of the ultraviolet rays of the sun and taking measures to protect against them. 

a small boy's back on the seashore, a seagull flies by him on the left
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