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Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland): the secret of good immunity, or how to take care of yourself during the season of infectious diseases | Society | Inosmi

2021-10-31T01:45:00+03:00

2021-10-31T01:45:04+03:00

2021-10-31T01:45:00+03:00

2021

https://inosmi.ru/social/20211031/250813044.html

The secret of good immunity is revealed

The secret of good immunity is revealed

Society

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Everyone around is talking about “strengthening the immune system”, advising each other regular “super supplements”, however, experts advise to rely not on them, but on a healthy diet, sleep and … INOSMI, 31.10.2021

society, immunity, sleep, food, movement, supplements, europe, poland, polish

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Edition of Inosmi

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Edition of Inosmi

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Edition of Inosmi

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Everyone around is talking about “strengthening the immune system”, advising each other the next “super supplements”, however, experts advise to rely not on them, but on a healthy diet, sleep and movement.

Immunologist Professor Dominika Nowis is convinced that the state of our immunity depends on everyday habits: “The most effective recommendations repel many people: eat right, move, get enough sleep … It’s boring and requires self-discipline, so there are many strategies and ideas for“ strengthening the immune system “, the popularity of dietary supplements promising miraculous effects, diets that exclude certain foods, is growing,” she explains.

What actually helps the immune system, and how does it work? Let’s start with sleep, because when a person feels sleepy, he does not pounce on junk food, he can plan his diet and find the strength for physical activity.

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Studies have shown that people who sleep six hours a night or less get colds four times more often than those who sleep more than seven hours. Another experiment examined the effects of sleep on the effectiveness of vaccinations. The body must develop antibodies that can protect against disease. People who slept for 7-9 hours in the week leading up to the flu vaccine, it found, developed twice as many antibodies as members of the group, which the researchers allowed only four hours to sleep.

“Sleep, along with movement, is the most important element for immunity that people neglect. The pandemic and teleworking have led to the fact that many have disrupted sleep patterns. Everyone should ask themselves if they sleep regularly for at least 6-8 hours, says Professor Norvis. – I get up early and go to bed early, making sure not to use electronic devices before going to bed, giving preference to paper books at this time. Also, I refuse to eat plentiful meals after 18 “.

Eat lots of plant foods

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Polish Academy of Sciences published expert advice on immunity support. In particular, they advised switching to a plant-based diet.

“This is a simplification. The nutritional pyramid points to the need to cut back on meat, but you don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian for your immune system to function properly, explains Professor Novis, who contributed to the recommendations. “If you eat hamburgers from time to time, your immunity will not drop to zero, however, excessive consumption of foods rich in saturated fats, that is, oil, lard, fatty meat, can really negatively affect the state of your body.”

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The key to strong immunity is a healthy intestine. The “good” bacteria that inhabit it will be more diverse (that is, stronger) if you include at least 30 different plants in the weekly diet. Tea and spices are not included in this number. Gut microbiota can be helped by consuming natural probiotics such as kefir and fermented foods. Studies have shown that it is enough to do this for 10 weeks to improve the condition of the intestines, and the inflammatory processes in the body become less pronounced.

Immunity rejuvenates in motion

“Movement plays a key role in maintaining immunity. This is not about professional sports, at least 30 minutes of activity a day is enough, even if it is a walk. You should be in the fresh air every day, ”says Professor Novis.

Scientists say that 20 minutes of walking stimulates the immune system to release anti-inflammatory substances, 5 minutes of running a day prolongs life, and that adults who regularly cycle produce the same number of T cells as 20-year-olds.

Do not buy drugs to strengthen the immune system

“The most important thing in the immune system is that it can distinguish between dangerous and non-dangerous, it is characterized by precision of action. Any global intervention, for example, the use of large doses of some vitamins, will not have such a neat effect, the vitamin will not replace the “wisdom” of the immune system, – emphasizes Dominica Novis. – She has, for example, phagocytes that destroy foreign particles. Let’s say we take a drug that will increase their activity. Would it be good? No, because there are healthy tissues around and they will suffer. Therefore, we believe that the only medical intervention that increases immunity is vaccination, which allows the immune system to develop a mechanism targeting a specific virus or bacterium ”.

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Our goal should be to maintain a balance in the body, since its violation does not lead to anything good. This is demonstrated by autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, in which the immune system does not function properly in some aspects, destroying the human body.

Do you want to buy something at the pharmacy? Remember vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining immunity. According to studies, people with severe COVID-19 had a shortage of it. Adults are usually advised to take 2,000 IU of vitamin D. If your doctor determines that you are more severely deficient, they may increase the dose. Those who do not eat meat will also need vitamin B12.

Don’t blame your genes

Many people believe that everyday habits are not as important as genes, so you shouldn’t even strain, since everything is already written in them in advance. However, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, for example, genetically determined immunodeficiency, we ourselves can greatly influence the state of our body.

“It’s not just genes that matter, and that’s the beauty of the immune system. It records the entire history of our encounters with pathogens, explains Professor Novis. – The first years of life are considered key for the development of immunity. A child who lives in a village spends time with peers in the fresh air, it is formed differently than a child who mostly sat at home until three years old. The worst thing that can be done is to keep children in a sterile environment. The immune system must learn to respond to different threats. Its development begins already inside the womb, it is important, for example, that the mother’s diet during pregnancy is complete and varied. “

InoSMI materials contain assessments exclusively of foreign mass media and do not reflect the position of the InoSMI editorial board.

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