HEALTH. – 29 Apr 2023 – 8:11
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by Cleopatra Zoumbourlis, molecular biologist, medlabnews.gr iatrikanea
the 29thhe April is International Immunization Day. Immunology is the branch of biomedical science that studies the body’s ability to react against anything “foreign,” such as harmful microbes or chemical molecules, or “self-modified,” such as cancer or dead cells.
This capacity, IMMUNITY, is ensured by the coordinated action of a series of organs, cells and soluble substances that make up a special system of the organism, the Immune System.
Every day your Immune System protects you from thousands of germs that are around you and can make you sick. Your Immune System does this so effectively that you don’t even realize it’s working. Vaccines activate the immune system, allowing it to defend itself against the germs it is about to encounter. Vaccines don’t usually cause more discomfort than an easily forgotten sting on the arm or thigh, but they do save you from serious and even fatal illnesses.
Today many people are suffering allergies such as asthma or allergic rhinitis or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Of course, those of you who suffer from such diseases should be careful because you have suffered an overreaction of the Immune System. However, do not forget that these diseases are the result of an immune reaction directed to the wrong target, which in fact, when everything goes well, protects you from falling prey to all infectious agents.
On the occasion of World Immunity Day, here are some simple ways to help strengthen our immune systems and improve our defense against disease.
Having a bit of stress can be a good thing, as it’s the body’s way of preparing for a challenge. However, permanent stress is bad for our health. Research shows that it can weaken our immune system. Reducing stress and finding activities that relax and entertain us help us strengthen our immune system and therefore protect us from diseases.
2. Enjoy sex
It seems that sex not only makes us feel good, it is also good for our bodies. Research shows that a good sex life can also have beneficial effects on our health. Research on the link between sexual activity and health in older people showed that those who had sex regularly also had better overall health.
There’s a reason the dog is also called “man’s best friend.” Dogs and other pets offer us company and also improve our health. Research shows that pets help control blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and improve overall health. One study showed that owning a dog can improve the development of the immune system and reduce the risk of developing allergies in children.
4. Grow your social network
We all know that friends are extremely important, but it also seems that they can have great benefits for our health. Recent research has shown that people with strong friendships also have better overall health. To expand your social network, try volunteering, starting courses in fields that interest you and generally starting new activities. And make sure that the friendships you already have are given due importance.
5. Think positive
Positive thinking can also help your immune system. A study of law students showed that when they felt more optimistic, their immune systems were stronger. So see the glass “half full” as much as you can and don’t let situations get you down psychologically as much as possible.
It is known that laughter is health. Research has shown that people who laughed out loud while watching a funny video subsequently had more active immune systems. Laughter has researchers divided on its true benefits for the immune system, but until new research bears fruit, there’s nothing wrong with laughing out loud at every opportunity and beautifying our everyday lives at the same time.
By eating enough fruits and vegetables, you provide your body with a strong dose of antioxidants. These substances help protect cells from free radicals. To get a wide range of antioxidants, choose different colored fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, green bell peppers, carrots, watermelons, etc.
8. Get the right vitamins
If you feel your diet is lacking, consider whether it is time to start taking a vitamin supplement. Adequate intake of vitamins strengthens the function of the immune system. Some of the vitamins and trace elements necessary for proper immune function are selenium, vitamins A, C, D, and E, zinc, and magnesium.
9. Avoid “empty calories”
Processed foods like fast food, packaged candy, and soft drinks do not provide the body with the necessary vitamins, fiber, and nutrients. In addition, they usually contain additives and chemicals that are harmful to the body. When you choose these types of foods over fresh ones, you are depriving your body and immune system of important nutrients.
Many people take herbs to improve their overall health. Herbs that can support the immune system are garlic and ginseng, but also other foods such as probiotics.
11. Exercise is good
A simple way to strengthen the immune system is exercise. Regular exercise can reduce stress and the risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease, and some types of cancer. The greatest benefits are obtained when we exercise at a moderate intensity several times a week. Any type of exercise is beneficial, such as bicycling, walking, swimming, etc.
Without adequate sleep, our immune systems can be weakened. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. You can improve the length and quality of your sleep by keeping a consistent schedule, exercising, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, relaxing before bed, and keeping your bedroom a comfortable temperature.
13. Limit alcohol
Many people drink alcohol as part of socializing and celebrating. However, excessive alcohol consumption weakens our immune system, making us sick more often. Moderation in alcohol consumption is also necessary for the health of our immune system.
14. Cut the cigarette
The health of our immune system is another reason to quit smoking. Even if you smoke occasionally, you are at risk. Cigarettes are known to cause various health problems such as increasing the chances of lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, asthma, etc.
One of the easiest ways to help our immune system prevent the development of disease is to wash our hands regularly. It is also one of the best ways for us and those around us to stay healthy. Be sure to use soap and clean running water, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at a time. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
He “Our incredible immune system”, as mentioned in the book published by the Hellenic Society of Immunology, protects us from thousands of germs that are around us and can manifest diseases. In the following link you will be able to learn everything about the Immune System, in popular language and with illustrative illustrations, which allows everyone, from children to adults, to know the ways in which the Immune System protects us and the quality of life that it ensures. .
Hellenic Society of Immunology,
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