Immune defenses: 10 natural remedies to strengthen the immune system

The proper functioning of our immune system depends a lot on the lifestyle we lead. With good habits and some effective remedies we can help him be stronger. Here are 10 natural remedies that strengthen the immune system.

The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, organs, structures and biological processes that allow our body to defend itself against the attacks of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.

The proper functioning of the immune system depends on many factors, not all of which are under our control; a correct lifestyle and a healthy diet help maintain effective immune defenses. There are several natural remedies that can help strengthen the immune system. Here are ten.

10 remedies to strengthen the immune system

1. C vitamin

Let’s start with the best known remedy, the one we all really know. Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C has a strong antioxidant power and helps the body to defend itself more effectively. The mechanism of functioning of vitamin C on the immune system is quite complex. In short, we can say that this vitamin, in addition to its antioxidant power, is able to increase the activity of cells of the immune system such as phagocytes, natural killer cells and T lymphocytes.

This vitamin is found predominantly in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially kiwis, peppers, citrus fruits and tomatoes. It deteriorates easily, is very volatile and disperses with cooking. To take an adequate quantity of it, it is therefore advisable to consume foods that are rich in them raw, without treating them too much: a nice freshly peeled kiwi, a freshly squeezed orange, tomatoes in salads and so on. The need for vitamin C is about 75 mg per day. In case of deficiency, it is possible to resort to special supplements which in any case should never be considered as a substitute for a varied and correct diet.

2. Honey

Another very famous natural remedy as an immunostimulant is honey. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant qualities, especially when we talk about a raw product. It has always been credited with the ability to strengthen the immune system, so much so that even the scientific world has often devoted itself to the study of honey to determine its mechanism of action and effective qualities. In particular, according to the results of recent trials, honey, thanks to the synergistic action on different types of cells, would be able to stimulate the immune system helping it to prevent and fight infections.

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays an important role in the cell differentiation process and is therefore essential for a healthy and correct development of the individual, for the health and integrity of his tissues and for a correct and adequate immune response.

It is found, in the form of carotenoids, mainly in orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables, for example carrots, apricots, melon, watermelon, berries, tomatoes … or in some foods of animal origin such as eggs, butter and milk. It is very delicate and is largely lost in the cooking process. The daily requirement is approximately 0.6-0.7 mg, but increases to nearly 1 mg during breastfeeding.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient essential for the health and functioning of the immune system. It is obtained above all by exposing yourself to the sun. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections. In particular, this vitamin is able to modulate the response of some cells of the immune system such as macrophages, monocytes, dendritic cells, B and T lymphocytes.

According to some studies, vitamin D supplementation can improve the immune response and help protect against respiratory tract infections. In a meta-analysis, supplementing with vitamin D significantly reduced the risk of respiratory infections in people who were deficient in this micronutrient.

5. Zinc

Zinc supports the immune system as it is involved in the formation of cells responsible for innate immunity and has a good antioxidant action. The zinc deficiency, in fact, inhibits the correct functioning of the immune defenses. A correct, healthy and varied diet generally allows you to take the quantity necessary for the body. When the diet is not enough, you can resort to special supplements. Zinc is found predominantly in cocoa, yeast, oilseeds, legumes, fish, eggs, milk, cereals and meat.

6. Turmeric

Among the many benefits of turmeric is the ability to prevent and reduce inflammation. Turmeric, therefore, is another natural remedy to strengthen the immune system. It does this mainly thanks to its antioxidant action and by facilitating thermogenesis, i.e. the production and storage of heat by the body. It can be used as a spice to flavor your dishes, in herbal teas or as a supplement. Curcumin, however, that is the active substance of turmeric, has a low bioavailability; to increase its absorption it is advisable to combine it with black pepper or fatty substances such as oils, milk, yogurt…

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is among the spices that help keep the immune system strong and healthy. Like turmeric, cinnamon also stimulates thermogenesis; for centuries it has been considered a good natural remedy for the prevention and treatment of colds, flu symptoms and, more generally, symptoms affecting the respiratory tract. It can be taken as a spice, for the preparation of herbal teas or as a supplement.

8. Echinacea

Echinacea is considered a natural stimulant of the immune system . In particular, it is believed that it can help prevent colds and other seasonal ills affecting the respiratory tract. Its use as an immunostimulant is very ancient and, although its real effectiveness has sometimes been questioned, there are also confirmations from official medicine. According to some studies, in fact, it would help to prevent and resolve the symptoms of colds more quickly, especially when associated with vitamin C. It is taken in the form of a supplement.

9. Perilla

The perilla stimulates the body’s natural defenses and is widely used in order to strengthen and keep the immune system healthy. It is usually taken in the form of tablets, during meals. The precise dosage depends on the specific product and the needs of those who take it. It is also widely used as a defense against allergies.

10. Physical activity

As we said at the beginning of the article, a healthy lifestyle is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and, when it comes to good habits and lifestyle, one cannot ignore physical activity. Light and regular physical activity is an excellent natural remedy for boosting the immune system. But be careful, because intense effort has exactly the opposite effect. In fact, scientific research has shown that, if it is true that an active lifestyle and regular and moderate physical activity help to stay in shape from all points of view and to keep infections away, it is equally true that a session of prolonged, high-intensity exercise (such as a marathon) can temporarily depress the immune system.

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