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1. what is the immune system?
The immune system is practically the biological defence system of humans. It is made up of specialized cells and organs. It protects the body from pathogens and helps to heal injuries. If the immune system is not functioning properly, colds, fungi or infections can spread. It is also called the immune defence or the body's own defence. It is important for a successful immune reaction that the human organism can differentiate between foreign and endogenous cells.
2 Which tasks does the immune system take over?
The immune system defends the body against pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. It is a complex system in which different cell types that spread throughout the human organism communicate with each other. Among other things, a distinction is made between specific and non-specific defence. This is because there is an innate immune system (e.g. the skin or stomach acid) and acquired defence mechanisms, which only become active through contact with pathogens.
The specific immune defence
The specific immune defence is practically the acquired immune system. It has its basis in the white blood cells (lymphocytes). Depending on the type of pathogens that attack the human organism, different cell lines of the immune system are activated, which act specifically against the pathogens and fight them.
The unspecific immune defence
The unspecific immune defence is innate. It consists of the unspecific cellular defence and the unspecific humoral defence. Both systems build on each other and complement each other.
3. causes of a weakened immune system
- improper nutrition
- congenital immunodeficiencies
- strong alcoholism
- Diseases such as diabetes
- strong medicines
- Autoimmune diseases
4. how can I strengthen my immune system?
An important component of a strong immune system is a healthy and balanced diet. A lot of fruit and vegetables are essential, because the immune system needs exactly these vitamins and nutrients to support the human organism sufficiently.
They are therefore also of great importance for the immune system:
- the vitamins: A, C & D
- the trace elements: zinc, selenium and iron
5. vitamins A, C & D
Vitamin A is essential for us humans. It plays an essential role in the human organism. The body needs the vitamin for an active immune system, a healthy gut and vision. Vitamin A is particularly important for the formation of skin and mucous membranes and for the protection of the immune system. Learn more about this important vitaminhere.
Vitamin C is probably the best known vitamin when it comes to strengthening the immune system. The vitamin contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and ensures that the immune system is optimally maintained. It also contributes to a normal energy metabolism and helps to protect the cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin C ensures the build-up of collagen (connective tissue) and optimal wound healing. Citrus fruits are particularly good sources of vitamin C. Vegetables like broccoli or kale also contain a lot of vitamin C. Since foods containing vitamin C are particularly sensitive, these foods should be eaten fresh and not stored for long.
Vitamin D3 is particularly important for the health of our bones. It promotes bone growth and strengthens the immune system. Only if the vitamin is available in sufficient quantities can the body's defences be mobilised. Vitamin D3 is produced by the body through sunlight on the skin. Often a deficiency occurs when there is little or no exposure to the sun. With age, the body loses the ability to produce the vitamin effectively. You should therefore try to get some vitamin D3 from food. Good sources are sea fish, veal and eggs. Vegans and vegetarians often find it difficult to get enough vitamin D3 from food. Therefore it is very sensible to take vitamin D3 in the form of food supplements. You can find out more here.
6. the trace elements: zinc, selenium and iron
Zinc is a trace element that is very versatile. It strengthens the immune system, can improve cognitive performance and also acts as an antioxidant. In addition, the trace element participates in cell division and is therefore very important for wound healing. Thus the body regenerates faster and inflammations can be fended off better. If there is enough zinc in the body, it is more resistant and more efficient.
Selenium is an essential trace element that occurs in all body cells and is vital for the human organism. It is essential for the functioning of the immune system and thus contributes to strengthening the natural defences. A selenium deficiency can often be caused by an increased need (e.g. in pregnant women), increased loss or reduced intake. Older people often suffer from a lack of selenium because they suffer from loss of appetite and have an inadequate diet. It is therefore very sensible to take selenium in the form of food supplements. You can read more about selenium here.
Iron plays an important role for the immune system in cell biological processes. Iron is essential for many processes in the body and supports the immune system. In order for these processes to function daily, there must always be sufficient iron in the body. Therefore it is very important to eat a balanced diet so that the iron level always stays within the limits.
7. tips for a strong immune system
- exercise regularly
- drink a lot!
- sleep well
- soak up the sun in summer
- healthy and varied diet
- take care of the intestinal flora
The immune system protects the body from pathogens and helps to heal injuries. When the immune system is not functioning, colds, fungi or infections can spread. A distinction is made between specific and non-specific defence. The specific immune defence is the acquired defence, the non-specific immune defence is innate. Both support each other. To ensure that the body is always sufficiently protected and supported, one should always pay attention to a healthy immune system. A healthy and balanced diet is essential for a strong immune system. Besides, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D3, iron, zinc and selenium play an important role. These food supplements help to positively support the immune system.