What exactly is the immune system and how do I strengthen it? article image

What exactly is the immune system and how do I strengthen it?

There is a lot of talk about "the body's immune system", but what does it really mean? You hear from the word that it is about the body's defense against something and that is exactly what it is. We are constantly exposed to foreign substances that enter the body in various ways. To assess what is a potential danger to us, as well as to combat what may be harmful, we need a system. This giant apparatus has been given the name "immune system" or "immune defense".

External and internal defense

The immune system is cleverly divided into the "external" defense and the "internal" defense. The exterior consists of the skin, the mucous membranes of the nose and airways, tear fluid, saliva and the hydrochloric acid of gastric juice, which kills many bacteria. The internal is divided into two parts, the innate and the adaptive immune system. Innate is exactly what it sounds like, we are born with it. The adaptive, on the other hand, is created during the course of life when we come into contact with different types of pathogens such as viruses and bacteria through infection or via vaccines. When we come into contact with pathogens, the adaptive immune system learns to recognize them and when we then encounter it again, the body immediately knows what to do and the reaction becomes milder.

The immune system consists of many different types of cells with different tasks. Some of these cells have been given cool names such as killer cells, helper cells, gluttonous cells and memory cells.

Can the immune system be affected?

All cells in the body need nutrition to function well. The various cells of the immune system can be strengthened by eating the right vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Examples of well-studied substances that are particularly important for the function of the immune system are vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and certain B vitamins. If you are low on one or more of these nutrients, you may find that you catch colds and other infections more easily. It is important to eat a varied and nutritious diet to provide the body with all the nutrients it needs, not just for the sake of the immune system of course.

It's not always easy to eat right and many of us probably take short cuts here and there when we don't have the time or energy. We live in a stressful everyday life and may not always cook from scratch with clean ingredients. Unfortunately, it seems that even though we try to do everything right, the nutritional content of our food today is significantly lower than it was in the past. It is therefore increasingly difficult to get everything we need through diet alone. Selenium is a good example of this. Selenium is found in the soil and is transferred to the food we grow. Unfortunately, the soils are depleted and the selenium levels have decreased sharply in many parts of the world, which means that according to measurements, we are getting too little. Vitamin D is also in short supply, but this is due to a combination of a lack of sunshine in Sweden most of the year, as well as the fact that few foods contain vitamin D in larger quantities.

The composition of the intestinal flora also plays a major role in how our immune system works.

What else can we do?

In addition to nutritious food, the immune system also feels good from exercise and rest. Physical activity is important for the body for several reasons and most often we think about building muscles, getting in good condition and strengthening the heart, but physical activity also reduces inflammation in the body. Both cardio and strength training are good for reducing inflammation, which supports the immune system. You should also not underestimate everyday exercise such as walking, cleaning, climbing stairs, etc.

The body's immune system is also supported by sleep and recovery.

Food supplements for the immune system

There are a number of nutrients that are coated with health claims "Contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system" and that we can recommend to you who want to support your immune system.

Since intestinal health also plays a role in the immune system, we also recommend our products with lactic acid bacteria .