A functioning immune system has the difficult task of distinguishing between good and bad factors - depending on the type of pathogen, different immune reactions are required. You are probably familiar with the term 'lymphatic system', which refers to the organs that ultimately form the immune system. The spleen, in particular, has an important function, as it directs the blood into the blood vessels and can also help to specifically attack and kill germs. In the following, we explain what you can do to strengthen your immune system and prevent colds.
Discover our latest podcast
A healthy diet to support the immune system
Your body relies on certain substances from the outside to support important bodily functions - vitamins and minerals are therefore essential and can only be supplied to your body in sufficient quantities through a healthy diet. In particular, vitamins A, C (which are found in many foods), D and E as well as zinc are among the nutrients that the body needs in any case. In this way, free radicals, which always occur when your body reacts to immune attacks, can be neutralized. Organs such as the mucous membranes are also important, as they act as a barrier against pathogens.
As a large proportion of the important vitamin C in food can be lost through storage and transportation, you should always buy fresh and regional produce. You should also definitely try the superfood ginger.
Strengthening the immune system by losing weight
It may be referred to as an affluent belly or winter flab, but being overweight (for which there is now an injection) has very real effects on your health and your body's defense against pathogens. Visceral fat in particular, i.e. abdominal fat, can lead to constant inflammatory processes in the body, which weaken the natural defenses of your immune system. Those who are underweight, on the other hand, have a significantly increased susceptibility to infection, as important nutrients are no longer stored in the muscles and body mass - pronounced nutrient deficiencies can be attributed to eating disorders, excessive alcohol consumption, an unbalanced diet and other factors.
Specific foods to strengthen your immune system
Avoid a high-fat diet and instead focus on natural foods with a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids (fish, linseed oil, rapeseed oil, etc.). These essential fatty acids have a positive effect on your immune system, while unhealthy fats in processed foods, chips and the like (saturated fatty acids) significantly increase the risk of infection.
Secondary plant substances have a variety of positive effects on your body, especially in terms of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. You can find these valuable helpers in fruit and vegetables, potatoes, whole grain products and seeds.
Regular outdoor exercise and endurance sports train and strengthen your immune system. The most important thing here is that you take sufficient breaks for recovery - and completely avoid excessive physical exertion if you are susceptible to infections.
Stress leads to many psychosomatic illnesses, which manifest themselves in many forms (regular colds, permanent colds, etc.). Try to set realistic goals and prioritize things in order to keep time free for yourself.
CDC: Six Tips to Enhance Immunity
Healthline: 9 Ways to Boost Your Body’s Natural Defenses