Take care of your immune system during spring

Taking care of the immune system is not only important during the winter. Cold, autumn and winter are not the causes of our illnesses, although this idea is still widely believed.

It’s true that some microorganisms develop better at low temperatures, but the actual problem is in ourselves and our defenses, as they may also weaken during spring and summer, especially if we do not protect them properly.

Our immune system is made up of organs, tissues and cells distributed throughout our body. The bone marrow, the spleen, the blood vessels and lymph nodes, the skin, the tonsils, the mucous membranes in our mouth, the respiratory tract, the gut or the genitourinary tract are all part of it. This whole set is responsible for protecting us from the attack of external agents (viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.) and different toxic substances to which we are exposed.

In the case of a healthy person, the immune system will react to an “attack” and will adapt its response according to the severity of the attack. However, sometimes our immune system may fail either because it is weakened (immunodeficiency), or because it attacks the body itself instead of protecting it since it believes it is the enemy (autoimmune diseases), or because it reacts disproportionately to a foreign agent (allergies).

As we have indicated before, with cold temperatures, there are some circumstances (humidity, suitable temperature, more time indoors, etc.) that promote the survival of viruses that cause flu and colds. But both in spring and summer, there are other situations, habits and lifestyles that may weaken our immune system.

  • Unbalanced diet:

With good weather, our social activities increase, our routines are put aside, and it is more complicated to follow good dietary habits. Lunches and dinners away from home, barbecues, trips and vacations usually become excesses, processed dishes and meals full of saturated fats and sugars.

If we want to take care of our immune system, we need a varied and well-balanced diet to get the necessary nutrients. Let’s benefit from summer, which is the season of salads, refreshing fruits and cold soups.

  • Lack of sleep:

Summer leads us to join multiple activities, and, therefore, we have fewer hours of sleep. This and the difficulty of sleeping on extremely warm summer nights worsen our sleep. It is essential to sleep for 7-8 hours to strengthen our immune system during rest.

  • High temperatures:

High temperatures in summer entail a risk for our immune system, as some studies show that heat stress may reduce our immune response.

Beware of the air conditioner! When it is at full power, it can have the same effect on our respiratory mucous membranes as the cold of winter.

  • Protecting your microbiota:

Many travelers suffer from diarrhea when doing tourism, which can turn our vacations into hell. It is mainly caused by bacteria and viruses that enter our bodies when we drink contaminated water or spoiled food, especially when we visit places with unsuitable hygiene and sanitation conditions. To prevent this, we should always drink bottled water, not accept ice cubes, and eat highly cooked food. Probiotics are also effective in preventing it. Different investigations have proven the efficacy of Saccharomyces boulardii yeast in the treatment of diarrhea, as it reduces the secretion of water and electrolytes in the intestine.

The sun is our great ally

Vitamin D, which is usually associated with the maintenance of bones, has other relevant functions. For instance, it is involved in immune function and strengthens our immune system by helping prevent infections. Many foods lack this vitamin, so we can naturally produce it by exposing our skin to the sun.

Moreover, the sun makes us want to go out, have an active lifestyle, and practice some more exercise. Moderate and regular physical activity also helps improve our immune system.

Tags #health #tips #defenses