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Five tips to support your immune system

What does our immune system do?

Our human immune system defends the organism against external intruders and foreign substances. We also know it as the body’s own health police.

How can you actively support your immune system?

1. Exercise in the fresh air.

Regular exercise gets the blood circulation going and keeps our mucous membranes moist. However, if there are signs of a cold, it is better not to do any strenuous sport. (If you feel unsecure, please contact your doctor.)

2. Wash your hands

Bacteria and viruses can be transferred while shaking hands or while touching door handles, shopping carts etc. Avoid touching your face with your hands. Wash your hands several times a day with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (2x singing Happy Birthday takes about 20 seconds).

3. Take care of your intestinal flora.

The intestine and the immune system are closely related. About 80% of the immune cells are located in the intestinal microbiome. A healthy intestinal flora is extremely important for an effective immune system.

4. Drink enough.

Our mucous membranes in the nasal and pharynx dry out quickly through warm air in closed rooms. Dry mucous membranes weaken the body’s natural barrier for viruses and bacteria. Drink about 2 litres of water or unsweetened tea a day.

5. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

Alcohol weakens our immune system. Nicotine weakens the function of certain white blood cells. This makes pathogens easy to enter your body.

Good immune system = good intestinal health

The motor of your body.

The gut is the motor of our life. If it does not run properly, it affects our whole body. Our lifestyle is decisive for how our gut is doing. Today is characterized above all by an oversupply of industrially manufactured food and harmful environmental influences. This makes it difficult to maintain a healthy intestinal flora (microbiome). Numerous authors and scientists such as Giulia Enders in “Gut, The inside story of our body´s most under-rated organ” (Original German title: Darm mit Charme) and Bas Kast with his “The diet compass” (Original German title: Der Ernährungskompass), have dealt with this problem for decades and have developed effective measures to maintain the intestinal flora. Mainly the large intestine, with its many trillions of different microorganisms, is responsible for making the various nutrients and vital substances available to the body from our food. Unfortunately, this process is often disrupted by a wide variety of factors, which on the one hand can lead to poor detoxification of the body and on the other hand to poor absorption of important nutritional components.

What can I do to promote gut health?

A diversified menu and the avoidance of permanent stress combined with regular exercise can help to keep the intestinal flora intact.

What harms the intestinal flora? (Examples)

Taking antibiotics, although necessary, harms the intestinal flora, since it cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria. Therefore, the good intestinal bacteria will be destroyed together with the bad ones. The way we eat also influences our intestinal flora. The often too low content of fibres, too much animal fats and proteins as well as emulsifiers and preservatives have a negative effect on our intestines. Psychological factors such as stress can also affect our microbiome (intestinal flora). The desired and supportive lactobacilli are rare in this case, so that unwanted intestinal germs can spread much easier.

Why do you need a healthy intestinal flora?

We need our microbiome for the efficient absorption of vitamins and nutrients from our diet. In addition to that it also helps us filtering out toxins, producing various fatty acids that we cannot absorb from food, and last but not least to cleanse the intestines from fermenting food residues.

The intestinal flora can best cope with all these tasks if it is supplied with as many active intestinal bacteria as possible, such as lactobacilli, enterococci and bifido bacteria, every day.

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