You might know how imperative immunity is for your health. It is something that our mom and grandmas have stressed about since our childhood. Having a strong immune system protects our body from all invading pathogens and thereby from all diseases. Immunity is important for our body to work in harmony. However, there is a great deal of false and misleading facts surrounding immunity that have been causing some uncertainties.
So let’s just bust the myths!
Winter And Immunity – The Misconnection
So we have the winter just around the corner. So it is high time to talk about it to unclear the clouds surrounding it. It is commonly believed that winter always weakens the immune system. But it is not!
It is the viruses, and not the colder climate. Viruses replicate faster in the colder environment. These viruses are present during the summer season too. However, during the winter, we usually tend to stay indoors with close contact with each other which eases out the spread of pathogens.
Also, the dry and cold air during the winter dries out the mucous layer present inside the nose. Additionally, as the nose doesn’t have the insulating fat, the temperature inside the nose will dip lower than the body’s usual temperature i.e.98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. These things make it an ideal environment for the viruses to survive and invade your lungs to cause infections.
In order to avoid infections and colds, you need to wash and sanitize your hands, eat healthy, and stay away from infected people.
Eating Is Not Okay!
Another myth suggests fasting during a fever, as eating could scale up the body temperature while eating full during the cold, as it could warm the body. Be informed that there is no clear-cut proof backing up this.
However, it is a fact that when you have a cold, you don’t feel like eating. Because, at that time, your body triggers your immune system to fight against what is bothering you, releasing a chemical called ‘cytokines’ – which is responsible for your tiredness and loss of appetite. All the energy will be directed towards your immune system, instead of triggering your hunger. Doctors say it is the body’s natural way of reacting to your illnesses.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat either. Eat as much as you can to support your immune system, without forcing yourself. Most importantly, stay hydrated to avoid dehydration. Again, it is advised to drink plenty of warm water, as it is believed that cold water can elevate the infection. But physiologically, you can drink cold water, and the warm water has nothing to do with your illnesses. So no matter what you drink, keep yourself hydrated. Sometimes, you can go for warm soups like chicken soup to boost your immunity.
Exercise Weakens The Immune System
It is again a myth. During a cold, your body will make you tired, stressing you to take rest. You can’t indulge in exercising at those times. And, doing intense workouts can make you more tired, weaken the muscles and temporarily influence your immunity. However, low-intense workouts are good to go with. Low to moderate-intensity workouts have proven to strengthen the immune system and improve blood circulation – meaning, the white blood cells, and anti-inflammatory substances circulate effectively throughout the body. This helps your immune system to fight against the pathogens more effectively.
But while doing exercise, make sure that your body is hydrated, you take enough rest in between the exercises and you keep the moves moderated.
Bacteria Are Harmful For Your Immunity
It is true to some extent! Because, immunity-related diseases such as colds, allergies, or fevers are mainly caused by certain bacteria and viruses. You might have studied in your school that tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cholera by Vibrio cholerae, and strep throat by Streptococcus pyogenes.
Albeit – not all types of bacteria are harmful to immunity. Some are harmless, helpful, and take residency within the body.
For instance, Lactobacillus acidophilus – a type of probiotic that lives in your intestine, mouth, and food tract and is crucial for your gut health and digestion. The ample presence of this type of bacteria eases digestion, facilitates nutrition absorption, and improves gut health. As gut health is so crucial for your immunity, this bacteria benefits your immune system.
This proves that some bacteria are good for your immune system.
Immune System Remains Constant
Just like your other bodily systems, the immune system will also age as you get old. Due to nutrition, stress, and conditions such as cardiac issues, diabetes, and hypertension, your immune system may face a decline.
Moreover, even in your early stage of life, it can face downfall due to sedentary lifestyle, inadequate sleep, alcohol, smoking, and an unhealthy diet. And, it is important to note that not everyone is blessed with the same immunity. From person to person, it varies.
Hence the immune system will not be the same for everyone and throughout your life. So it is not a deal if you have good immunity as they age, and some have very weak systems.
Immunity is essential for a human being to stay hale and healthy. It is the first line of defense for your body, wherever it gets exposed to infections. So it is important to have a better understanding of immunity to maintain a strong immune system.