Skip to main content

The Immune System - What is the immune system and how can we strengthen it?

The Immune System - What is the immune system and how can we strengthen it?

We live in a world surrounded by microbes, and our bodies are constantly in contact with bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Natural microflora exists on all bodily surfaces, in the digestive system, oral and nasal cavities, and other areas. There is usually a balance between harmful foreign invaders and the body's defense mechanisms, but sometimes this balance can tip in favor of microbes, leading to illness.

The immune system is a complex network of chemical and biological mechanisms that have evolved over thousands of years to protect our body from threats to its health and survival. During seasonal changes or periods of stress, it is essential to take care of our immune system to ensure it functions optimally and protects us from seasonal illnesses such as colds, coughs, and other viruses and bacteria.

What is the immune system?

The immune system is a vast network of organs, white blood cells, proteins (antibodies), and chemicals. This system collaborates in protecting the body from foreign invaders (bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi) that cause infections, diseases, and illnesses.

Imunski sistem

Its role is to prevent the entry of microbes into the body, destroy them, or limit the extent of their harm if they enter.

The immune system has two main components:

  1. Innate immune system: This part of the immune system is present from birth. It represents the first line of defense and responds to general threats. It includes physical barriers like the skin and mucous membranes, as well as cells like macrophages and neutrophils that directly attack and destroy foreign microbes.

  2. Adaptive immune system: This part of the immune system develops when the body is exposed to specific microbes or chemicals released by microbes. It's the part of the immune system that forms specific antibodies to recognize and fight against particular pathogens. The adaptive immune system includes lymphocytes like B-cells and T-cells, as well as other cells and molecules that play a role in precise pathogen recognition and elimination.

It's crucial for these two components of the immune system to work together to provide effective protection against diseases.

How does the immune system work?

We live in a world surrounded by microbes, and our bodies are constantly in contact with bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Natural microflora exists on all bodily surfaces, in the digestive tract, mouth, nose, and other cavities. Usually, there is a balance between the harmful effects of foreign agents and the body's defense mechanisms.

This balance can tip one way or the other, depending on the immune system's ability to resist invasions from foreign agents and their aggressiveness. Sometimes, the immune system fails, and the balance shifts in favor of the microbes, leading to illness.

The immune system functions as a defense system that activates when the body detects the presence of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Often, this results in symptoms of illness, such as fever and fatigue.

Krepitev imunskega sistema

When harmful microorganisms breach the skin and mucous membranes, the first line of defense, called the innate immune system, is activated. Its role is not to destroy the enemy but to slow it down and gather information about it. Later, specific immunity is activated, involving B and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes recognize microorganisms and produce antibodies that tag harmful elements for destruction, while T lymphocytes directly attack infected cells.

When the body detects the invasion of microbes, inflammation occurs at the site of infection. This involves increased blood flow, redness, and swelling. The immune system mobilizes defensive cells like neutrophils and macrophages to combat the infection.

What can we do to strengthen our immune system during times of stress or seasonal changes? Should we improve our diet? Reach for vitamins or herbal remedies? Change our lifestyle to support the immune system?

There is no clear-cut answer because scientists are still studying the functioning and responses of the immune system. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle strategy is an excellent starting point to enlist the immune system as an ally.

What weakens our immune system?

The answer is simple: several factors can influence our immune system, but we'll focus on the most common causes here. The fast pace of modern life and the stress it generates create tension throughout the body, making our natural defenses vulnerable.

When we add an unhealthy and unbalanced diet to this factor, within the context of a sedentary lifestyle, our bodies become less forgiving.


This combination of unhealthy habits is becoming increasingly characteristic of modern life, often leading to a constant state of weakness and vulnerability. By subjecting our bodies to stress, we expose them to numerous threats to our physical and mental health.

How to boost the immune system?

Because the immune system is complex and second in complexity only to the nervous system, it requires balance for proper functioning. This includes getting enough sleep, engaging in regular moderate physical activity, maintaining mental calmness (minimizing negative stress), and having a balanced diet.

A balanced diet is key to success

You've probably heard the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." But it's not just apples; there are many foods rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy immune system. The most important ones include:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of many enzymes, contributing to the normal course of physiological processes in the body. It plays a role in immune system function helps maintain a healthy nervous system, reduces tiredness and fatigue, and is important for nutrient absorption and metabolism.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D affects various crucial functions in our bodies, primarily helping maintain the right levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.

Kolagen shot 10.000

This enables proper bone mineralization, influences skin cell differentiation, regulates immune cell activity, and affects hormone-sensitive gene expression, which regulates the production of many proteins.


Zinc is an essential element necessary for normal growth and development, neurological functions, reproductive functions, wound healing, and the proper functioning of the immune system.


Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found naturally in fish, algae, some seeds, and nuts. Many people also consume them through dietary supplements.

Omega 3 maščobne kisline

Omega-3 fatty acids provide energy to our bodies and are essential for child development, a healthy pregnancy, protection of internal organs, nutrient absorption, and maintaining good vision and brain and cardiovascular health.

Adequate Sleep

Sufficient sleep is essential for our health and a strong immune system, as it allows our bodies and minds to recharge. Healthy sleep helps maintain health and prevent illness. Without enough sleep, our brains cannot function correctly.


Some studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to attention deficits, decreased resilience, cognition, delayed reactions, and mood changes.

Stress Reduction

One could say that stress is a person's greatest enemy. Not only is it unpleasant, but negative stress can also reduce our physical resilience and lower the effectiveness of the immune system. It also affects the digestive tract, raises blood pressure and heart rate, and impacts cholesterol levels.

Although it's challenging to avoid stress in today's fast-paced world, we can learn to mitigate and manage it. Relaxation techniques can help in stressful situations. For some, a walk in nature works, while others find meditation or massage helpful.


One significant stress factor is time management. In your day, take on only as many activities as you can handle, and your body will thank you.

Exercise, Exercise, and More Exercise

Your body will be thankful for movement. Our bodies are designed for physical activity, which brings positive effects not only to the immune system but also to overall health. Moderate exercise improves cardiovascular health, regulates blood pressure, helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes circulation, and aids in reducing inflammation, contributing to the regeneration of immune system cells.


Tags: The immune system immune system strengthening vitamin D vitamin C dietary supplements what is the immune system