Strengthening the natural defenses becomes vital in the face of the increase in the circulation of viruses and the proliferation of respiratory diseases; that intensify with the rainy season.
More and more people are looking for natural solutions that help strengthen defenses to prevent illnesses and diseases, through vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and probiotics. However, one of the most sought after options at this time is Echinacea, known as “the favorite herb of the immune system”.
According to data from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, in 2021 there were 11,479 hospital discharges due to diseases of the respiratory system, of which 3,361 were due to influenza (flu) and pneumonia. Of the total discharges, 6,461 were men and 5,018 women, in both cases with the majority of patients aged 65 and older, 1,619 and 1,454 respectively.
The main defense against diseases
“It is important to strengthen the immune system, since we are now exposed to more and very lethal viruses. It is the main defense against diseases, be it a flu, cold and even Covid-19. The immune system works better in a healthy body and we can achieve this through healthy daily habits”, explained Dr. Hernán Suárez, surgeon and gerontologist.
Among the advice provided by the specialist are:
- Physical exercise:
Exercising is a way to stimulate the immune system, since it makes antibodies and white blood cells circulate more quickly, detecting and concentrating on viruses more quickly. In addition, it reduces stress, which reduces the possibility of contracting any disease.
It is important to stabilize the body with the necessary vitamins and supplements, in order to boost the strengthening of the immune system. “People can take it in capsules that are natural with vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, probiotics, and echinacea, once a day. Its consumption is recommended for people over 12 years of age. It is essential to listen to the body and help it protect us from any health situation that arises”, concluded Suárez.
- Healthy eating:
Having a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains helps reduce inflammation and fight infections. According to the Multicomplex Vit specialist, by maintaining a strong immune system, it will be possible to deal with any viral problem, and if it is the case of having the flu or a cold, it will be more benevolent. In addition, he mentions that it goes beyond viral prevention, since it even helps the healing of the skin.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is native to North America, at first it was used to treat wounds or snake bites for its disinfectant and healing properties. Currently, it is used more frequently to combat ailments such as respiratory infections, being used for conditions as common and recurring as cold and flu.
This medicinal plant has a powerful and broad antiviral activity and active ingredients that act by strengthening the immune system and increasing defenses. Even the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepts its use to prevent and treat colds.
For its part, vitamin C can help reduce the duration of the cold, depending on the conditions of each person. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, one of the essential minerals for normal bone formation, while zinc is one of the most important essential nutrients for its resistance to infections. In addition, probiotics are effective in preventing the attachment, establishment, replication, and action of harmful bacteria.