The winter period is dangerous for our immune system, here are some tips to allow your body to naturally fight against external attacks.
Strengthening the immune system helps prevent getting sick in winter and autumn, periods when microbes and viruses are strongly present.
Our immune system is a fairly complex machine. It is possible to stimulate it naturally, this requires a comprehensive lifestyle reform and work on the intestinal flora. It is also possible to strengthen your immune system by getting a little help with food supplements or essential oils. In this article, our team of experts offers you different ways to boost your immune system during winter.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is a very complex process in which different white blood cells interact with each other and react to external attacks.
Why is our immune system weakened during winter and fall?
During winter, cold air promotes the circulation of viruses, microbes, fungi and parasites, which are often poorly received by the body due to the drop in antibodies.
Indeed, when it is cold we have a much greater desire to consume fatty foods. In response, intestinal inflammations can be felt. Indeed, the digestive system is one of the most important elements of our immunity.
In addition, in winter, serotonin production tends to decrease, it is a hormone developed by the brain and the intestine, but a low serotonin level can increase the level of stress, fatigue, themselves elements generating the decline in the immune response.
Here is a list of foods to eat to strengthen your immune system during winter
Garlic is the food par excellence rich in prebiotics (these good bacteria which will nourish your intestinal flora, the first line against invaders such as viruses, pathogenic bacteria, etc.). Garlic is antiseptic, antifungal (against fungi), it helps the body overcome winter infections (1).
Little advice: take it in the form of a food supplement because the 3 pods per day may leave your office neighbors a little perplexed... Get into the habit of consuming at least 2 prebiotic foods per day and vary the pleasures! (Choice: onions, kiwi, flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, citrus fruits etc.).
b. Lacto-fermented vegetables
Rich in pre- and probiotics, they will have a direct action on your intestinal flora and will thus allow your body to better resist infections. So don't hesitate to integrate kefir, pickles, sauerkraut, miso soups, etc. into your daily routines. The fermentation of vegetables allows you to increase storage times and improve the bioavailability of nutrients for the body . You can find ready-made preserves in organic stores or make them yourself.
vs. Fruit juices
Drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice every day will allow you to stock up on vitamins B and C but also other agents such as potassium to boost the immune system. Generally speaking, consuming fruit in large quantities will allow your body to provide a negative response to foreign bodies.
d. slow carbohydrates to favor
In general, a varied diet is important to have the best possible immune response.
It is preferable to consume slow carbohydrates present for example in pasta, rice and bread because the fast sugars present in sweets in particular do not boost serotonin production in the same way. Which as we saw previously is an essential element for our immunity.
The different habits to adopt to reduce boost your immune system
- The sleep
In order to increase your immune response it is important to sleep at least 7 hours per night because when an individual lacks sleep certain families of white blood cells decrease, leading to a loss of immunity.
To be in great shape it is also recommended to consume magnesium, it helps reduce stress levels and makes it easier to fall asleep, consuming it thus helps boost the immune system. It is present in many foods such as cereals, dried fruits, etc.
- Play sports
Regular sports practice helps boost blood circulation and thus reduce the body's fragility in the face of external attacks. A daily active walk of 30 minutes a day is very effective in combating respiratory attacks.
In addition, playing sports helps reduce stress, which disrupts the immune system. Indeed, stress increases the level of cortisol in the blood which in the long term has a negative impact on the protection of our body against external attacks.
Food supplements, real allies to boost your immunity
has. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a risk of chronic infections, particularly respiratory infections (3). And as it is a vitamin that requires regular exposure to the sun for its synthesis, it is important to measure its levels carefully in winter in order to adapt a supplement if necessary (which is very often the case). A dose of 1000iu of vitamin D3 /day for an adult may be necessary, discuss this with your doctor or therapist who will advise you on the procedure to follow.
Zinc is the mineral par excellence which is involved in immunity (4) and which you can find in your Epycure formula. It is mainly found in foods rich in protein such as meat, seafood (oysters) but also in legumes, wheat germ, shiitake mushrooms, etc. Elderly people, vegetarians and vegans are the populations most affected by zinc deficiency. However, be careful with supplements, respect the recommended daily doses and in the case of a cure , limit it over time.
vs. The iron
Iron is an essential element for the proper functioning of the immune system; iron deficiencies can lead to the risk of infections such as ear infections or laryngitis. Iron is present in many foods, but is mainly consumed in meat and legumes.
Echinacea is a plant with pink flowers that comes from North America. It contains phenols which will stimulate our immune system by releasing cytokines (these are chemical messengers which will have an impact on your immunity ). (5) If you want to boost your immunity , you will find it in your personalized treatment .
There are essential oils, notably those of ravintsara, which can be used preventively to strengthen the immune system. Different essential oils help fight effectively against flu epidemics, sore throats, colds, etc.
As a preventative measure, the use of this oil has a stimulating effect; it activates certain adrenal glands and thus boosts the immune system.
You need to mix essential oils of eucalyptus, lemon and niaouli.
You must pour a few drops of a mixture of different essential oils on the inside of your wrist, and gently breathe this mixture once a day. This will have a direct effect on your immune system, and will also give you a little boost during the day.
So the use of plants as a preventative measure to strengthen the immune system is very effective.
In fact, to combat coughs or sore throats, they can be inhaled to have a decongestant effect or simply applied to the skin directly to combat the flu, for example.