Health : Boost your immune system in winter: some tips that work
Winter is already here and we have already removed the coats, hats and scarves from the wardrobe. And with the cold outside and the temperatures dropping more and more, it is time for seasonal colds and the flu. Is there anything you can do to boost your immune system in winter and avoid frequent doctor visits? Even if it is impossible to completely insure yourself against winter diseases, you can still boost your natural defense by sometimes using just natural means.
What can you do to boost your immune system during the cold season?
But let's start by explaining what is the immune system? The immune system is made up of all of the things our bodies use to fight infections: antibodies, cells, and many other things that help us stay healthy. In general, the immune system does a great job of supporting the harmless geros that inhabit us and on us while identifying and expelling harmful species that can cause us disease or infection.
Some tips on how to boost your immune system in winter
Is there anything we can do to avoid winter colds? You may be able to avoid colds by putting on protective gear, but viruses will definitely find a way to eventually infect you. There are so many viruses that have evolved that cause colds – perhaps over 200 varieties. It is impossible to fight all the viruses that exist. Person-to-person contamination through small sneezed or coughed droplets in the air or through the mucous membrane that remains on hands and surfaces. He does have little things we can do to reduce the risk of contamination, such as washing our hands more often or avoiding sneezing on others when we are already sick.
Eating well is a good way to strengthen your immune system in winter
Why are the flu and colds so contagious in winter? As mentioned above, there are more than 200 viruses that attack us and are the cause of colds and flu. All of these viruses can survive on surfaces for hours to days. And at the same time the droplets can spread up to more than a meter when you sneeze or cough. Then the viruses sneak into your cells and it takes the body about a week to produce antibodies that can destroy them. It is also interesting to know that viruses change during the season, so even if you develop immunity against a certain virus, you can still get sick from this virus a second time, but transformed.
So if you spend several sick days during the year than on vacation, then it's time to make a change. In this article we offer some simple tips to do and follow to boost your immune system and stay healthy during the winter.
Breakfast is very important for the proper functioning of the immune system
Are you sure you want to go to work on an empty stomach? Researchers at the University of Cardiff have found that people who do not eat in the morning are more likely to get a cold or the flu in winter. Not eating in the morning can also cause jitters. If you don't eat breakfast, the blood sugar levels drop because of the long time spent without eating. And when this happens, you may feel anxious, craving for something sweet, or even feeling unwell. This, on the other hand, can increase stress levels and stress hormones like cortisol, which can then put your body into a fighting state that lowers its immune system.
So get out of bed a little earlier and make sure you take the time to eat well. Make yourself a breakfast that allows you to start the day with a good amount of protein instead of cereal glucose or chocolate and boost your immune system.
Remember, latte or black coffee does more than wake you up in the morning – it puts your body on high alert and triggers the release of adrenaline. This can prevent your immune system from working well because your body thinks you are under threat. Have whole grain nuts or crackers with you and tuna if you have a snack at work.
These small nutrient centers are actually immunomodulators and can help a lot to boost one's immune system. This is partly due to their very high beta-glucan levels which help activate the macrophage and natural killer cells essential for immune defenses.
Beta-glucans not only protect us from viruses but they inhibit the growth of tumors. A scientific study has shown that when firefighters who suffer from a lot of respiratory illnesses due to the high exposure to smoke have consumed beta-glucans daily, they get less sick. This is a good reason to add a little mushroom to your omelet, smoothies, salads, soups and stews.
Mushrooms good for immunity:
- Shiitake: Eating these mushrooms every day would boost the function of delta T cells and also reduce the inflammatory proteins that increase the risk of getting sick, according to researchers at the University of Florida.
- Reishi: This fan mushroom has traditionally been used to support the immune system, increase the body's energy and reduce allergies. According to a scientific study, daily consumption of reishi mushrooms would help stomach immunity and reduce inflammatory chemicals like cytokine and C-reactive protein to decrease inflammation.
- Turkey Tails: In China, this fungus is used to reduce phlegm. Scientific studies show that it contains proteoglycans that decrease inflammation and also act as signaling molecules that trigger crosstalk among receptors which help the immune system to work better. These mushrooms restore daily immune function but also help fight diseases like healthy cancer more effectively. But since this mushroom can be a bit tough, most people cheat on it in water and make an immunostimulating tea.
This miraculous mineral is found in each of your cells and is crucial for healthy cell development and proper functioning. Zinc interacts with thousands of proteins in the body and is involved in over 300 of the enzyme processes. Zinc improves wound healing and also improves thyroid function, stomach function, vision and smell.
Zinc is also a very strong antioxidant. It also appears that the zinc it prevents the immune system when it overdrives reducing the risk of an autoimmune disease. Zinc boosts immunity. When the body is deficient in zinc, it has a reduction in T cells that act like soldiers for your immune system.
Foods that contain zinc are clams, oysters, shrimp, beef, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, pinto beans, spinach, miso, cocoa, cashews. Zinc supplements can be very helpful during the cold months. Recent studies show that zinc can shorten the duration of a cold by up to three days.
The Cochrane review confirmed that zinc can help fight the disease if taken within the first 24 hours of symptom onset by reducing the duration of the virus. Be sure not to take too much zinc as this can lead to copper deficiency and lead to anemia.
Treat your gut
Hippocrates, the father of medicine said, "All diseases are born in the stomach." Today science finds the rest of this story. Scientific studies show that when the levels of bad bacteria are higher than those of good ones, the immune system is weakened. The immune system can also be weakened if you have chronic stomach disease. This includes dyspepsia, acid reflux and the leaky gut where there are small gaps between the lining and the stomach wall.
Boost your immunity by taking:
Foods rich in probiotics: These foods include miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir.
– Fermented beetroot: Kvass, a delicious fermented drink from Eastern Europe, is made from beetroot, saffron roots, water and salt. The result is a lactobacillic fermentation and it is a very healthy probiotic that does not contain yeast like Kombucha and it will not promote candida growth.
-Gelatin: Gelatin can help heal a leaky gut by lining your intestinal wall with collagen jelly and repairing the tissue that joins the stomach wall. Gelatin also reduces inflammation in the intestines.
The high sulfur content in garlic does much more than just improve the taste of what you eat. Garlic contains a powerful antibiotic and helps the liver to get rid of detoxification. This on the other hand reduces toxins and estrogen metabolites which contribute to the inflammation which compromises immunity. Garlic is also rich in selenium, an essential mineral that boosts immunity and can help women fight breast cancer.
Scientific studies show that garlic can lose some of its sulfur content when cooked, but mashing the garlic and letting it sit for 10 minutes before cooking helps protect the enzymes that are good for you . Add garlic to salads or put it in a bowl of hot water with lemon and honey.
Sprouted garlic has been proven to have even more antioxidants than fresh. After consuming it, you can chew a little mint to reduce the smell of garlic. Mediterranean cuisine, for example, uses a lot of garlic in many different ways, including in stews, seafood and rice.
This warm and slightly bitter spice increases the levels of a very important protein to boost your immune system to fight colds, viruses and bacteria, according to some scientific studies.
Also known as doré golden milk ’, the Indian saffron latte is a great way to get your daily dose of saffron. Grilled or powdered saffron can also be added to vegetable dishes, soups and stews and also to hummus.
Whenever you take a glass of matcha tea, green tea or oolong tea, your body experiences an immediate increase in antioxidants, called flavonoids. The polyphenol found in tea is even better than the one found in certain fruits and vegetables and helps you protect your body from free radical damage.
Within 20 minutes of taking a cup of tea, there is a big increase in the levels of antioxidants in the blood. Tea can also prevent stress hormones. People who drink tea have a faster decrease in cortisol levels after a stressful situation.
This is partly due to L-theanine which is a calming compound found in tea. In your liver, this compound is broken down into ethylamine, a molecule that helps your immune system fight bacteria, fungi and parasite infections. In the long term, L-theanine can also protect against carcinogenic tumors. Those who drink tea have five times more interferon – a natural protein made by the body's white cells to help fight threats.
-Leaf tea: Dip the leaves for 3 to 5 minutes to extract up to 85 percent of the flavonoids. Large leaves should be soaked longer while small ones should be soaked for a shorter time. Remember, adding sugar and milk to your tea can save you weight.
-Matcha tea: All green teas are very rich in antioxidants, so they naturally boost immunity. Matcha tea is in the form of a green powder and is even richer in antioxidants. Its high levels of L-Thenanine help the production of dopamine and serotonin – two neurotransmitters that improve mood and anxiety.
– Rosehip Tea: Like tomatoes, this tea is very rich in lycopene which can protect against cancer. Vitamin C and flavonoids in rosehip are also excellent allies against viruses such as the flu.
– Calming teas: These teas include chamomile, valerian and ashwagandha as well as teas that combine ingredients like lemon balm, skullcap and passion flower. These teas stabilize hormone levels giving a feeling of calm which allows your immune system to effectively protect you against viruses and diseases.
To keep you healthy, you also need a lot of nutrients to boost your immune system and balance your hormone levels. And this is where foods rich in antioxidants come from. These foods reverse the impact of excess hormones and stabilize free radicals by reducing the risk of disease.
Antioxidants can be found in:
-Red fruits: While blueberries contain the most antioxidants, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and elderberries are also very rich in antioxidants. This is thanks to their polyphenols including procyonid, quercetin and anthocyanins which give them their color.
-Hot cocoa: Scientific studies from Cornell University show that cocoa contains double the amount of antioxidants found in red wine and three times more than those found in tea. Cocoa is also very rich in magnesium, which can improve heart health and help reduce anxiety. This magical food also contains tryptophan which is converted into serotonin, a chemical which can help with a good mood. And the calmer state of the body ensures that the defenses of the immune system such as T cells can do their job effectively.
-Broccoli: Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, spinach and cauliflower help boost immunity and protect against cancer. Broccoli is a very good choice. They contain sulforaphane which helps the body's cells to repair itself and also helps the production of energy, hormones and antioxidants.
The more stressed you are, the less efficient your immune system is. In the long term, stress is linked to the development of diseases like cancer, because it causes mutations in DNA or compromises the ability to cure mutations. If you have a very stressful life, chronic stress can actually rewire your brain so that the part that registers stress and fear increases. This means that you will be even more stressed. Fortunately these changes can be reversed. Scientific studies show that when stress is relieved through good practices, in a few weeks or months, the brain begins to return to its healthy configurations.
The proper functioning of the thyroid is very important. If you have problems like anxiety and fluid retention, dry skin, low body temperature, and constant fatigue, you may have problems with your thyroid functioning.
It is true, cuddling helps lower blood pressure and increases levels of oxytocin, the same chemical we produce when we are in love. Oxytocin, on the other hand, triggers the release of molecules called anandamides.
A good laugh would help your immunity to activate the production of antibodies and activating protective T cells. Scientific research confirms that laughter increases the production of antibodies and natural killer cells in the body that fight tumors.
Writing about stress and emotions in a diary can help boost immunity in people with asthma, arthritis or AIDS. Writing can help you define your emotions, solve problems more effectively, work on negative emotions and get rid of stress.
The body repairs and renews itself during sleep, which may explain why when you don't sleep well, you can catch viruses more easily. People who sleep 8 hours at night develop a better antibody response when exposed to a virus.
Get a sleep schedule. Don't stay late checking your phone. Have a specific time for going to bed and getting up so that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. And if you have sleep problems, then avoid afternoon coffee and tea. Also avoid strong lights in the evening. Light can reduce the production of the hormone melatonin which can delay sleep by reducing your hours of sleep at night.
Vitamin D, which occurs in the skin under the influence of the sun, is essential for important processes in the body, such as fighting cancer cells, and it also helps the heart to function. Lack of Vitamin D is also linked to a high risk of getting the flu.
It is important to show yourself in the sun every day. Sunbathe in the morning or afternoon to prevent burns in the summer. Expose your face, hands and arms to the sun without a protective cream for about 10 minutes in summer and 15-20 minutes in winter. It is certainly not possible to always take the natural dose of vitamin D and in this case you can take it as a supplement.
So, it seems very easy to boost your immune system with your advice! Are you ready for the flu round?