Reinforced immunity for less troubled winters!

With winter fast approaching, it's time to boost your immunity! Food, physical activity, lifestyle, environment, etc. Many factors may influence it. Here are some tips to naturally boost your immune system.

Immunity, what is it?

In a nutshell, immunity is the body's ability to resist foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses.

At every moment, our immune system defends us against armies of pathogens. During the winter, cold and fatigue weaken our immunity, making us more vulnerable.

Our immune system is active from birth: this is called innate immunity. This first barrier of defence allows us to fight against the infectious agents that surround us. Following an infection, innate immunity activates acquired immunity. This latter amplifies the immune response. Acquired immunity relies on pathogen recognition to develop a specific response. Thus, if the body is again confronted with the same agent, "memory" cells allow a faster and more efficient elimination.

Bet on diet to boost your immunity

Stimulating one's immune system is crucial in any season. The majority of immune defences are found in the intestines: it is the first defence organ. Thanks to its rich and complete bacterial flora, it plays a significant role. It is thanks to the food that our flora diversifies! Eating a balanced and varied diet is essential.

Prefer foods rich in vitamins A and C and minerals such as zinc, copper, iron and selenium that contribute to normal immune system function. For example, bet on Vitamin C to boost you! In addition to its many virtues, vitamin C* promotes iron absorption from vegetables. For cabbage aficionados, cook red cabbage, green cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, kale, etc. All are rich in vitamin C, as are spinach, broccoli, chard, peas and leeks. As you will have understood, go green! The bravest of those amongst you may also find some vitamin C in peppers. Finally, a sweet touch: vitamin C is present in most fruits. It is found at high concentrations in citrus  fruits: lemon, grapefruit, orange, mandarin, etc. besides being excellent, these fruits are in season!

Also favour foods rich in zinc, a trace element that participates in normal immune system function and helps our cells protect themselves against oxidative stress. You can for example try spirulina, a super alga rich in protein, or more basically dried tomatoes, carrots or seafood.

Strengthening one's health can also rhyme with gourmet treats. Rich in magnesium, dark chocolate is good for your immune system.

Some plants, such as echinacea, can also support immune defences! A food supplement can also help you supplement this intake.

Best practices

Hygiene, physical activity, sleep: some good reflexes to be taken into account to improve your immunity.

Hygiene: in winter, our immune system is put to the test, microbes are everywhere: on our hands, in the air, on door handles... It is therefore important to ventilate one's living space 5 minutes per day, but also to wash one's hands several times a day!

Sport: as basic as it sounds, make sure you have a healthy lifestyle, starting with regular physical exercise. Winter should not be an excuse to stop sports. Zumba, bikram yoga, aqua-bike, indoor cycling, rock climbing, etc. as a non-exhaustive list of indoor sports. Sports activity provides general well-being, eases stress and thus promotes sleep.

Sleep a real tip for a restful sleep: learn to control your stress. Have you tried meditation? Among its many virtues, meditation can reduce anxiety. A food supplement can also help you.

As you can see, providing your body with the nutrients it needs is your weapon of choice for an efficient microbiota. Just introduce some simple habits into daily life to boost your immunity. Fighting winter chills now holds no secrets for you!

* Vitamin C contributes to normal immune system function, protects cells against oxidative stress, reduces fatigue and increases iron absorption.

Sources :  https://ciqual.anses.fr/