How to boost your immune system before winter, flu and COVID-19 arrive

Typical temperature changes starting in autumn may favor respiratory diseases because they inhibit the function of first respiratory defense mechanisms.

The cold itself is not what makes people sick, but sudden changes in temperature and staying indoors increase the chance of contracting seasonal illnesses. However, our bodies may be more or less ready to respond. Here we explain how to help our immune system’s innate abilities.

‘healthy body’

The season of respiratory illness is upon us: cold, flu, or COVID-19. Our immune system is responsible for dealing with viruses. How to strengthen it? In a healthy person, our innate defenses are well prepared and strong. Therefore, the following recommendations can enable everyone to lead a healthy lifestyle, thus guaranteeing a reduction (also) in the incidence of lifestyle-dependent diseases.

Exercise (but not too much)

Those who exercise (in addition to the benefits related to weight loss, stress reduction, and muscle tone) also have less chance of getting sick. People with special training seem to suffer less respiratory infections, and tend to have milder illnesses. because? Researchers believe that muscle exercise helps immune cells circulate more actively in the blood. Additionally, regular moderate-intensity exercise can reduce chronic inflammation. However, you shouldn’t overdo it: Exercise that’s too strenuous can put stress on the body. It can impair immune function in some people by overstimulating the immune system, promoting inflammation, and depleting glycogen stores.

Get a good night’s sleep and fight stress

Lack of sleep weakens the immune system and promotes weight gain, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. On the contrary, restful sleep can actually empower us. This is proven by studies of people who have received vaccines such as hepatitis or flu shots. When we sleep, during the deep sleep stages, cortisol (the stress hormone) is also suppressed, allowing for full-body relaxation. It’s important to combat chronic stress because it weakens us. Stress hormones induce the release of inflammatory substances, making the immune system less effective at fighting infection.

quit smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor for the most common and serious diseases, from cancer to cardiovascular disease and lung damage. Regarding cancer, statistics clearly show that cigarettes are linked to approximately one-third of all tumors and 17 different types of cancer. In a study of melanoma patients in the UK, it was observed how smoking impairs the function of the immune system, reducing its ability to respond to tumors.

follow a healthy diet

The cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle that keeps us and our immune systems healthy is a proper diet. Focus on foods that are essential to combat seasonal illnesses and remember to eat brightly colored, varied fruits and vegetables and stick to your five daily servings.

As cold weather approaches, it’s best to choose vegetables from the cruciferous family (green and red cabbage, broccoli, radishes and turnip greens), but also any vegetables that grow underground to withstand the cold and are rich in vitamin E. . Antioxidants (carrots, onions, chives, leeks, shallots). Nuts (especially walnuts), dark chocolate, turmeric, apples, green tea: all foods rich in flavonoids, which prevent inflammation and have antiviral properties. Mushrooms are also rich in selenium and beta-glucan, an immune stimulant that activates white blood cells.

Drinking alcohol is not recommended: in addition to directly causing organic damage (such as liver cirrhosis), it also has an inflammatory effect on various organs and increases susceptibility to infection.

Cultivate good intestinal flora

The role of our gut bacteria (which make up our microbiome) is critical to many aspects of our health. The microbiota has multiple functions, among which it forms a barrier that prevents the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria through a mechanism known as the “barrier effect”, regulates the maturation of the immune system and modulates its activity.

Therefore, foods that promote the growth of “good” bacteria can bolster our defenses: hence the green light for prebiotics, probiotics and dairy enzymes.

People who are sick, frail or have special dietary habits

Obviously, the immune system can be weakened due to pathological conditions or vulnerabilities, which is typical of older people, but it is not only that. In this case, it is not enough to adopt a healthy lifestyle (it helps, but for the patient it may not be possible to follow the above recommendations), but it is necessary from time to time to contact a specialist to get advice on appropriate supplements, whether vitamins, Mineral supplements and other substances are also medications.

It is understood that even those who may be deficient due to specific health reasons or dietary choices (e.g., vegetarians or people with celiac disease, or people with digestive disorders, etc.) need access to supplements selected by the treating physician. help. The advice given is equally valid, but may not be sufficient.

What we learned from COVID-19

In the face of the new coronavirus epidemic, we have learned to understand and use protective measures to guide us in preventing all infectious diseases: washing hands frequently, washing hands frequently, followed by maintaining social distance, maintaining indoor ventilation, wearing masks as a defense, and – when we When sick – as a consideration for others.

Vaccinations help the immune system

Getting the recommended vaccinations is a way to train our immune system not to weaken (as some might think) but to get stronger, like an athlete’s training. A large body of research data and clinical observations suggest that some vaccines protect against other diseases: tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) has been studied in particular, but this has also been found with measles vaccines, which protect against other diseases, infections ( Not entirely, but significantly).

All the more reason to get at least vaccinated against COVID and the next flu, but there’s also a vaccine for pneumonia. Instructions must be given by a doctor.

When and why we get sicker

The cold won’t make you sick itself Cold does not “freeze” our immune systems. However, the typical temperature changes starting in autumn may be beneficial to respiratory diseases because they inhibit the function of “mucociliary clearance”, which is the first defense mechanism of the respiratory tract, due to “the work of vibrating cilia, the mucus is constantly renewed”, in Certain climatic conditions (transitions from hot to cold and from cold to hot) are temporarily fixed. Since the mucus is not renewed, viruses can enter.

According to the following standards

trust project

learn more

Source link

Leave a Comment