Do you always get sick? Have a nose that drips all winter? Discover our ten practical tips for boosting the immune system and contributing to our organism to defend against viral and bacterial infections .
Maintain Your Immunity All Year Round
When do you need to primarily boost your immune system? “At every change of season or during periods of stress, but also during travel, when we can face new bacteria that our body is not used to,” suggests Ysabelle Levasseur, dietitian-nutritionist in Paris and Cannes.
Increase your defenses by means of a varying and balanced diet therefore owe to people who get sick very often undergo a regimen with antibiotics, who have the possibility of destabilizing the intestinal flora, or to pharmacological treatments in which way chemotherapy.
And finally, for commonally with a diet quite rich in sugars or animal proteins, it is also significant to pay attention to your immune system.
Save the intestinal flora
Maintaining the immune system starts with.. the food! “70% of our immune system is mainly found in the gut. In this way, the gut is the first barrier of defense of our immune system,” explains the dietitian-nutritionist.
Our intestinal flora (or microbiota) is populated by hundreds of millions of bacteria: some good ones, others not so much.. “An unbalanced gut flora favors infections,” says Ysabelle Levasseur. Therefore, it is significant to protect the stability of the intestinal flora and replenish it with good bacteria to preserve the immune system. Fermented foods will provide the intestinal flora with good bacteria: the well-known probiotics! “These good bacteria will help us to have greater resistance to infections,” advises the dietitian-nutritionist.
Some of the ideas of fermented items: yoghurts, sauerkraut, pickles, miso (a fermented soy paste)..
Certain ideas of fermented drinks: kefir and kombucha
Fill yourself with vitamins
Our immune system is made up of white blood cells, mainly lymphocytes. Your role is essential. They are the ones that defend our body against infections and ailments. “For the immune system to function optimally, it is important to eat a diet rich in antioxidant energy. These foods activate the production of cells in the immune system., which forms B and T lymphocytes and macrophages, which are basic for the production of antibodies that could suppress microbes or bad bacteria”, says Ysabelle Levasseur.
A study1 has shown that vitamin C reduces both the severity and duration of constipations. It is also important for the renewal of white blood cells.
Where can vitamin C be located in food? In raw vegetables (cabbage, peppers, etc. ), raw fruits such as citrus fruits, exotic fruits or red fruits.
See the articles much richer in vitamin C
A study2 showed that lack of vitamin D is associated with a more recognizable risk of infectious pathologies.
Where to find vitamin D in the diet? In fatty fish in which way cod liver, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovies, etc.
Stop a more surprising assimilation of vitamin D, “15 minutes of sun exposure every day on both arms and face help to fix vitamin D”, indicates that you should Ysabelle Levasseur.
See the products richest in vitamin D
Vitamins A and E
“Vitamin A is playing an essential role. It contributes, in its action with vitamin E, to the proper functioning of the immune system”, stresses the dietitian-nutritionist.
Where to find vitamin A in food? In offal, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach and cauliflower..
Where do you have the possibility to get vitamin Y also in the articles? In hazelnut oil, nuts, cereals..
“A lack of zinc directly wears out the immune system,” says Ysabelle Levasseur, dietitian-nutritionist. By the way, zinc is a key mineral in the fight against infections. It works directly on the good performance of the thymus, the organ responsible for the production of white blood cells and antibodies.
Where to locate zinc in the diet? In white and red meat, fish, seafood, eggs, etc.
“Magnesium helps increase the production of white blood cells,” explains Ysabelle Levasseur, “and you have to be tired or stressed and, consequently, much more susceptible to infections”.
Magnesium: where to find it in the products? Sprouts of cereals, nuts, oilseeds, dried vegetables.
See the foods that are richest in magnesium
“Iron increases defenses. It is an important element for the proper functioning of the body: it transports oxygen in the body, is involved in the formation of red blood cells and in the regeneration of lymphocytes”, describes Ysabelle Levasseur.
The lack of iron is particularly harmful to women and children. “Children with iron deficiencies exert quite a significant impulse to disease involvement,” stresses the dietitian-nutritionist. In particular, there is a danger of common infections, which forms ear infections.
Iron of animal origin: where to find it in the articles? In meat (especially red), black sausage, offal as well as liver, seafood, fish, mussels, etc.
Iron from plants: where to find it in the products? On dried vegetables, algae, etc. However, we talk about non-heme iron, that is, that the organism absorbs it worse than animal iron. To strengthen its absorption, opt for vitamin C in exactly the same diet: it increases the absorption of iron present in vegetables.
Iron absorption rate:
Heme iron (animal origin): 20/30
Non-heme iron (from plants): 2/5
See the foods that are much richer in iron
“Selenium contributes to the usual functioning of the immune system, because it proceeds with vitamin C to regenerate immune system cells. It also modulates inflammatory and immune reactions”, teaches Ysabelle Levasseur.
Selenium: where to find it in the articles? A large Brazil nut is enough to provide proper daily intake for an adult. Other sources of selenium include seafood and fish.
Minimize burdened status
Scientific studies3 have confirmed that chronic stress has an opportunity to affect the proper functioning of the immune system. Excessive and prolonged secretion of cortisol (the stress hormone) has the option of minimizing the immune system of the immune system.
Practice a regular physical occupation
Regular physical profession decreases burdened hormones and stimulates the immune system-4-5 throughout and after exercise. This not only reduces the risk of contracting a virus, but also decreases the severity of symptoms and accelerates recovery from infection. Be careful: the high exercise has the unique opportunity to exhaust its defenses.
Fatigue and lack of sleep wear down the body. Followed with low sleep quality, they are more vulnerable to infections and have a much weaker immune response than those with good sleep quality.