if you have seen Game of Thrones you will know that winter is coming (winter is coming), and with it we face our own white walkers: viruses, bacteria and parasites, guilty of colds and flu. To prevent us from winning the battle again we must increase our defenses and protect our immune system as if it were our kingdom.
The immune system protects the body from diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Leukocytes, also called white blood cells, are part of this sophisticated system, and are responsible for destroying microbes and toxic agents to keep our body away from any infectious disease.
Not only temperature changes are responsible, some factors such as stress, accelerated pace of life and poor diet can also weaken our immune system.
How to strengthen the immune system?
So that next winter viruses and bacteria do not win the battle, have dragons to protect you, we will offer you a series of weapons with which to face the arrival of the cold.
1-Take care of your diet:
A varied and balanced diet rich in zinc and vitamins A, B, C and E, are essential to strengthen the immune system. Reduce or avoid eating refined foods and fried foods. Increase the consumption of citrus fruits and vegetables as they act as antioxidants to protect and strengthen your immune system.
Try incorporating these foods into your daily diet to increase defenses and strengthen the immune system:
Foods with vitamin A, protect the respiratory cells and help improve the immunity of the skin: tomato, beet, strawberries, cherries, spinach, lettuce, carrots and squash.
Foods with vitamin B, essential to increase the defenses and maintain the proper functioning of the body: Fish, egg and legumes.
Foods with vitamin C, essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. An excellent source is citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, kiwi, apple and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, peppers and potatoes.
Foods with vitamin E, strengthens the immune system for its natural antioxidant properties: nuts, asparagus and olive oil.
Zinc-rich foods, such as whole grains, seafood, legumes, eggs, dairy products, fish, meat and pumpkin seeds. A deficiency in zinc can weaken the immune system, allowing the entry of viruses and external agents.
2-Exercise is part of your life:
Practicing exercise on a regular basis will not only help you stay fit, it is essential to exercise because it helps your body fight infections and decreases the risk of other diseases. Get involved in physical activities that you enjoy: swimming, zumba, Pilates, go jogging or walk 20 minutes a day. Create your own routine and exercise two to three times a week. You will notice the difference and you will feel better!
3-Stress and anxiety management:
Stress and anxiety decrease defenses and weakens the immune system, making our body more predisposed to contracting an infectious disease.
To reduce stress and find calm, it is very effective to practice breathing exercises and relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga. A twenty-minute yoga session will leave you totally relaxed, revitalized and will generate greater well-being.
Positive thoughts accompanied by laughter also play an important role in fighting stress, as we release endorphins that are responsible for well-being and happiness.
“A day without laughing is a day lost”
Lack of sleep causes negative effects on health and especially on the immune system. There is a close relationship between rest and the immune system, since sleep quality is an important factor in balancing the immune system and for the production of white blood cells, responsible for protecting the body from germs.
Little sleep weakens the immune system and creates stress. At night when we sleep is when the process of repair of our cells and the regeneration of the body takes place, as well as the reserves of energy. It is recommended to sleep a minimum of 7 to 8 hours a day.
If you have trouble sleeping, it is very advisable to exercise every day for 20 or 30 minutes, as it helps you fall asleep and rest better.
5-Avoid excesses and make healthy choices:
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol regularly. They are two enemies that will weaken you and help you to get sick. Drinking excess alcohol suppresses the immune system and tobacco ages the skin, damages the respiratory tract, reduces blood flow and increases the risk of infections, being smokers more prone to suffer colds and flu, since it weakens the immune system significantly.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that are part of our bacterial flora and play an important role for the health of the gastrointestinal tract and to strengthen the immune system. Probiotics are found in fermented dairy foods. The consumption of these probiotic foods, together with a balanced diet rich in fiber and free of saturated fats, help strengthen the immune system.
7 – Other remedies to strengthen the immune system naturally:
This plant is native to the prairies of the United States with antimicrobial properties that acts against bacteria, fungi and viruses.It is a natural and effective remedy to prevent colds and colds in addition to being used to treat infections in the tonsils, skin, gums and in the urinary tract. Echinacea also stimulates the immune system, producing more white blood cells.