health - how to improve ? coronavirus-disease-covid

10 ways to improve immunity

Many factors influence our immunity. We include here, among others: general health, chronic diseases, nutrition of the body, drugs and supplements used, physical activity, the environment in which we live. For this reason, it is worth taking care of yourself all the time and remembering about prevention to minimize the risk of catching a cold in the fall and winter, and not look for a miracle cure or a way to recover quickly. The basis is always preventive action, not temporary and selective, because only then can we ensure a lasting improvement in our immunity.

How to improve your immunity in 10 steps?

1. Rich and nutritious diet

Our diet plays a massive role because about 80% of the immune system is in the intestines, needing special care.

Take care of the right amount of products containing proteins (meat, fish, dairy products, eggs), carbohydrates (groats, pods, potatoes, rice), healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil) and colourful vegetables and fruits. Throw away highly processed, ready-made products rich in sugar and trans fats (sweets, salty snacks, sweet drinks, alcohol, energy drinks) from your diet. If we take care of what we eat and drink all year round, our body will be strong, nourished, and easier to cope with all colds.

Well-nourished strengthened from the inside; it will pay off with good health. Here it is especially worth considering:

  • Silage and beetroot leaven
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Parsley
  • Sprouts
  • Buckwheat and millet
  • Peanuts
  • Black cumin oil
  • Fruit juices, especially chokeberry, beetroot, raspberry and blackcurrant

2. Herbal teas

You can buy single herbal teas such as:

  • elderberry flower – supports immunity
  • calamus – improves digestion and the functioning of the digestive system
  • chamomile – for digestion, calming down,
  • linden – for dry cough, scratchy throat, cold without fever,
  • thyme – for wet cough, secretion in the respiratory tract, support for the hormonal balance in women,
  • sage – for strep throat, pharyngitis, oral infections
  • Chinese lemon tree fruit – to strengthen the work of the kidneys, in the case of frequent bladder infections, for insomnia
  • marshmallow root – for dry cough, hoarseness, stomach ulcers, erosions, constipation problems, antibacterial properties
  • hawthorn fruit – good for the heart, improves blood circulation, suitable for people who have problems digesting fats and proteins
  • artichoke – supports proper digestion
  • dandelion – has a probiotic effect, supports the work of the liver

And you can also buy ready-made herbal mixtures in the form of teas. It is worth paying attention to:

  • Herbal tea for good peristalsis – due to the content of, among others, marshmallow, artichoke, dandelion, nettle, marjoram
  • Herbal tea for good digestion – due to the content of, among others, nettle, dandelion, calendula, mint
  • Herbal tea for a healthy throat – due to the content of, e.g. coltsfoot, thyme, marshmallow, chamomile, marjoram, elderberry, pine buds
  • Herbal tea is a vital organism – due to the content of, among others, elderberry, nettle, marigold, dandelion, calamus

Such teas will warm us up on colder days and support the immunity and functioning of our bodies.

3. Vitamin D

It significantly affects our immune system. Research shows that people with low vitamin D3 levels are more likely to develop upper respiratory tract infections. Of course, the primary and best source of vitamin D3 is the sun, and more specifically, UVB radiation. However, nowadays, very few people stay in the sun when the primary production of vitamin D occurs, which is between 12 and 15. It is worth enriching your diet with foods rich in vitamin D (eggs, dairy products, fatty fish), but it may not be enough. It is a vitamin that must be supplemented in most cases, especially from September to April. Its absorption can be improved when taken in the company of fats, other fat-soluble vitamins and calcium. The dose depends on the level of vitamin D in the blood. It is best to supplement it with breakfast.

4. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)

They are anti-inflammatory, have strong antiviral properties and inhibit the multiplication of the influenza virus in the cells. The sources of omega 3 are mainly sea fish, linseed oil linseed, and walnuts. Supplementation in about 1 g (including EPA + DHA) is often recommended. When choosing a preparation, check the EPA and DHA content because it can be very different depending on the supplement.

5. Vitamin E

Działa przeciwzapalnie, jest silnym antyoksydantem i walczy z wolnymi rodnikami, które niszczą nasze komórki. Badania sugerują, że może skracać czas przeziębienia i zmniejszać ryzyko infekcji górnych dróg oddechowych. Jej źródłem są m.in. oliwa z oliwek, orzechy, pestki dyni, nasiona słonecznika, sezam, migdały, kiełki, rośliny strączkowe, awokado, zielone warzywa liściaste, owoce jagodowe.

6. Iron

It is necessary for the production of red blood cells. Its deficiency increases the risk of infection and lowers the body’s bactericidal abilities. It affects the growth, development and regeneration of tissues. Iron can be found in liver, beef, pork, eggs, pumpkin seeds, amaranth, cocoa and chocolate. Sourdough or beetroot juice also works well. It is also worth combining iron-rich products with vitamin C in your meal, i.e. when eating dinner with meat/eggs, add vegetables rich in vitamin C or a supplement containing it, e.g. Acerola.

7. Lactoferrin

The glycoprotein is responsible for binding iron ions. It occurs in body secretions, e.g. milk, tears, saliva. It has strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It supports immunity and has a positive effect on the condition of the intestinal microflora. It can be taken prophylactically or in the cold period.

8. Probiotics

They are live microorganisms that, when given in appropriate amounts, have a beneficial effect on the host’s health. Research shows that the administration of probiotic preparations can prevent and alleviate upper respiratory tract infections.  Liquid products contain active bacteria that can immediately colonize our intestines.

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9. Water

Don’t forget about the water! A dehydrated body is weakened, and it catches infections more easily. Therefore, we should remember to drink water regularly. It is worth focusing mainly on medium or highly mineralized waters, additionally rich in various minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.

10. Dream

Chronic insufficient sleep lowers our immunity and disrupts hunger and satiety hormones. Then we start to eat fatigue, tired of sugar cravings, stimulated with coffee or energy, and excess sugar lowers immunity.

collagen-bottle

Antibiotics for a bacterial infection

It is worth remembering that we only use antibiotics when we have a bacterial infection, not a viral infection. Common colds are viral infections. Using an antibiotic, in this case, does not make sense, as the antibiotic does not work against viruses. In the case of the subsequent infection, when your doctor wants to prescribe you an antibiotic, ask what basis he makes such recommendations and on which bacteria. Antibiotics destroy our intestinal microflora very much, which is challenging to rebuild later, responsible for our immunity. So if it is necessary, of course, you have to use an antibiotic according to the doctor’s recommendations, but if there are no indications, you should not do it because then you will harm yourself more. And remember, even if we take an antibiotic for a short period, probiotic therapy is a must. Both while taking antibiotics and after.

The autumn and winter period is special when various colds and infections can catch us. For this reason, it is necessary to take a preventative action that strengthens the immune system and not just a quick action when something attacks us. For this purpose, it is worth focusing on a healthy lifestyle, nutritional diet, physical activity and properly selected supplementation.