The autumn and winter period is the time when many of us start to wonder how to take care of our immune system, which is the key line of defense against microbes. The answer to the question - how to improve your immunity can be found not only in a pharmacy. Many elements of our lifestyle affect how our body can cope with the avoidance of infection and our daily dietary choices and leisure activities. Let's not forget that we will not build immunity for one day, because it is influenced by how we function for weeks, months and years - so how to strengthen it in the long term?
1. Stress reduction
It turns out that chronic stress is particularly troublesome for the immune system. This is due to the hormones released during prolonged mental stress. Their high concentration in the blood leads to the activation of inflammation - but if this condition persists for many weeks, our body will be too weak to react fully in the event of fighting the microorganism. That is why relaxation and rest should appear in our schedule permanently - thanks to mental balance, it will be much easier for us to maintain physical health.
2. Regular exercise
Each of us knows how important physical activity is in the field of health - but sometimes we don't realize that it can protect us from infectious diseases. According to scientific research, moderate-intensity exercise works best when it comes to strengthening immunity . Regular walks, exercises, cycling - these are the elements that will certainly help our endurance much better than sitting all day long.
3. Adequate length of sleep
The long fall and winter evenings sometimes become so long that we stop sleeping long enough. It turns out that the aspect of sleep is extremely important for our body's immunity.
One study found that people who slept less than 6 hours a day had a four times higher risk of developing a viral infection than people who sleep more than 7 hours. That is why it is worth aiming to sleep 7-9 hours each night - thanks to this our body will be strong enough to defeat the microbes before they take control of us.
4. Vitamin D supplementation
Although we usually associate immunity with vitamin C, vitamin D is catching up with it when it comes to influencing our immune system. It turns out that its deficiency is conducive to infections, and due to the fact that in the autumn and winter all Poles are exposed to low blood levels, supplementation should definitely be introduced.
The deficiency of this vitamin usually appears in the months that are not sunny, because it is the sun's rays that trigger the synthesis of vitamin D. If we do not have the opportunity to be exposed to the sun, our supplies are gradually depleted.
However, we can prevent this and follow the recommendations according to which every person living in Poland should supplement vitamin D from September to the end of March. Recommended doses vary by body weight, but usually 2,000 IU per day.
5. Adequate diet
How should we eat to increase immunity? One of the ingredients that has been shown to support the immune system is zinc - its deficiency can significantly worsen our ability to fight bacteria and viruses. For this reason, it is worth introducing its sources to your diet, that is: legumes, fish, dairy products, meat, whole grain cereal products, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, eggs and ... dark chocolate.
In the autumn and winter period, it is especially worth taking care of a properly balanced diet - therefore, it is worth considering the purchase of dietary catering, where meals are optimally composed.
Vitamin C is associated with immunity by many of us - indeed its deficiency is conducive to infections, but if we eat fresh fruit or vegetables every day, supplementation is not necessary . This vitamin can be found in large amounts in kiwi, peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, raspberries and parsley, as well as in many other plant products.
We should also remember that our diet is not too low in calories and contains a sufficient amount of protein. It is recommended that adults consume at least 0.9 g of protein for every kilogram of their body weight each day.
The immune super-foods are garlic, honey and chili peppers - each of these products helps to prevent the growth of microbes and it is good to add them to the diet at times of higher risk of contamination.
To sum up, in order to take care of your immunity in the autumn and winter period, it is best to take care of your diet, physical activity, sleep and vitamin D supplementation. By taking care of all these aspects, the risk of infections and infections will be significantly reduced. It is also worth avoiding factors that could disrupt the functioning of our immune system, i.e. excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and frequent use of so many fast-food dishes.