The immune system is the body’s way of protecting itself from anything that can harm it. It protects against everything alien from the outside and destroys failed or obsolete cells. But in winter, our immunity weakens due to lack of sun and lack of nutrients. Herbal products come to the rescue, which raise weakened immunity.
Most often, we lean on citrus fruits when we already have a cold. However, vitamin C helps build a strong immune system because it increases the production of white blood cells. Our body does not produce or store this vitamin, so it must be taken every day, especially in spring. Eat oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, and other citrus fruits.
Red bell pepper
If you think that citrus fruits contain the highest amount of vitamin C, then you are wrong. It turns out that red sweet or Bulgarian pepper contains twice as much vitamin C! It also contains a lot of beta-carotene, which helps keep skin and eye health in check.
Broccoli is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals! This vegetable is the best product that you can put on your dinner table. It contains vitamins A, C, E, as well as antioxidants and fiber. To get the vitamins into your body, try not to cook the broccoli for too long. The best option is to eat the vegetable raw.
Garlic is a proven remedy, the healing properties of which were known to our grandmothers. However, in fact, people have recognized its value in fighting infections for a very long time. The immune-boosting properties of garlic are due to its high concentration of sulfur-containing compounds such as allicin. So add it to main dishes, salads, appetizers and don’t be afraid of its smell.
Ginger is another product that is turned to after being sick. It helps reduce inflammation, soothe a sore throat, and relieve nausea. Ginger also helps reduce chronic disease and lower cholesterol levels, according to recent studies. Brew ginger with lemon, add it to main dishes and salad dressings.
Spinach is on this list not only because it is rich in vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants and beta-carotene, which increase the ability of the immune system to fight infections. Like broccoli, it is better not to cook it for a long time. The best way is to use it as a green smoothie ingredient. However, slight heat treatment increases the concentration of vitamin A and releases other nutrients.
When it comes to preventing and fighting the common cold, vitamin E is less commonly consumed than vitamin C. However, vitamin E is the key to a healthy immune system. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that needs to be consumed properly. Nuts like almonds contain not only this vitamin E but also healthy fats. A half cup of almonds, which is about 46 whole nuts, provides almost 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
Both green and black tea contain flavonoids. However, green tea has more epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG), which is also a powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function. The fermentation process of black tea destroys large amounts of this antioxidant. Green tea is steamed and not fermented, so the EGCG is preserved. It is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine, which promotes a calm and relaxed state of mind.
In addition to eating foods that help strengthen the immune system, it is good to follow the following rules:
1. Sleep well and avoid stress. Lack of sleep and stress increase the production of the hormone cortisol, the increase of which suppresses immune function.
2. Avoid tobacco smoke. This undermines basic immune defenses and increases the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, as well as middle ear infections in children.
3. Reduce the amount of alcohol. Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections. Ideally, of course, completely give up alcohol.
4. Eat probiotics. Studies show that these supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.
5. Walk outdoors. Sunlight causes the production of vitamin D. Of course, in the cold season, the level of this vitamin decreases, so the duration of the walk can be increased. Low vitamin D levels cause a greater risk of respiratory infection.
6. Try immune-boosting herbs. Eleutherococcus, Asian ginseng, astragalus help in protecting the body from infection. It is also good to have on hand or drink a course of echinacea tincture or tea, which protects against respiratory viruses.