Between the cold, the lack of light, and the fact of staying in place a lot more, it can be difficult to keep in shape in winter. Fortunately, by following a few relatively simple rules to keep your immune system on top, you can face winter with peace of mind.
Eat enough and balanced
Eating enough and balanced food not only allows you to have enough energy to go about your daily business, but it also provides you with the elements and nutrients necessary to boost your immune system.
Choose a diet rich in vitamins, antioxidants, trace elements and minerals to stimulate and maintain your immune system. Particular emphasis should be placed on an adequate intake of:
- Vitamin D, to compensate for lack of sun exposure: salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, cod liver oil, etc.
- Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and stimulant for the immune system: kiwi, orange, lemon, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, white cabbage, red cabbage, horseradish, red pepper, etc.
- Iodine, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, an essential organ for the proper functioning of the immune system. You will find iodine in foods like eggs or seafood.
Take care of your gut microbiota
The intestine is considered the first immune organ in the body. Indeed, it contains approximately 100,000 billion bacteria (which constitute the intestinal microbiota) which not only act as a protective barrier against pathogenic bacteria, but also stimulate the production of antibodies. The healthier your microbiota, the better off you are.
To maintain it, regularly consume yogurts and other fermented dairy products with probiotics. You can also regularly cure lactic ferments of the genus Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
Get enough and good sleep
The quality of your sleep has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your immune defences. In fact, poor quality sleep or an insufficient quantity of sleep reduces the reactivity of lymphocytes.
Thus, studies have shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours per night have less effective immune protection than those who sleep at least 7 to 8 hours per night.
For example, when you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you multiply by 4 the risk of catching a cold.
Avoid too much exposure to the cold
Since they like low temperatures, bacteria and viruses grow more easily in the nose and throat when it’s cold. In addition, the cold, by constricting the vessels, reduces the vascularization of the extremities (feet, hands, etc.), thus slowing down the arrival of immune cells and therefore their effectiveness. This is why you should go out as little as possible during the winter and when you go out, take care to cover yourself carefully.