September usually still pampers with warm weather, but everyone understands that this is already the beginning of a period of colds, rains and colds. But if we can’t influence nature, then everyone can take care of their immunity. In order for the autumn to go away without colds and SARS, we must now make some changes to our diet and lifestyle. This article is about how to strengthen immunity in the run-up to autumn and survive a period of colds without colds.
What is immunity and why is it needed
Immunity is something without which a person would not survive. Without the immune system, our bodies would be defenseless against attacks of bacteria, viruses and parasites. It is immunity that keeps us healthy, at a time when a sea of pathogenic microorganisms is raging around.
The immune system of the human body is a set of immune cells and it is they who have the task of finding and destroying microorganisms and cells that can cause harm. When the immune system encounters a pathogen (bacterium, virus, parasite), the so-called immune reaction occurs, the task of which is to destroy the infection. The stronger the immunity, the easier its agents find pathogens and the faster they neutralize them. That is why it is important for every person to take care of the state of the immune system. Immunity health is especially important in the autumn-winter period, when the risk of contracting a virus or bacteria is very high.
The right diet to strengthen immunity
In order for the period of colds to go without colds, you need to take care in advance of strengthening immunity. There are many ways to do this. One of the most effective is to follow a proper diet. Many people know that to avoid a cold it is useful to eat foods rich in vitamin C. But this is only one of many dietary rules to enhance immunity.
In order not to get sick, you have to have breakfast
Doctors constantly repeat that breakfast is the most important meal. However, many of us ignore it, doing a disservice to our body, including the immune system. So that the body can adequately resist microbes and viruses, it must be properly and regularly fed. A nutritious breakfast should be consumed within one and a half to two hours after waking up. This meal provides the body, including the immune system, necessary for working with energy.
Nutritionists are not without reason advised to consume more fresh vegetables, fruits and berries throughout the summer season. These products are a storehouse of vitamins, minerals, phytocomponents that are indispensable for our bodies, which increase the body's ability to withstand bacteria and viruses. Plant foods contain a huge amount of antioxidants, indispensable for the proper functioning of the immune system.
Take at least vegetables such as carrots, spinach, sweet peppers, different types of cabbage, beets. They are available to everyone. And if you eat them regularly, you can be sure that in the autumn-winter period the body will not experience a deficiency of vitamins A, E and C.
Garlic and onions are the most popular natural remedies for colds. But remembering these vegetables is necessary not only when the disease is already laid in bed. Onions and garlic contain substances that strengthen the immune system and have antibacterial properties. Therefore, it is useful to include these vegetables in your diet long before the start of the cold season, so that you can already meet autumn with strong immunity.
Parsley, dill and other herbs, in addition to containing a huge amount of trace elements and vitamins, are also a source of chlorophyll and some enzymes that stimulate the immune system. Add greens to salads, soups, sauces, dressings and eat it just like that - it is always useful.
Honey is one of the most beneficial products for the immune system. Only 2 tablespoons of honey provide the body with all the important vitamins and minerals necessary to strengthen the immune system.
In addition, this product has a regenerating and warming effect, therefore it is considered very useful for colds. To get less sick in late autumn and winter, today it is worth starting to add a little honey to tea, and even better - with lemon and ginger. But remember, honey cannot be added to a liquid whose temperature is above 40 degrees - in boiling water, it loses its healing properties.
Another great way to support the immune system in the fall is to drink fruit and berry instead of regular black tea. It can be prepared from dried berries and leaves. Tasty and healthy drinks are obtained from blackcurrant, wild strawberry, blueberry, rose hip, and hawthorn.
Fruit and berry teas usually contain a huge amount of vitamins A, B, C, E, as well as magnesium, iron and calcium. In addition, the raw materials for such drinks in the summer can be prepared independently. Wild berry drinks are also very good for colds. They perfectly warm, have diuretic properties and bring down a high body temperature.
Omega 3. In the autumn, it is very beneficial to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids have many positive properties not only for immunity, but also for the cardiovascular system and the brain. In particular, they activate leukocytes, the task of which is to fight microbes and allergen substances. Allergies weaken the immune system, making it vulnerable to various pathogens, and unsaturated fatty acids contribute to the formation of immune cells necessary to protect the body. Thus, to strengthen immunity, it is useful to include rich omega-3 fatty sea fish (salmon, tuna, herring) in the diet. If it is not possible to eat marine fish, then you need to take omega-3 in the form of dietary supplements. For a therapeutic effect, you should drink 2 g of omega-3 per day.
Vitamin C. When they talk about foods that are good for immunity, everyone first of all recalls about vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is really very important for the body, so on the eve of autumn it’s very useful to eat as many citrus fruits as you can, drink tea with lemon and rosehip decoctions, and also do not forget about salads with parsley, which also has a lot of vitamin C.
Zinc. Many people undeservedly forget this trace element when they talk about food that is useful for strengthening immunity. Meanwhile, zinc is the second most important substance for the immune system after vitamin C. Therefore, with the advent of autumn, it is useful to add more garlic, sesame, almonds and wild rice to your diet, which will help replenish the body's mineral reserves.
Increase the amount of fat in the diet. If in the summertime our organisms require predominantly easily digestible low-fat foods, then in the autumn period the diet should be supplemented with fats.
In moderation, they have a positive effect on the body. In particular, fats are essential as an energy source, and they also protect the body from heat loss. In addition, lipids serve as a building material for immune cells, participate in the synthesis of hormones, and polyunsaturated fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, stimulate cell repair processes, thereby sealing natural barriers. If the body does not receive the necessary amount of fatty foods, its response to pathogens slows down, the immune system weakens.
What does the gut have to do with immunity? In fact, and it has long been scientifically proven, the effectiveness of the immune system depends significantly on the health and intestinal microflora, in particular on the number of lymphocytes in it that protect the body from pathogens. If the balance of beneficial bacteria is disturbed in the colon, a person is often sick and takes a long time to recover from an illness. Therefore, in order for the immune system to work correctly, it is necessary to regularly eat foods rich in probiotics that maintain the balance of intestinal microflora. And this is dairy products, sour cucumbers, sauerkraut, kvass.
Healthy liver for good immunity
Directly or indirectly, the liver is involved in all processes occurring in our body. She takes part in the digestion of food, cleanses the blood, neutralizes toxins, stimulates the production of hormones. If the body does not fully perform its functions, the hormonal balance is disturbed and the immune system weakens. If the liver does not remove toxins, the formation of white blood cells is also disrupted and the body becomes vulnerable to microbes and viruses. Therefore, if you want to have strong immunity, do not forget to take care of the liver. And this does not mean that you should urgently run to the pharmacy for hepatoprotectors. To improve the condition of the gland in anticipation of the autumn-winter season, you can use the right diet. In particular, turmeric, caraway seeds, artichoke, milk thistle, lecithin, choline, citrus fruits, St. John's wort, red clover have beneficial effects on iron. To improve the condition of the liver, and along with it immunity, you can drink tea from the leaves of artichoke and St. John's wort twice a day, and the greens of young red clover can be added to salads. In addition, it is useful to drink a glass of warm water with lemon juice daily on an empty stomach. Such a drink will not only help cleanse the liver of toxins, but it is also a good source of vitamin C, which, as you know, is indispensable for strong immunity.
Body Acidity and Immunity
There are products whose use affects the acidity of the body. And now we are not talking about the acidity of the stomach, but about the general acid-base balance of the whole body. Violation of acid balance contributes to excessive passion for sweets and insufficient consumption of vegetables. In this case, a deficiency of some important elements arises in the body, due to which the acid-base balance is disturbed. The body also perceives this condition as chronic stress, which means that its consequence, among other things, is a decrease in immune function.
To restore alkali levels, it is necessary to increase the intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium.
Magnesium is necessary, first of all, for the proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems, it controls the production of catecholamine substances, the excess of which causes stress reactions in the body. In addition, magnesium stimulates the maturation of immune cells - lymphocytes, and also participates in the fight against infections. To restore the acid-base balance, it is useful to regularly use nuts, for example, walnuts, the season of which just begins in September. You should also include cereals, cereal dishes, vegetables (especially dark green) in the diet. Observing these rules, it will turn out not only to restore balance, but also to strengthen immunity.
Give up bad habits
Everyone knows that cigarettes and alcohol harm the liver and lungs. But few understand that nicotine and ethyl alcohol also cause a decrease in the immune system. And they do it in several ways. Firstly, smoking and alcohol abuse leads to the fact that the body does not properly absorb vitamins and other useful substances from food, which is why the immune system loses its strength. Secondly, nicotine and ethanol kill the immune cells that are present in our blood. As a result, when the body encounters dangerous microbes or viruses, it does not have the means to counter them.
By the way, both active and passive smoking (staying in smoky rooms) are equally harmful to immunity, and large portions of expensive alcohol do the same harm as cheap drinks. True, speaking of alcohol, it is worth mentioning that sometimes it can also be useful for strengthening immunity. For example, in the form of alcohol tinctures and bitters on herbs or berry liquors. But even such drinks should not be abused, and take them as a medicine - in minimal doses and only occasionally.
Less stress, more relaxation
Stress is one of the strongest factors that disrupt the functioning of all body systems. Under stress, almost all systems become vulnerable and fail. No exception and immune. Stress triggers hormonal reactions in the body, which in turn make the immune system vulnerable to microbial attacks, its protective abilities worsen, and the number of leukocytes decreases. The same thing happens with the body, if you work, as they say, for wear and rest a little. Studies prove that to maintain the protective properties of the body at an appropriate level, you must sleep at least 7 hours a day. Otherwise, the immune system is disrupted.
Sport and physical activity
Movement is health. In order not to complain about health even in old age, you must regularly exercise.
It can be running, swimming, gymnastics or gymnastics at home - the main thing is to perform physical exercises. Studies have shown that doing sports three times a week is enough to strengthen your immune system. In the meantime, the weather allows, of course, it is better to engage in the fresh air. So you will kill two birds with one stone: and restore physical fitness, and allow the body to be fully saturated with oxygen, which is also no less important to maintain good health.
Do not forget to temper!
Probably everyone knows that hardened people get sick less often than "hothouse" ones, because the immune system in their bodies works as it should. But you also need to understand that you need to be tempered gradually and over more than one month. You can’t just take and dive into the hole in one day. It is best to start tempering just in the summer. First do foot baths using room temperature water, then take a cool shower, gradually lowering the degree. It is also useful for stabbing every morning to take a contrast shower, in the summer walk barefoot through the dew.
And in the fall, when the heating season begins, it is important not to overheat the room. The temperature in the room should not exceed 20 degrees. And even in crackling frosts, it is necessary to ventilate housing daily, at least not for long. Very hot and dry air in the house causes dry mucous membranes, and this in turn facilitates the penetration of viruses and microbes into our organisms.
Autumn colds can be difficult to avoid, however, the risk of illness can be significantly reduced if you follow the rules of hygiene. First of all, it is important to wash your hands regularly, because most microbes are transmitted through them.
Dress for the weather
This advice may look corny, but you should not underestimate it either. In autumn, it is very important to always dress according to the weather. Remember the statement that God preserves and is safe. So, do not once again test your body for strength: when it gets colder outside the window, dress in the weather.
Even if at lunch the sun still warms well, but in the autumn evenings it is already very cool and damp, and it is very easy to catch a cold at such a time.
Thus, strengthening immunity is a complex work. On the one hand, the body must learn to withstand pathogens, and on the other, regularly receive the nutrients necessary for the functioning of the immune system. A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are the basis for the proper functioning of the body in the fall.And the methods described above will help to easily strengthen the immune system and prepare the body for winter.
Specialty: doctor pediatrician, infectious disease specialist, allergist-immunologist.
Total experience: 7 years.
Education: 2010, Siberian State Medical University, pediatric, pediatrics.
Experience as an infectious disease specialist for more than 3 years.
He has a patent on the subject "A method for predicting a high risk of the formation of a chronic pathology of the adeno-tonsillar system in frequently ill children." As well as the author of publications in the journals of the Higher Attestation Commission.