How to boost our immune defenses!
Winter has arrived: it's time for colds, fatigue, winter blues, and even weight gain.
What does our organism undergo during this season?
Fight against the cold but also against viruses
Much more sedentary, less sport, less walking, decreased tone, and an incipient bad mood.
The dishes are fatter: raclettes, cold cuts,… more starchy foods and fewer vegetables. The choice of fruits is reduced so we opt more easily for sweet desserts.
The cold increases the caloric needs to maintain the right body temperature. However, we hardly fight against the cold since our place of life is heated and we cover ourselves to go out.
Our caloric needs vary from one person to another: depending on our metabolism, our physical activity, etc. An insufficient diet will generate nutritional deficiencies which will reduce our immune defenses.
My advice to keep your mental and physical shape:
Eat healthy and varied
Do not skip meals
Practice regular physical activity
Avoid stress, relax as soon as you can
Sleep at least 8 hours a day
If you have weight to lose: do not impose too much calorie restriction on yourself. For a good long-lasting weight loss without recovery, keep a sufficient intake. You might know the opposite effect!
What is the right food balance?
The right food balance is as follows:
1. For our energy: complex carbohydrates
Provided by bread, cereals, rice, pasta, ... complex carbohydrates should be your main source of energy.
My advice: Do not ban starchy foods especially during this cool time of the year.
2. To protect you from bacterial infections: proteins
Proteins are composed of amino acids essential for the synthesis of our antibodies which will allow us to fight against winter viruses.
There are proteins of vegetable origin (pulses, soya, etc.) and those of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, etc.).
My advice: Eat 2 servings of animal protein and 4 dairy products every day. Once a week, opt for a dish of legumes which are rich in magnesium, iron ...
On the other hand, do not abuse proteins which could tire your kidneys.
3. Promote essential fatty acids Omega 3 and omega 6: lipids
Certain fatty acids are essential in particular they protect us from certain cardiovascular diseases but they also play an important role for our immune system.
My advice: Limit to 2 meals per week of fatty fish (salmon for example).
Our food is richer in Omega 6 so try to favor omega 3 seasonings for a good ratio between these 2 omega.
Vary your oils and limit them to 2 tablespoons per day.
You can replace once or twice a week, a tablespoon of oil by a handful of oilseeds (almonds, hazelnuts…). These should not be eliminated from your diet. They are rich in omega 3, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, ...
4. Boost our immune system: Vitamins
Not just any but vitamins A, C and E are powerful antioxidants:
- Vitamin A found in butter and non-skimmed dairy products: helps fight bacterial and viral infections.
My advice : Choose the following foods, which are rich in vitamin A:
- dairy products: non-light cheese, dairy and non-skimmed milk,
- meat: liver,
- seafood: fish liver, sardines, eel,
- eggs: yolk,
- vegetables: carrot, pumpkin, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, watercress, dandelion, green salad,
- fruits: apricot, melon, peach, mango.
Vitamin E found in certain oils: helps detoxify our body
My advice: choose foods rich in vitamin E
- fats: oils (wheat germ, balanced blend, soybean, sunflower, grape seeds, corn, peanuts, rapeseed, virgin olive, walnuts), sunflower margarines, corn, light and butter,
- oleaginous fruits: sunflower seeds, hazelnut, almond, peanut, Brazil nut, pistachio, walnut, sesame seed,
- cereals: müesli, bran cereals, puffed wheat,
- dried fruits: apricot, prune,
- fresh fruit: blackberry,
- green vegetables: salsify,
- salads: dandelion,
- starchy foods: common wheat, semolina,
- lean fish and seafood: octopus, dogfish,
- fatty fish: eel, sardines in tomato sauce, tuna in oil.
Vitamin C found in raw fruits and vegetables: is an anti-infective.
My advice: Choose foods rich in vitamin C
- fresh fruits: blackcurrant, kiwi, strawberry, lychee, orange, lemon, mango, redcurrant, lime, clementine, mandarin, gooseberry, grapefruit, blackberry, melon, raspberry, passion fruit, blueberry, nectarine,
- green vegetables: red pepper, green pepper, black radish, sorrel, spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprout, red cabbage, broccoli, radish, green cabbage, zucchini,
- salads: watercress, lamb's lettuce, lettuce,
- lean meats and offal: calf sweetbread, calf liver, heifer liver.
Feed your dishes with spices rich in vitamin C, such as parsley, chives, chervil ...
Be careful: during cooking some fruits and vegetables lose vitamin C so prefer raw vegetables and fresh fruits.
Always consume citrus juice immediately after squeezing it, so that it does not oxidize. This is the case with lemon, oranges and even grapefruits.
It is therefore important to have a healthy and balanced diet to have the full energy of vitamins and minerals found in fruits, fruit juices, vegetable juices, raw vegetables ...
Favor seasonal foods:
- oilseeds: walnuts, hazelnuts, etc., rich in Omega 3,
- among the vegetables: pumpkin for its richness in vitamins A, D, E ...
- among the fruits: orange, kiwi ... particularly rich in vitamin C,
- among starchy foods: chestnuts for their richness in magnesium ...
The cold has no secrets for you and you are now ready to face winter without any obstacle.