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How to boost your immune system in winter?

 

Winter is fast approaching, viruses, colds, fatigue and winter blues will be back :)

How can we resist it?

  1. Let's first understand what our body goes through in winter

We must fight against the cold and viral or microbial infections ...

Sport is less present: it's cold so we are no longer lazy: we opt for a sedentary lifestyle and confinement which encourage us to nibble. There is a vicious circle that sets in: a drop in tone, a lack of concentration and a bad mood.

We eat differently in winter: no more dishes in sauce, cold meats, vegetables are often neglected in favor of starchy foods (potatoes, rice, etc.).


2. How to keep an intellectual and physical shape?

To preserve your health, it is necessary to boost your immune defenses. But how to do it?

- You have to eat enough and correctly
- It is necessary to practice a sporting activity regularly
- You must respect your sleep time
- You have to manage your stress and take the time to take care of yourself

3. To fight against the cold, you must ingest enough calories

To maintain the right body temperature, the cold increases the caloric needs.
But in reality, we hardly fight against the cold because our places of life and work
  are heated and we cover ourselves sufficiently ...

This is not the case if we go on winter hikes or if we practice a physical activity in the great outdoors, such as skiing for example.
It is only under these latter conditions that you can consume rich dishes such as raclette.

The caloric need varies from one person to another, depending on each person's own metabolism, but also on their physical activity: which depends on the duration and intensity ...
However an insufficient diet (in terms of calories), will not allow "
  warm up  »The body correctly and will risk causing nutritional deficiencies, thus lowering the immune system.

To avoid falling into this trap, it is important not to skip meals and eat complete and balanced meals.

If you want to lose weight, it is not enough to restrict yourself to too little calorie restriction. To obtain good weight loss in the long term, so without regaining weight, it is essential to keep a minimum calorie intake.

4. How to define the right food balance to preserve health?

- Carbohydrates : for the full of energy

Where to find them? In bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, cereals, pulses, semolina, corn, ...

Above all, do not remove this category of food we all need. However, you can limit their consumption.

- Proteins for specific amino acids

Proteins are made up of amino acids which are essential for the synthesis of our antibodies which protect us from bacterial infections.

The proteins can be of vegetable origin: dried vegetables for example or animal: such as meat or fish.

Eat animal and vegetable protein every day, but don't overdo it: protein tires the kidneys.

- Lipids without excess preferably essential fatty acids including omega 3 and omega 6

Some of the fatty acids are essential: first of all for our heart and also for our arteries.

Where to find omega 3?
They are present in rapeseed or walnut oils and in fatty fish: salmon, tuna, herring, etc.
Where to find omega 6?
They are present in soybean, sunflower, corn and duck oils.

However, be careful, there must be a good ratio between Omega 3 and Omega 6. It is better to favor seasonings rich in Omega 3 since our diet is naturally richer in Omega 6.

My advice:

Eat fatty fish at least twice a week
Vary your oils while limiting its consumption: 1 tablespoon per meal is sufficient
From time to time replace your tablespoon of oil with a handful of oilseeds (10 almonds for example or 6 months…). These are rich in omega 3 but also in protein, iron, calcium, vitamins ...

- Vitamins A, C and E : to boost our immune defenses

- Vitamin A fights bacterial and viral infections.

Where can you find vitamin A? It is mainly found in non-skimmed dairy products, in butter, in carrots, apricots, melons, sardines ...

- Vitamin E prevents many diseases. It plays an important role in the body thanks to its antioxidant properties.

Where can you find vitamin E? It is found in oils, sunflower seeds, muesli, apricots, salsify, eels.


Vitamin C is a powerful anti-infectious agent: prevents several diseases: colds, pneumonia, gout, etc.

Where can you find vitamin C? It is found in fruits such as blackcurrant, kiwi, strawberry, orange, or in green vegetables (red pepper, green pepper, watercress) and in meats: sweetbreads, veal liver ...
Be careful cooking can cause a loss of 30 to 50% of vitamin C so choose raw vegetables and fruits.

You can also garnish your dishes with herbs and spices such as parsley, chives and chervil which are also rich in vitamin C.

Vitamin C is very sensitive to oxidation, which is why you should consume citrus juice (grapefruit, lemon or orange) within 30 minutes of squeezing it.

Antioxidants to fight against free radicals

Free radicals decrease our immune defenses. They exist during a bad diet (too much saturated fat…) and also because of external factors: pollution, cigarettes…

To fight against these free radicals it is necessary to increase the consumption of certain minerals:

- Selenium slows down the oxidation of fats (often a factor in cardiovascular diseases).
Our body cannot synthesize selenium, which is why we must focus on the foods we consume. It helps fight against aging, it strengthens the immune system by preventing the appearance of ear infections, colds, bronchitis ...

Where to find it selenium? It is present in whole grains, garlic, sunflower seeds, onions, broccoli, meats (offal), fish,….

Zinc participates in the formation of new tissues, hence the need for the growth of children. It promotes the development of T lymphocytes, which defend us against bacteria and viruses and help us heal better in a wound.
Where to find zinc? It is mainly found in seafood, meats, fish, dairy products.


Conclusion:

You therefore need a sufficient calorie diet, with plenty of vitamins and minerals, vary as much as possible fruits, cooked or raw vegetables. And don't forget the quality and quantity of sleep is important.

Now you are ready to face winter by eating enough and balanced food
.