With the onset of winter, there is also flu and cold season, as the cold makes the body more susceptible to these diseases. Moreover, lower temperatures make people spend more time indoors, which makes it easier for viruses to spread. To avoid exposure to these diseases, it is important to pay attention to quality of life and particularly good nutrition to keep our immune system efficient.
However, our immune system is complex and involves many organs and functions, and is not affected by specific food or nutrients, but rather by a variety of vitamins and minerals, along with healthy lifestyle factors such as sleep, exercise and lower stress levels.
In this sense, our first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle to keep our immune system protected from environmental attacks.
1. Don’t smoke
2. Exercise regularly
3. Maintain a healthy weight
4. Drink alcohol in moderation
5. Sleep at least 8 hours a day
6. Try to reduce stress
7. Sunbathe daily
In addition, certain nutrients have been described as essential for immune cell function, including vitamin C, D, E, zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, glutamine, probiotics and probiotics.
Zinc: It acts as a cofactor in structural roles in many proteins. Even a mild deficiency has been linked to weak defenses against the flu and cold. Sources: Red meat, poultry, beans, lentils, almonds, peanuts, whole grains, milk and dairy products.
Selenium: It is a trace element that, like zinc, has functional, structural and enzymatic functions in a variety of proteins. A low level of selenium is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sources: Brazil nuts, egg yolks, sunflower seeds, chicken seeds
Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and increase immune function. Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, papaya, pumpkin, and tomatoes.
Glutamine: It plays a role in a variety of immune cells, including neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes. Sources: Meat, eggs, fish, yogurt, cheese, milk, beets, kale, parsley, cabbage, spinach, beans, beans and peas.
Vitamin C: Vitamin deficiency. C increases susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia, as low levels of antioxidants are unable to counteract the oxidative stress seen in this case Sources: red peppers, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, mangoes, lemons, oranges, cherries, and pineapples.
Vitamin D: Research shows that taking vitamin D can reduce the risk of viral infections, such as those that cause colds and flu, by reducing the body’s production of anti-inflammatory compounds. Sources: Cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, eggs.
Vitamins E: It is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and supports the body’s natural immune response. Sources: Nuts, seeds and oil.
Thus, the ideal food for optimal immune outcomes is nutrition, which supports the functions of immune cells, allowing them to initiate effective responses against pathogens, but also rapidly resolves the response when needed and avoids any underlying chronic inflammation.