Here's how to strengthen your immune system as winter hits

Colds are common in fall and winter. If you want to at least try to prevent them, you should strengthen your immune system. These are the changes you need to make in your diet and lifestyle.

immune system health diet
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immune system health diet

A functioning immune system has the difficult task of distinguishing between good and bad factors - depending on the type of pathogen, different immune reactions are required. You are probably familiar with the term 'lymphatic system', which refers to the organs that ultimately form the immune system. The spleen, in particular, has an important function, as it directs the blood into the blood vessels and can also help to specifically attack and kill germs. In the following, we explain what you can do to strengthen your immune system and prevent colds.

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A healthy diet to support the immune system

Your body relies on certain substances from the outside to support important bodily functions - vitamins and minerals are therefore essential and can only be supplied to your body in sufficient quantities through a healthy diet. In particular, vitamins A, C (which are found in many foods), D and E as well as zinc are among the nutrients that the body needs in any case. In this way, free radicals, which always occur when your body reacts to immune attacks, can be neutralized. Organs such as the mucous membranes are also important, as they act as a barrier against pathogens.

As a large proportion of the important vitamin C in food can be lost through storage and transportation, you should always buy fresh and regional produce. You should also definitely try the superfood ginger.

Strengthening the immune system by losing weight

It may be referred to as an affluent belly or winter flab, but being overweight (for which there is now an injection) has very real effects on your health and your body's defense against pathogens. Visceral fat in particular, i.e. abdominal fat, can lead to constant inflammatory processes in the body, which weaken the natural defenses of your immune system. Those who are underweight, on the other hand, have a significantly increased susceptibility to infection, as important nutrients are no longer stored in the muscles and body mass - pronounced nutrient deficiencies can be attributed to eating disorders, excessive alcohol consumption, an unbalanced diet and other factors.

Specific foods to strengthen your immune system

Avoid a high-fat diet and instead focus on natural foods with a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids (fish, linseed oil, rapeseed oil, etc.). These essential fatty acids have a positive effect on your immune system, while unhealthy fats in processed foods, chips and the like (saturated fatty acids) significantly increase the risk of infection.

Secondary plant substances have a variety of positive effects on your body, especially in terms of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. You can find these valuable helpers in fruit and vegetables, potatoes, whole grain products and seeds.

Regular outdoor exercise and endurance sports train and strengthen your immune system. The most important thing here is that you take sufficient breaks for recovery - and completely avoid excessive physical exertion if you are susceptible to infections.

Stress leads to many psychosomatic illnesses, which manifest themselves in many forms (regular colds, permanent colds, etc.). Try to set realistic goals and prioritize things in order to keep time free for yourself.

Read more:

Vitamin D deficiency: Your lower back could be giving you a sign

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Having cold extremities could be a sign of deficiency


CDC: Six Tips to Enhance Immunity

Healthline: 9 Ways to Boost Your Body’s Natural Defenses

Include these 10 foods in your diet today to boost your immunity Include these 10 foods in your diet today to boost your immunity