Strengthen your immunity

Being in good health is based on four pillars: nutrition, physical activity, rest and psychological well-being. Having a good immune system means having a sufficiently powerful organism to fight against bad bacteria, viruses, microbes, in order to keep fit, and in the particular case where one practices a sport intensively and regularly, to continue to progress towards their goals, to gain strength, improve their performance and avoid overtraining.

The most important organ of our immunity is the gut. It is populated by lymphocytes, white blood cells; they are used to get rid of enemy cells, therefore to fight infections and diseases.

The intestine is also the main point of entry of nutrients from food to our body; it is also the entry point for viruses and bad bacteria: to protect us from this, its wall is lined with good protective bacteria. The intestinal flora, in other words the population of our intestine (which includes these good bacteria) must be well nourished in order to maintain its balance.

To protect our intestinal flora, we must feed the bacteria with foods rich in fiber but also foods rich in inulin such as onions and garlic , to be added to all dishes. We can also bring probiotics to its body which will populate the intestines with good bacteria, thanks to fermented foods (fermented cabbage and kefir for example).

In case of weakened intestinal flora or sensitive intestines, it is worth taking a supplement of glutamine , which will strengthen the intestinal barrier by nourishing the cells that cover it.

After treatment with antibiotics, it is all the more recommended to follow these tips, as the local flora is greatly disturbed. Taking probiotics in capsules in addition can be of additional help in rebuilding a healthy bacterial flora.

Vitamin deficiency can easily explain a lack of energy. It is of great importance to provide enough with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but also in the form of food supplements in the event that the intakes do not meet the needs (which is often the case for athletes, who have greater nutrient requirements due to their higher expenditure).

vitamin C and vitamin D help in the activity of white blood cells which destroy bacteria, and vitamin A participates in their production. They therefore play an essential role in strengthening the immune system.

  • We find vitamin A in fruits and red / orange vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, peppers, apricots …) and liver.
  • Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, kiwi and wild rosehip.
  • It is difficult to find foods rich in vitamin D , because it is mostly synthesized by the sun, but it is found in eggs and oily fish. In winter, a vitamin D3 supplement is essential.

zinc, found in oysters, liver, as well as meat, fish and eggs, is essential for the functioning of cells of the immune system. It has been shown to be effective against colds (it can be combined with vitamin C in this sense).

selenium is also essential, but deficiencies are rarely detected.

The lack of iron can explain too much fatigue, a supplementation can bring benefits, however beware of the excess of iron which is toxic for the body, because of its oxidizing effect on cells. Prefer to eat liver or even better, clams, which contain 6 times more!

White blood cells are proteins, which are mainly stored in muscles. For this reason, having a sport activity that maintains muscle mass, as well as a diet rich in quality proteins, are of great importance in order to gain resistance against diseases and infections.

Lack of rest prevents damaged cells from renewing themselves. In addition, a tired body may lack the energy to fight pathogenic cells. As part of sports practice, sleeping well is essential for muscle recovery; however, we have just seen the importance of musculature in order to strengthen one’s body.

It is generally advisable to sleep at least 6 hours per night, because this can be harmful to your health. The so-called ideal recommendation is 8 hours per night. In truth, it depends on each one. Some recover very well by sleeping only 7 hours or less, others will need more than 8 hours. It is obvious that a person who has a very physical job will not have the same needs as a person who does not move from home!

Some people find it hard to sleep. There are a few solutions to improve the ease of falling asleep and the quality of your sleep:

  • The evening meal should consist of protein (which promotes the production of melatonin), vegetables and carbohydrates (which promote the production of serotonin) and should not contain too much fat (in order to lighten digestion).
  • Sleep in a room at a temperature of 18 ° to 20 °, in total darkness and avoiding any proximity to electrical devices.
  • Stop looking at screens (phone, TV, computer) at least 30 minutes before sleeping, because their light prevents the production of serotonin.
  • Magnesium can help fall asleep and improve sleep quality, supplementation may be considered.
  • Infusions of valerian, linden, verbena or hawthorn help to fall asleep.
  • The amino acid tryptophan can be taken as a dietary supplement in case all of the other advice has been applied but does not work.

There are many plants, which can be taken as herbal tea or as dry extracts, which help fight fatigue and boost immunity. Among these: astragalus, echinacea, elecampane and eleutherococcus, to be taken as roots.

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