Winter is coming and with it viruses and colds. The need to be in warm places accompanied by a hot cup of coffee or a drink will be more imperative than ever. As the temperature drops, young and old alike remain loyal to the advice of doctors and experts for adequate vitamin intake and strengthening the immune system through proper nutrition. It is also known that a diet that contains a sufficient amount of healthy options acts protectively against viruses.
However, apart from a proper and balanced diet, an important role in strengthening the immune system is played by sufficient water consumption during the day. Moreover, its reduced intake is a key factor that negatively affects the body’s defenses. Something similar happens with the consumption of teas that help and strengthen the immune system. However, their correct and safe use should be done under the guidance of the appropriate health scientist, due to the possible interactions with drugs and diseases.
Focusing on nutrition, the basic rule is that the plate contains a variety of foods and colors. In other words, it should contain fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, meat and dairy products a basic source of proteins and amino acids, cereals and whole grain foods necessary for the proper functioning of the body. When we add sufficient sleep and rest to the above, then the result against viruses certainly justifies us. But let’s see which are these very important vitamins that will help us.
Getting enough vitamin C helps protect and maintain healthy cells, skin, bones and cartilage. Vitamin C is well known against colds, affecting the production of cytokines, which neutralize pathogenic microorganisms. Its action seems to be more important in prevention than in fighting viruses. Good sources of vitamin C are oranges, red and green peppers, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwis, Brussels sprouts, parsley.
Vitamin D intake can also help the body fight off colds. This vitamin is synthesized in the skin with the help of the sun. This is the vitamin that many people suffer from during the fall and winter. The absence of sunlight causes its levels to drop. Good sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolk, mushrooms, red meat,
The body also needs vitamin E to keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria. It is a fat-soluble vitamin whose main function – as a powerful antioxidant – is to protect the body’s tissues from the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is mainly found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Echinacea, or otherwise for many Echinacea or Echinacea (Echinacea), is an herb, specifically a small purple flower, that grows mainly in North and West America and belongs to the broader sunflower family. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects and naturally helps to stimulate the immune system. It also contributes to the health of the above respiratory system. Echinacea does not treat the pathogen that caused the virus or infection, but activates and strengthens the action of the immune system. In this way, bacteria and viruses do not develop tolerance to its action, as is the case with common antibiotics. Many studies have shown that taking echinacea supplements strengthens the immune system, shielding the body against pathogens. More specifically, it seems to enhance the action and production of cells of the immune system which are responsible for the recognition and elimination of pathogens.
Propolis is an element of nature with extremely beneficial properties for the human body. Its healing properties have been recognized since ancient times. It was used for its anti-inflammatory action, while Hippocrates recommended it for the treatment of burns and ulcers. More specifically, propolis acts effectively against microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi. This action is due to its content of flavonoids. The ability of propolis to strengthen the immune system and shield the body’s natural defenses is also due to the flavonoids. Thus, propolis is an important component for dealing with seasonal flu, tonsillitis and generally protects against viruses and inflammation.
Finally, let’s not forget the negative role of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption against viruses. For those who are used to consuming alcohol, then it is good to do so in moderation.