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5 natural ways to boost your immune system and take good care of yourself

5 façons naturelles de renforcer son système immunitaire et de prendre soin de soi | SETA Organic

While winter is often the time of year we need energy the most, those long gray months in the snow and cold also happen to be when our battery is most likely to run low and our immune system heads into a tailspin. We tend to get sick and we find ourselves with less energy and vitality. Want to know how to fix it—or at least put the odds in your favor? In this article, we share with you 5 scientifically proven, affordable, and accessible ways to strengthen your immune system easily and naturally, by extension taking care of that seasonal energy crisis.

 

First off, what exactly is the immune system?

The immune system refers to all of the body's defense mechanisms against infection and disease. These defenses include physical barriers like the skin and mucous membranes; inflammation; and various immune cells such as white blood cells.

 

Could there be a link between the immune system and what we eat

More and more studies are exploring the connection between the gut and the immune system. Our intestines are made up of various cells, muscle fibers and neurons, as well as immune cells and billions of bacteria known as intestinal microbiota—with which we live in harmony. These bacteria, which live and thrive in our gut, depending on what we eat, among other things, play a major role in our immunity. The more we eat a diversified, healthy and balanced diet, the healthier our gut and the more efficient our immune system!

 

What to prioritize?

  1. Dietary fibre. The fibre found in vegetables, fruits and whole grains are prebiotics, which are non-digestible foods that stimulate the growth of good bacteria already present in the intestine, while also inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria, promoting the maturation of immune cells, and strengthening the intestinal lining (a physical barrier). Ultimately, incorporating fibre-rich foods into your diet such as Water lentil (each scoop is 38% fibre), asparagus, and bananas will give your immune system a boost when you need it most, like during the ongoing pandemic or during cold and flu season.

 

  1. Probiotics.. Probiotics, in contrast to prebiotics, introduce new, beneficial bacteria into the digestive system. Consuming fermented foods like tempeh, miso, kimchi, and kombucha—all of which are high in probiotics—is a great way to boost your immune system.

 

  1. Fruit for when you're craving something sweet..For their fibre, of course, but also because the refined sugar contained in the majority of pastries, sugary drinks and processed foods interferes with the white blood cells’ defense mechanisms, compromising their ability to protect the body from foreign invaders.

 

  1. Vitamin D.. Studies show that vitamin D plays a major role in regulating the immune system by enabling the activation and expression of different types of immune cells. People who lack vitamin D are also more likely to get sick. Make sure you get at least 15 minutes of sun a day with your face and hands uncovered, and consume food sources rich in vitamin D. You might also consider vitamin D supplements in the winter (particularly during our endless Canadian winters—haha)!

 

  1. Physical exercise.Exercising regularly, but not excessively, stimulates the immune system. In addition to improving blood circulation, which in turn allows the various substances and cells of the immune system to circulate more efficiently in the body, physical exercise releases adrenaline, which can actually increase the amount of certain types of immune cells present in the blood.

 

The magic formula?

It can be oh-so-simple: a delicious bowl of green smoothie with Water lentil, banana, mango and spinach—topped with berries, nuts, seeds and homemade granola, followed by 30 minutes of brisk walking in the sun to help you digest, and voila!

Marie-Pier Longchamps, M. Sc.                                                         

Cofondatrice de Your Wellness Corner | Ton coin bien-être




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