Fighting the winter bug

Article

06. 10. 2021 Nutrition consultancy

Along with the cooler temperatures and falling leaves of autumn, also unfortunately comes the increased likelihood of getting ill. Viral diseases are around a lot more and the cold weather influences our immune system- increasing our susceptibility to all kinds of infections.

The first step to making sure we have a strong and healthy immune system is to follow the basic principles of a healthy lifestyle. Every part of our body requires proper nutrition and enough activity, as does our immune system. The prime example of an individual taking good care of their immune system would be a non-smoker eating a balanced diet high in vitamins and minerals, exercising on a regular basis, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, sleeping well, maintaining good hygiene, taking care of their mental health and minimising stress. Doesn’t sound like you? Don’t fret- no one is perfect nowadays, but we can all try our best.

Autumnal illnesses
Allergies aren’t solely a joy reserved for the spring and summer days. Watery and itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing can very often be triggered by mould in autumn. The symptoms of an allergy are often atypical and can manifest as temporary loss of smell, headaches, blocked ears, or general exhaustion.

Flu viruses are common in the fall and winter seasons. If left untreated, the flu can develop into bronchitis or pneumonia. The flu is sometimes accompanied by fatigue, diarrhoea, and even vomiting. Typical symptoms include chills, fever, cough, and a sore throat.

In cold weather, viruses and bacteria that cause acute bronchitis, and they often manifest after someone gets the common cold, sore throat or flu. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and sore throat.

In autumn and winter, norovirus- the bug that causes acute gastritis, is also out and about more. It is extremely contagious, transmitted from person to person or through contaminated food. This bug causes diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, and vomiting.


How to prepare for the autumn conditions
Giving our body the appropriate food to strengthen our immune system will not only help it cope better with the temperature fluctuations and those transitions when it feels like the weather is playing a joke on us, but it will also help you avoid getting sick.

"Our immune system never rests, and when we catch a bug or an infection of some sort, it becomes much more active with increased demands on resources (the rate of our metabolism increases as there is a need for new building blocks to form new cells, repair tissue etc.), and the only source is our diet," explains Ing. Mgr. Jitka Jirků, nutritional therapist at Canadian Medical.

Sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals play a key role in ensuring proper functioning of our immune system both in terms of prevention and treatment of a disease. An integral part of an optimally functioning immune system is a healthy intestinal microbiota (intestinal bacteria).


Immunity boosters

Some of the key players in the fight against infection include vitamin A, C and D, which are directly responsible for the maturation and effectiveness of immune cells, including their ability to distinguish harmful substances and the effectiveness of their response. Vitamin D is essential for physical and mental health. However, because we get less sunlight in the autumn than in the summer, we run the risk of vitamin D deficiency.

"Vitamin D is essential for human health. Its deficiency has adverse effects on our immunity - for example, we are at increased risk of respiratory diseases, reduced heart and muscle function, poor blood pressure control, a compromised nervous system, unhealthy development of bones and teeth or the risk of certain tumors," notes Dr. Petr Podroužek, CSc., expert director of EUC Laboratories.

So, in summary, get out into the sun more often, take food supplements and eat a wide range of foods such as mushrooms, fatty fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables. You don't have to look for miracle foods on the internet… all you need is at your fingertips in your nearby supermarket or farmers market. Illnesses will not stand a chance and you will feel more fit, full of energy and a positive attitude mood.

Read the full article at: Klatovský deník.

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