Immune fit through the advent season

14. December 2016, Redaktion, Life

Christkindl markets and fairs, carol singing. Cosy and comfortable get-togethers shed light in the dark season and turn the days before Christmas into something special. However, this time of the year is a challenge for our immune system – with cold, wet, crowds and gathering.

Wash your hands, enhance your resilience, relax

Washing your hands frequently is one of the most effective cold prophylaxis – the wet and cold weather can further colds, however the real infection happens via the inhalation of microorganisms or via touching mouth, eyes or nasal mucosa with hands that have microorganisms on them. Outdoor sports with appropriate clothing helps your body to build resilience and prevent colds. Moreover, airing out in intervals in heated rooms that dehydrate our mucosa and thus reduces our immune system improves the air. During the cold season it is particularly important to avoid everything that weakens our immune system. Aside from the cooling we already mentioned, also insufficient sleep, longer stressful periods and excessive alcohol consumption. 

The right nutrients? Tuck in!

Moreover, also selected nutrients can help keep a cold in check and handle the time before Christmas. A good supply with the two trace elements selenium and copper helps contribute to a healthy immune system. When it comes to the immune system, we all know the two immune classics vitamin C and zinc, whereas the sun vitamin D is considered a newcomer.

Extra vitamin D against seasonal shortage 

Current research findings show the importance of vitamin D for our immune system. Immune cells do not only contain receptors for the sun vitamin, but are also capable of turning the precursors of vitamin D in its active form. Vitamin D leads to the formation of endogenous, anti-microbial substances that help keep pathogens at bay. However, especially during the winter months, vitamin D supply can become short. Moreover, the endogenous formation of vitamin D through sun light is not sufficient during the winter months. In order to ensure sufficient vitamin D supply, the intake of nutritional supplements is advisable.

Plant extracts offer additional support

A long time already, traditional botany uses plants and their extracts for supporting the immune system, such as for example the well-known elderberry. The immune protection of the black fruit results – amongst others – from the vitamin C it contains. The antioxidant effects are responsible for the immune power of vitamin C. Germs cannot get into the cells just like that through oxidant mechanisms. Other plant extracts such as e.g. Astragalus membranaceus, Cat’s Claw and rosemary are amongst the natural immune helpers and support our body in staying fit during the Pre-Christmas season.