Immune System, This year, we trigger the anti-microbe plan and learn how to stimulate our natural defences to get through the winter in great shape!
1. A PREVENTIVE AND TONIC DIET
Yes, eating well helps to keep us in shape, but it also stimulates our immune system! Of course, the focus is on vitamin C, which is anti-infectious and at the heart of the production of white blood cells, the guardians of our health. On the menu, citrus fruits galore, but also kiwis, exotic fruits (especially guava, papaya, mango and passion fruit), parsley, cabbage and blackcurrant (which can be frozen because it is not in season). Pumpkins and carrots are especially rich in provitamin A, which stimulates the production of antibodies and white blood cells: we make soups of them all winter long! Magnesium, which fights stress and fatigue (which reduce our defences) and stimulates our defences, should not be neglected in our daily diet either: walnuts and almonds, cocoa and mineral waters rich in magnesium (over 50 mg/l). And the great forgotten one, zinc, which participates in the synthesis of our defence cells such as white blood cells and antibodies: we eat oysters, but also offal, red meat, wholemeal bread and egg yolk. And we enrich our juices or herbal teas with a small piece of fresh ginger (minced or in juice), a stimulant for the body.
2-AIR AND LIGHT TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BODY
There is nothing worse for your health and immunity than being cooped up all day within four walls and under artificial light: all you do is get weak and tired in air that is often polluted with germs. The solution? Get out in the light, which synchronises our internal clock (and avoids, in particular, seasonal depression, a source of fatigue and demotivation), and which, above all, favours the production of vitamin D, the best natural antiviral there is! It is estimated that vitamin D protects against flu, but when it is grey, studies estimate that 75% of people lack it. To refuel, we take advantage of the lunch break, when the light is strongest, to go for a walk. And at the weekend, we fill up on greenery! Japanese researchers have shown that walking in nature (ideally in a forest, the “shinryoku”) strengthens the immune system, in particular by activating the NK cells (for “Natural Killers”) that protect against external aggression.
3-PLANTS TO INCREASE RESISTANCE
Winter queens, purple echinacea and lapacho (the sacred tree of the Inca healers) are used to fight against ENT diseases. They can be taken as a preventive decoction, 1 teaspoon of echinacea root and 1 tablespoon of lapacho bark in 25 cl of cold water. Boil for 3 minutes, leave to infuse covered for 10 minutes off the heat, filter and drink every morning. In case of a “hangover”, three cups a day (which can be taken at once and kept in a thermos). You can add rosehip buds, which are highly immunostimulating (5 drops under the tongue outside of meals). Particularly sensitive to ENT problems? As a bonus, a hydroalcoholic extract of black elder flower (20 drops every morning throughout the winter), or in the form of a syrup (Sambucol, developed by a virologist). And, on a daily basis, drink rosemary tea, which protects the immune system.
4-AROMATHERAPY FOR A REAL BOOST
Certain essential oils reinforce immunity: they stimulate the production of white blood cells or antibodies, help the body to fight against viruses and bacteria, give it a beneficial boost and chase away fatigue so that it can defend itself better. Ravintsara, extracted from the camphor tree, is perfect for the ENT system but also for the digestive system: it can be simply massaged into the sternum, the upper back, the wrists and the elbow creases. Also very effective, tea tree (which has nothing to do with tea!), to be used orally (1 drop in half a teaspoon of thyme honey or olive oil, never directly in the mouth) or in a massage along the spine. The bonus? Take 1 or 2 drops of lemon essence (in half a teaspoon of honey or olive oil) every day for several weeks in a row; it is an excellent tonic and protector. And when everyone around you is ill, or a cold is coming on, add 1 drop of thyme with the lemon! At home, we diffuse a mixture that purifies the air and stimulates the natural defences, and we carefully wash our hands several times a day with a lemon-tea tree purifying liquid soap, especially if we are caring for the household!
5-NATURAL FOOD SUPPLEMENTS
Need a boost? We bet on shiitake, reishi and maïtaké, three Asian mushrooms with strong immunostimulant properties, remineralizing spirulina every morning in an intensive treatment (Fleurance Nature, 4 to 6 tablets/day), green propolis, a real natural antibiotic (capsules or actidoses of extra-strong propolis, organic poplar propolis Aristée, resistance-energy doses with acerola and honey from Famille Mary) and royal jelly (Royal C, organic royal jelly with vitamin C, Famille Mary ; Royal Fruits ampoules with royal jelly, pomegranate and goji from Arkopharma), and Korean red ginseng, bought in an organic shop, in a jar (1 pinch a day in tea or honey) or in ampoules (1 a day away from a big meal). Take Care of Your Immune System