Skin turns orange in cold air

Strengthen the immune system with natural means

Status: 01/14/2019 2:22 p.m. | archive
Those who strengthen their immune system are less susceptible to infections that lead to cold symptoms such as coughing, runny nose and hoarseness.

Pathogens spread very quickly in autumn and winter. If you want to prevent infection with bacteria or viruses, you should strengthen your immune system. For example, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, green tea, ginger tea, cold facial affusions, moist air - and singing protect against a cold.

If the body notices pathogens such as bacteria or viruses, the immune cells become active. How well the immune system reacts depends on many factors. These can be positively influenced, for example, by a balanced diet.

Zinc: prevent infection

Zinc is important so that the immune system can produce antibodies against pathogens, for example so-called phagocytes. After contact with a pathogen, a high dose of zinc (around 100 milligrams per day) can still prevent infection in some cases. There is a particularly large amount of zinc in fish, meat, dairy products and legumes. The long-term use of zinc tablets is not recommended, however, as it can damage the heart.

Vitamin C: alleviate the common cold

200 milligrams of vitamin C per day can lessen or shorten a cold. There is a lot of vitamin in citrus fruits such as oranges and also in peppers. The vitamin activates the macrophages ("phagocytes") of the immune system. Scientists have not been able to prove a preventive effect of vitamin C.

Ginger tea: kill viruses in the throat

Anyone who notices a scratchy throat can kill viruses with ginger tea, for example - and thereby relieve the immune system of some of the work. Because the gingerols contained in ginger tea activate the macrophages. Even the slightest scratching in the throat should drink a ginger tea. If the viruses have already multiplied, they are difficult to fight them.

Vitamin D: compensate for deficiency

A vitamin D deficiency can lead to an increased susceptibility to infections. The cause is often too little sunlight in autumn and winter, as the body cannot produce vitamin D without the sun. If the doctor has shown a vitamin D deficiency in a blood test, taking vitamin D tablets can strengthen the immune system.

Green tea: fight viruses in the mouth

Gargling with green tea is used in Chinese medicine against pathogens in the mouth. In one study, subjects who gargled with green tea every day had three times fewer infections than subjects who gargled only with water. The cause is the tannins in green tea, which kill viruses around the mouth.

Cold showers: strengthen the immune system

Studies have shown that cold Kneipp facial treatments can strengthen the immune system. To do this, run cold water evenly over your forehead and cheeks three times a day.

Fresh air: support for the mucous membranes

In winter, the mucous membrane is often dried out by dry air. This hinders the immune cells at work. A lot of exercise in the fresh air is important: This moisturizes the mucous membrane and expands the vessels - the immune system becomes active.

Sauna: good for the heart, skin and immune system

Anyone who goes to the sauna from time to time supports the heart, skin and immune system. The body learns to regulate the change between hot and cold surroundings and is thus better prepared for temperature fluctuations in autumn and winter.

Singing: Therapy for More Antibodies

Singing as therapy not only puts you in a good mood, it can also strengthen the immune system. Choir singers have been shown to have robust and strengthened airways - and after singing, increased antibodies in their saliva.

Wash your hands regularly

We rarely breathe pathogens directly from the air after someone has sneezed. Most pathogens find their way through our hands into our mouth and nose. During the cold season it is therefore essential to wash and disinfect your hands regularly.

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Experts on the subject

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Martin Smollich, pharmacologist
Institute for Nutritional Medicine
University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck Campus
Ratzeburger Allee 160
23538 Lübeck
(0451) 31 01-84 01

Joachim Kurzbach, specialist in internal medicine
Group practice for internal medicine and general practitioner care
Rahlstedter Bahnhofstrasse 25
22143 Hamburg
(040) 677 32 29

Dr. Claudia Beisel, immunologist
Heinrich Pette Institute
Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology
Martinistrasse 52
20251 Hamburg
(040) 48 05 10

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Visit | 01/15/2019 | 8:15 pm