When autumn comes, many are concerned about strengthening their immunity - they rush to pharmacies, where shopping baskets are loaded with various supplements and vitamins. However, the natural ways of strengthening immunity that nature provides are often forgotten. So what are the signs that the body is weakened and what should be done to maintain strong immunity? Healthy lifestyle and nutrition specialist Gretė Brokienė shares advice.
We should take a comprehensive approach
Although nutrition has a huge influence on our immune system, according to G. Brokienė, it is far from the only factor that determines our well-being.
"I always say that there is no single panacea. There is no single remedy that will cure all diseases and make you feel great all the time. Everything needs to be looked at in a complex way. And although the influence of nutrition on our immunity is very large, we must not forget other connections as well. Sleep hygiene, stress control, physical activity are just as important as proper nutrition, and genetics, heredity, and health history also have a significant influence. It's like a puzzle, every piece of which affects the strength of our immunity," says the nutritionist.
Brokienė adds that strengthening immunity should be seen as a long-term process and that one should take care of one's health constantly, not only during the cold season or when one already feels the first symptoms.
"The phrase 'immunity booster' itself is very trendy, loved and used a lot by marketers. However, it is very important to understand that you cannot take it and strengthen that immunity in one day. No miracle will happen so soon. Even among my clients, I notice such a fashion or even a habit, to take vitamin D in autumn and winter, to buy various supplements and thus strengthen immunity. This is the wrong approach. We need not so much to strengthen immunity as to constantly take care of it, take care of our health and body. And this, as I mentioned, is a complex thing that includes both nutrition, quality sleep, and physical activity," says G. Brokienė.
Frequent colds are also determined by vitamin D deficiency
According to the expert, weakened immunity is usually betrayed by external things, which are not difficult to notice.
"The fact that the immunity is weakened reveals frequent viral diseases, recurring colds, weakness, drowsiness, impaired work of the digestive system, changed skin condition. Very often, the first symptoms can be understood from external things," the interviewer asserts.
Many notice that colds and various viruses attack more often in autumn, the cold season. According to G. Brokienė, this happens due to a certain vitamin deficiency in the body.
"More frequent illnesses in autumn are caused by a lack of vitamin D. Lithuanian residents lack it all year round, but in the cold season the deficit is even greater. This vitamin has a very strong influence on the condition of our immune system. Of course, nutrition also contributes to everything. The majority of people tend to consume vegetables, fruits and berries seasonally, when we have them fresh, and then for some reason we forget about them in autumn and winter," observes the nutritionist.
Rainbow colors on the plate
According to G. Brokienė, in order to enjoy strong immunity, one should not forget the good things provided by nature. The specialist recommends using what we can find in the garden and vegetable garden, instead of using frozen or otherwise processed vegetables and fruits during the season.
"Let's appreciate what mother nature gives us. We have our wonderful Lithuanian strawberries, tomatoes, which are a great source of antioxidants. Queen of the woods blueberries or blueberries are rich in iron. Apple season is just beginning. Let's use what we have in season and don't forget to freeze everything in advance. Frozen fruits, vegetables and berries do not lose their value and nutrients. Fill your plates with as many colors as possible - a full rainbow should appear on them every day," advises G. Brokienė.
It is important to learn to adapt to the fast pace of life
The specialist says that those who want to include more fruits and vegetables in their diet, but do not know how to do it, or simply do not like their taste, are advised to try a few things.
"If people don't like vegetables or fruits and don't know how to include them in their daily menu, I always recommend contacting nutritionists. They will help you create tastier recipes and advise you on how to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. There are also amazing products that can help you do just that. I myself recently discovered fruttberry vegetable, fruit and berry powder mixes. At first I was very skeptical because I'm not a big fan of all kinds of smoothies and shakes. However, after getting to know this product more closely, the opinion has completely changed. This is a real salvation for a person in a hurry, a great alternative that helps to consume the required daily amount of fruits and vegetables, so I always have at least a few "fruttberry" packets in my handbag," says the nutritionist.
Brokienė adds that living in today's world, where everything happens at an extremely fast pace, it is more important than ever to take care of your physical and emotional health.
"I am usually approached by a city person who is in a hurry, running everywhere, surrounded by all kinds of projects, work, family, maybe children. This is an extremely dynamic, fast rhythm of life. And I always encourage people to accept the fact that it will never be otherwise, we will never experience a different way of life. Therefore, you need to learn in all this tension and let's take care of yourself, tame that dynamic and make it favorable for you. Here is our new mission. Don't forget your body, don't forget your emotional health and the same immunity", advises G. Brokienė.