You now wash your hands about ten times a day, regularly use a hand gel and try not to touch your face. But what else can you do to avoid colds and flu ?
With the coronavirus , it seems even more important to protect us against the flu. But how can we do that? “You first need to understand how your immune system works,” Sheena Cruickshank, a professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, tells.
“When your body comes into contact with a bacterium that has ever seen it before, your body has several mechanisms to stop it. Our skin, muscles and snot are very important to stop germs. Yet the latter sometimes manage to make us sick. ” And that has to do with our immune system. If you want a better immune system, you have to make sure your microbiome is in order. That is the entirety of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and yeasts. That microbiome protects us from pathogens and helps us digest fiber. In addition, it would help fight inflammation.
Eat very varied and especially put a lot of fiber on the menu. They feed the good bacteria in your intestines. Eat as much plant food as possible and your microbiome loves fermented food (think kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles).
NOURISH YOUR SKIN
In addition, your skin is also important. “But we know less about that. High doses of UV are not good for your skin. And washing too often with soap and anti-bacterial products is also not good. ”
“To have a good immune system, you have to be fit. White blood cells start moving when you move more yourself. And therefore you are less likely to get sick. So don’t stay home from the sports class, but go now. And take extra walks, jog more often or exercise at home using Youtube . Note: do not exaggerate right now, people who never exercise can produce stress hormones if they suddenly want to go too fast, and that can have a negative effect on your immune system. ” But let that not be an excuse to hang out on the sofa, because the same movement (adapted to you) also reduces stress.
Now is the perfect time to go without alcohol for a month (or longer). “Studies show that your immune system is less strong if you regularly drink too much alcohol.”
CHECK YOUR VITAMINS
You get vitamin D from the sun and it is therefore not surprising if you are deficient during the winter months. Although Cruickshank says that vitamin C supplements are of no use. “They are water soluble, so your body does not absorb them. Instead of taking supplements, eat your five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. ”
TAKE TIME FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
That healthy diet and exercise will undoubtedly help you sleep better. And that is important. Those who are tired are more likely to get sick. ”
WATCH YOUR HYGIENE
“If you don’t want to get a corona, hygiene is especially important. Wash your hands, cough in a swab that you throw away right away and avoid contact with people who are sick. But one thing is unfortunately certain: you can take precautions, but not really prevent them. The risk of getting sick remains, but you can reduce it. ”