Boosting immunity: Nutritional advice against winter diseases

As winter approaches, it is essential to understand how nutrition can be your ally in strengthening your immune system against the cold and winter illnesses within your reach. This article will delve into the vital roles of vitamin C, zinc, and other nutritional components in preventing and controlling these seasonal diseases.

The Vitamin C myth

Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are often associated with warding off colds and flu, but is there any scientific support for this belief? Surprisingly, research has not conclusively proven that vitamin C can prevent these diseases. However, it may help relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease.

The Vitamin C myth

A study published in the Cochrane Library 2013 included 11,306 participants who took daily doses of about 0.2 grams of vitamin C. The results were interesting. While vitamin C has not prevented colds in ordinary individuals, it has shown promise in reducing risk for those who engage in intense physical activity, such as marathon runners.

Furthermore, the study indicated that vitamin C can slightly reduce the general population’s severity and duration of the common cold. Therefore, taking the recommended daily amount of vitamin C immediately after the beginning of winter is recommended to boost your general immunity and fight various diseases.

Zinc: Cool fighter?

There is evidence to suggest that zinc supplements can effectively reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, but there is a problem. According to a 2013 review by the Cochrane Library, zinc supplements should be taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms to speed up the healing process and relieve symptoms in healthy individuals. Zinc can also be obtained from food sources such as meat, poultry, legumes, and peanuts.

However, it should be noted that prolonged use of zinc supplements can lead to unwanted side effects such as nausea and a bad taste in the mouth. More research is needed to determine the ideal and safe dose for zinc supplements.

Dairy for immunity

Milk and dairy products offer a unique combination of benefits for immune health. They contain conjugated linoleic acid, which some studies suggest can boost immunity. Additionally, dairy products are rich in probiotics that support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, an essential component of a robust immune system.

Dairy for immunity

Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of colds and respiratory infections. Milk and its derivatives fortified with Vitamin D are an excellent source to fight this deficiency and boost your immunity during winter.

In conclusion, while vitamin C and zinc may not be guaranteed to prevent colds and winter illnesses, they can still play an essential role in reducing their impact. Combining these nutrients with a diet rich in dairy and fortified foods can help you stay healthy and resilient in the face of seasonal challenges. So, let your plate be your shield against the cold this winter.

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