With the change of seasons and slight drop in temperature, maintaining a strong immune system is essential if you want to avoid colds, flus and fevers… We’re going to look at exactly what you can do to boost the immune system in autumn to ensure you defences at at maximum performance:
- Nutrition: find in-season food for your meals, ensuring healthy and balanced nutrition and avoiding processed products. Alongside natural foods and/or vitamin complexes that strengthen your natural defences.
- Dietary supplements: it’s a good idea to complement our diet with vitamins and supplements that guarantee we meet the minimum requirements to boost and strengthen the immune system
- Physical activity and exercise: a good level of daily exercise and a solid training programme will keep you active and agile, ensure your system is as strong as it can be, and improve your energy levels too.
- Rest and sleep hygiene: this is essential but tends to be neglected. Aim to sleep at least 6-8 hours a night, and try to go to bed at the same time every night.
Be careful with what you eat before going to bed. We recommend some ideas here.
What foods help strengthen the immune system in autumn?
Vitamins and minerals are essential for an efficient immune system.
Combining different kinds improves your immune defence.
Autumn fruit and veg will enrich both your dishes and defences: particularly red fruits and bluberries (which are vitamin-rich and have high antioxidant power), broccoli, spinach, kiwis, or citrus fruits like oranges and mandarins.
We recommend making sure you have these foods in your basket to help strengthen your immune system.
Citrus fruits, thanks to their high vitamin D content, stimulate white blood cell production, which is essential for fighting infections: grapefruits, mandarins, pomegranate, lemons, oranges.
Other natural foods like garlic, royal jelly, bee pollen and tumeric also strengthen our defences. Adding foods like ginger to our diet is also a great idea, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (it helps to reduce inflammation in the throat, for example).
HSN’s star product for fighting seasonal ailments
EssentialSeries Season Vits
This complete multivitamin from the EssentialSeries family is made especially for the change of seasons.
The exclusive HSN Season Vits (Change of Season Vitamins) formula contains vitamins B6, B12, C, D3, and E,alongside a range of other essential nutrients: ALA, NAC yand Resveratrol.
Its primary goal is to combat the symptoms of seasonal change through ingredients of maximum quality, stimulating immune system function.
Alongside boosting the immune system, it contains powerful antioxidant and antimucolytics, which:
- Facilitate getting rid of mucus.
- Protect the respiratory system.
- Reduce tiredness and fatigue.
- Improves mood.
Suitable for vegans, it’s also gluten-free and contains no GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).
Prioritise protein consumption
We know protein is important for muscle and tissue repair, but is it important when fighting viruses and infections? Yes, it is.
Amino acids are necessary for the production of antibodies and cytokines that fight infections, thus modulating the distribution of immune system components: lymphocytes and NK cells ( “Natural Killer Cells”); as well as the expression of genes fundamental for immune function.
One study on the role of amino acids on the immune system highlighted the fact that Glutamine, Arginine and Cysteine, which contain the 9 esssential amino acids, are particularly beneficial at strengthening the immune system.
On top, Glutamine is particularly good at producing antibodies that keep infectious viruses and bacteria at bay.
Recommendations for your day-to-day
Here are some essentials to bear in mind for keeping a healthy immune system in autumn:
Exercise in boost your immunity
Exercising is great for your health and therefore also for the immune systems. It activates fat metabolism, acts as an antioxidant, and neutralises stress that can damage the immune system. You pick from a whole range of activities that will boost your immune system:
- Swimming, strength training, aerobic exercises, team exercises, or even just walking.
Get quality sleep
Yes, we always bring it up, but despite the fact that our bodies need quality rest and sleep to function properly, their importance is so often underestimated.
Getting quality sleep is non-negotiable.
And it’s also essential for immune system regulation.
Studies have looked at the relationship between the quality and hours of sleep and the likelihood of catching the common cold.
Sleeping less increases your susceptibility to the common cold.
When it comes to sleep efficiency (the time we spend asleep once getting into bed), people with a low efficiency are up to 5 and a half times more likely to fall ill.
Because of this, healthy bedtime habits are essential tools for strengthening your defences:
- Stop drinking caffeine in the afternoon (at least 6 hours before bedtime).
- Stop or reduce alcohol consumption.
- Get natural sunlight hour exposure and avoid artificial light exposure (blue light) at least 1 hour before bed. This will also help your body’s circadian rhythms.
- Natural melatonin supplementation.
- Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Alper CM, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB. Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62–67. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.505
- Li P, Yin YL, Li D, Kim SW, Wu G. Amino acids and immune function. Br J Nutr. 2007 Aug;98(2):237-52. doi: 10.1017/S000711450769936X. Epub 2007 Apr 3. PMID: 17403271.
- We recommend these natural products for a better sleep.
- Learn the importance of circadian rythms and how they work in this Post.