Even as you enjoy the pleasant change in weather, the winter cold will soon bring along with its ailments like flu, cold, and fever. The smartest way to prevent falling ill during this season is to strengthen your immunity. One tends to feel hungrier than usual in winter, so it is imperative to indulge in the proper kind of food. You also need to stick to an appropriate exercise routine, making lifestyle changes to ensure you get optimum benefits.
Our immune system is a remarkable set of processes and functions that keeps disease-causing organisms under check. Our body has two defense systems: specific acquired immunity and non-specific innate immunity. The former targets specific ones while the latter attacks all kinds of intruders. They work in unison and keep us secure from diseases and infections. Our body’s defense system begins with physical barriers like the skin and includes antimicrobial proteins that kill infectious invaders. Another line of defense is our cells themselves that destroy other cells.
Find here winter diet tips and other hacks to stay healthy.
Eat to boost yourself
Focus on eating a balanced healthy diet, incorporating all foods’ components in your meals- vegetables, fruits, seeds, sprouts, and nuts . Eat organic and clean products as much as you can (seasonal and regional). The nutritional content in these foods will more than take care of our immunity!
Healthy food rich in nutrients nourishes the immune system. Specific micronutrients have been linked with the health of human immunity .
- Zinc: This nutrient is involved in activating enzymes that prepare DNA. Best dietary sources are – meat, yogurt, nuts, fish, sesame and mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, lentils.
- Selenium: is involved in DNA synthesis and protects from oxidative damage. Mushroom, seafood, cow’s milk, barley, egg, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cabbage, flax seeds, walnuts, spinach, garlic, broccoli are good sources.
- Iron: It carries oxygen throughout your body. It is found in spinach, organ meats, legumes, other green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and dried fruits like figs.
- Copper: This works with iron to form RBC (red blood cells). Beans, whole grains, nuts, prunes, leafy green vegetables, and organ meats are good sources.
- Folic acid: helps form RNA and DNA. Sources are green leafy vegetables, peanuts, beans, whole grains, sunflower seeds, and eggs.
- Vitamin A: supports the inflammatory and immune systems. Richest sources are red-orange fruits, sweet potato and vegetables, green leafy vegetables, papaya, and bell peppers.
- Vitamin C: the best antioxidant that shields against free radicals, good sources- Papaya, citrus fruits, pineapple, strawberries.
- Vitamin E: another vital antioxidant scavenging free radicals in our body. Sources- almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut, spinach, mustard greens.
- Spices: Ayurvedic practitioners use spices like black pepper, haldi, ginger, and tulsi for strengthening immunity.
Include these foods in your diet to enjoy a healthy life and strong immunity.
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We quickly get dehydrated during winter, which makes us vulnerable to numerous diseases. Water produces lymph, which plays a critical role in carrying WBC (white blood cells) and other immune system cells. Staying hydrated will ensure that our body has adequate immune-boosting and white blood cells to ensure that we stay healthy during winter. If we don’t like drinking plain water, we can add a slice of lemon to provide our body extra vitamin C dose .
This does not have to be at a fitness studio or the gym or; it could be a simple 30-minute walk every day. Exercising every day is crucial for good health. It minimizes the risk of cancer, cardiac disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions. It can delay the aging process and improve your appearance .
Make sure you get sufficient sleep
Our immune system is fine-tuned and strengthened during sleep, and sleep deprivation may lead to weakening it. Ensure that you get an adequate eight hours of sleep each night to keep your immune system in fine shape.
Don’t stress too much
It is now a known fact that stress increases our susceptibility to sickness, and those with greater stress levels are falling ill more frequently. The smartest way to protect ourselves is to rest! Find some time to meditate, recharge, read, or do yoga. Essentially, take a chill pill!
Cut back on the sugar
Sugar potentially damages our immune system because it tends to cause inflammation in our body, a breeding ground for the flu’s microbes. Switch to natural sources such as dried/fresh fruits, and our gut will thank us.
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Go for a massage
What could be a better way to strengthen our immunity system than having a comforting massage? Massages stimulate our lymphatic system, the defense force of our body. Besides, they feel good, don’t they?
Make sure you are well-covered in the cold winter weather, particularly paying attention to your face and the hands, which often tend to be ignored. Wear a warm scarf and snug gloves good and, of course, make sure you wear winter boots and an appropriate jacket. Stay healthy, stay warm!
Wash your hands frequently
Of course, we need to do this regardless of what season it is, but come winter, with the flu and colds going around, we’d be better off taking this simple precaution than having to lose sleep about getting ill and catching germs.
Research shows that feelings of loneliness and isolation correlate with weakened immunity. So make an effort to reconnect with your friends and family and allow their warmth to make your winter more enjoyable.
Keep away from the toxins
We unknowingly surround ourselves with toxins through our cleaning products, a few of which may be harmful to our immune system. Use green cleaning products to keep your body and your house clean!
Replace your moisturizing lotion with coconut oil
Coconut oil is naturally protecting and healing substances and acts as a barrier for our skin from microbes. It can also leave your skin feeling incredibly supple and soft!
Alcohol is believed to suppress our immune system, and you definitely don’t need this with colds and flu going around. Drink fresh fruit juice instead!
Winter is the time to strengthen your immunity to stay safe from ailments. Following the steps mentioned above can help you avoid contagious diseases in winter, which is quite prevalent. Whether you prefer drinking herbal teas, or hot soups loaded with herbs can help you out.