Boost your immune system this winter
Winter is coming! In addition to exciting family gatherings, this is the time of year when colds and flu are rampant. Having winter means you spend most of your time indoors, where germs and bad bacteria spread easily, especially COVID-19. Therefore, you need to boost your immune system to fight off any illness from ruining your vacation plans, but how do you do that?
Boosting your immune system
Your immune system is not a single entity but, as the word implies – a system. It requires balance and harmony between all body systems to function well. There are still many areas of study that researchers need to work on, especially on the complexity and correlates of immune responses. Currently, there is no apparent scientific evidence of a direct link between your overall lifestyle and enhanced immunity. However, the effects of one’s lifestyle on the immune system should be further studied.
Although scientific research has yet to dig deeper into immune response and lifestyle, there is current research exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress and other factors on the immune system; These are being conducted in animal and human studies. As of the current year, simple healthy-life techniques are the most recommended because they have a high tendency to help immune function. Also, they come with other proven health benefits Plus, these are ten scientifically-backed and proven ways to boost your immune system to prepare your body for the winter season.
How can I boost my immune system during this Winter?
The first thing is vaccination. During the winter months you must keep your body up to date on vaccinations. Every once in a while, flu viruses and strains can appear and become widespread during the winter months. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and other susceptible people around you.
When vaccinated, your body can activate the immune system’s memory. When you get a vaccine, a weakened germ, a fragment, or the like is added to the body.
From there, our immune system will be activated without getting sick and it can prevent us from acquiring dangerous infectious diseases. Vaccinating yourself can provide lifelong protection, but of course, for some vaccines, the effect will wear off after a few years and booster doses are needed. An example is getting a flu shot, as this is a great preventative measure, considering that more than 40,000 deaths from influenza are recorded each year.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight not only involves healthy food consumption but also a proper overall lifestyle. As your body weighs more, your immune system function is compromised. Obesity can cause inflammation that can weaken your immune system. It is also associated with weakening the immune system of several harmful diseases such as Covid-19, H1N1 influenza and surgical site infections.
You may want to prioritize getting enough sleep and limiting sugar intake to control your weight. Also, give up alcoholic drinks and smoking to take care of your body’s health.
Wash your hands frequently
Obviously, washing your hands won’t technically boost your immune system, but it can protect you from getting sick. Hand washing can prevent about 30 percent of diarrheal illnesses and about 20 percent of respiratory infections, including colds.
Microscopic germs can get into food and drink from unclean hands, making you sick. From there, these micro germs can be passed to others. Therefore, washing your hands frequently is an effective way to strengthen your immune system.
How can I boost my immune system naturally during winter?
Eat foods that boost immunity
Since your energy and body fuel comes from the foods you eat, they are an important factor in boosting your immunity. Get the nutrients your body needs like protein, healthy fats and vitamins from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and more. In particular, foods that are high in vitamin C and antioxidants are preferred for building a strong immune system. By having these two nutrients in your diet, your body can fight disease-causing free radicals and inflammation.
Adding colorful fruits and vegetables in winter, such as citrus fruits like oranges, dark greens like spinach, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, and powerful superfoods like blueberries and pomegranates can help boost the immune system. Moreover, health experts have added other best vitamins to boost your immune system, which are vitamin B6, vitamin E and zinc.
Along with eating healthy foods, you must avoid certain foods that are not good for you. This includes eating southern style or eating food sources high in sugar, salt and fat. Research studies show that echinacea, garlic, and green tea can help prevent a common cold, but they may not help you every time you get it.
SEE MORE: 14 Foods That Boost the immunity System
Drinking water is important in winter because the air can be dry. Water is essential to the body because it performs two functions: carrying oxygen to the cells and flushing out bacteria and infections that may cause toxins to leave the cells. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day is a scientifically supported way to boost your immune system in winter. You must limit your alcohol consumption and avoid smoking as these two unhealthy practices can dehydrate your body.
Essentially, water plays an important role in immune function. When you stay hydrated, you’re allowing your body to properly circulate infection-fighting immune cells. Water generally keeps your body systems at peak performance.
Remember to prioritize your mental health
Furthermore, mental health can be underestimated in terms of immunity; However, this can be another reason that can weaken your system. You should prioritize your mental health, more so in winter. For some people, they may struggle with anxiety and depression due to changes in the weather or social events.
Normal reactions to anxiety and depression; In fact, 18 percent of adults may have both. Some of the symptoms of poor mental health are anticipation, anxiety, feelings of dread, nervousness, isolation and others that affect your immune system.
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How can I boost my immune system fast?
Regular physical activity can help you feel better in winter, sleep better, and reduce anxiety. By joining a solid healthy diet, You can definitely maintain your weight. However, there are appropriate physical activities that experts generally recommend based on your age.
By following the most appropriate physical activity for your age, you can reap immediate and long-term health benefits. In addition, emerging research studies suggest that physical activity is potentially beneficial for the body’s immune system.
Handle the pressure
Chronic stress is an important factor that can lead to various diseases as it can weaken your immunity. Months and years of stress can take a toll on your immune system. When this happens, you are susceptible to getting sick easily and quickly, especially for those who are elderly or already in poor health. You can manage stress by meditating, praying, journaling, or simply sitting outside with a cup of tea that makes you feel calm.
To boost your immune system, it is essential to consider your age as well. As you age, your immune system weakens, which can make you more susceptible to various diseases. However, no matter the time of year, you must keep your immune system strong.