7 tips to maintain strong immune system this winter
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 14, 2017
When winter is on its way, expect flu and the common cold to be just around the corner. Although, flu vaccines are quite effective keeping the flu germs at bay, there are certain preventive measures that should be taken on the whole.
One of the easiest ways of evading the flu and cold is by boosting the immune system, so that it stays strong all throughout the winter months.
Here are 7 ways in which you can make your immune system stronger:
1. Consume whole foods: Ensure that you are taking in plenty of vitamins and minerals, which will help support your immune system. Vitamin A and Vitamin C along with Zinc and Omega 3 fats work effectively to boost the immune system. All in all eat a balanced diet, and include whole foods in your meals. For instance, increase the intake of animal protein, nuts, grains and legumes. Consumption of green leafy vegetables is ideal during the cold months, along with various super foods such as camucamu and mushroom if possible.
Try and avoid fried foods, processed meat, soft drinks and foods which contain artificial flavours and preservatives. They will only work to bring down your immunity. Eat fresh as much as possible!
2. Flavour your food well with herbs and spices: Natural herbs and spices not only add excellent flavour and depth to meals, they are also very nutritious and great for the immune system. Herbs and spices such as ginger and garlic, cayenne pepper, curry leaves and turmeric have exceptional anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which help stimulate the immune system; thus the body is well protected against any harmful pathogens.
3. Keep yourself hydrated: It is quite understandable that your water intake during winters becomes less. This is because you stop sweating and one does not get thirsty that often. Even so, make it a point to drink water all throughout the day.
Water plays an important part in lymph production, which mainly carries white blood cells (WBCs) and other protective cells to each and every part of the body.
4. Rest and sleep well: It is a known fact that chronic fatigue is an open invitation to illness. About 7 to 8 hours of sleep everyday allows the body to rejuvenate itself. Thus, ensure that you get plenty of rest and if need be, a quick afternoon nap too.
5. Go low on sugar: Sugar is known to have quite a devastating effect on the immune system. It is responsible for inflammation, which makes the body highly susceptible to flu and cold.
How so? Excess sugar intake triggers inflammation, which creates the ideal environment for flu causing germs to thrive in. Therefore, say no to sugar this winter and instead resort to healthy natural substitutes such as honey, maple syrup, dare sugar and molasses.
6. Get enough exercise: Physical activity is a must, even during the winters. Exercising has plenty of benefits, one of which includes building up immunity. About 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis is enough to keep your immune system ‘fighting strong’. Just, go for a pleasant walk or a short run in the park or skip rope whenever you get time. If you want to do something different, you can join a power yoga class or an aerobics class during the winter season.
7. Start with probiotics: As per medical science, 80% of the body’s immunityis determined by how well the digestive tract functions. Thus, it is essential that you keep your gut healthy. You can start with probiotic drinks or pills during the winter, to give that extra boost to your immune system. Probiotic medicine essentially contains good bacteria, which help in effective digestion and strengthening the immune system. Even natural food products such as yoghurt, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut effectively help boost the immune system, as they are not only great sources of friendly bacteria, but are also rich in vitamins and minerals that maintain body health.
This winter, adopt the above tips religiously and build your immunity, so that it can fight those flu germs and keep you healthy and safe.