Do you easily catch colds or the latest bug that’s going around? If so, chances are your immune system is weaker than it should be. It is important to support your immune system during winter months . Below are listed some ways to help you to stay healthy.
Watch Your Nutrition
- Consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible (nothing added) such as fresh or frozen vegetables (at least 5 one cup servings daily).
- AVOID canned foods as they contain very little, if any nutrients plus the linings in some cans contain BP.
- Consume 1-2 servings of fresh low sugar fruits (such as apples or blueberries)
Eat only complex carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are turned into sugar in your body and too much sugar can suppress the immune system.
- Choose animal protein such as: chicken, turkey, eggs, low mercury fish (wild salmon) that comes from grass fed hormone and pesticide free sources.
- Include healthy protein snacks such as unsalted almonds, walnuts, pecans and unsalted seeds.
Develop Good Sleep Habits
Getting the proper amount of sleep is very important. You should try to get at least 8 hours of sleep during your sleep period. Not getting enough sleep or developing poor sleep habits can reduce your immune function and can be responsible for creating chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.
Try to not drink too many liquids 2-3 hours before bedtime if you wake up during the night to go to the bathroom and find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Avoid any form of caffeine at least within 5 hours of bedtime and avoid drinking alcoholic beverages with your evening meal as these things can cause you to go to the bathroom during the night.
Exercise is essential for overall health. Exercise strengthens the cells that your body uses to attack bacteria. These cells appear to work more slowly in people who do not exercise than in those who do exercise.
Your body also produces antibodies during exercise that react to bacteria or viruses by hunting them down and destroying them.
Exercise is essential for overall health. Try to include some kind of an exercise routine during this time of year when it is not always practical to go outside for a walk. Talk to your doctor or therapist about the kind of exercise that would be beneficial for you.
Support your immune system with antioxidants such as: Garlic, Vitamin C, Astaxanthin, CO Q10, Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, Resveratrol and Beta Carotene.
Vitamin D3 levels are often chronically lower during the winter months due to less time outside resulting in less sunshine.
be sure to increase your magnesium when taking vitamin D3.
You can talk to your doctor about having your vitamin levels tested.
Supplementing your diet with a good multivitamin/multi mineral supplement is also advisable.
Probiotics keep the gut healthy, making sure the immune system functions well.
A recent New Zealand study conducted with professional rugby players showed probiotics enhanced the players’ ability to ward off and fight colds.
Staying adequately hydrated can help your body eliminate toxins and waste materials, making your immune system able to better fight infection.
People are just as apt to become dehydrated in cold weather as they are in warm weather.
One reason is that we do not feel as thirsty and then when we are thirsty, we just do not drink as much.
There is also another reason that must be factored in: According to Robert Kenefick, UNH associate professor of kinesiology, cold actually alters thirst sensation. Our bodies use hormones to create thirst in response to loss of fluid. This hormonal response which triggers thirst in warmer weather, does not elicit the same response when the temperatures dip.”
Then, of course, staying warm and dry in cold weather and the avoidance of becoming overly chilled plays a big part in resisting any cold weather illnesses also.
Therefore, keep warm, get a good night’s sleep, keep hydrated, eat healthy, avoid sugars and take antioxidants and probiotics and you will have a better chance of staying healthy when the winter winds begin to blow.
~Have a healthy and safe winter~