Worried about seasonal sicknesses and the flu? Try these tips and tricks to boost your immune system for the winter months.
While the winter months provide relief from the sweltering heat, frequent colds and infections can make winters a little hard to navigate. Do you catch a cold frequently? If yes, then there are chances that your immune system may need a boost. If you want to keep seasonal infections at bay, it’s imperative that you boost your immune system, especially during the winter months. Thankfully, it’s not that hard. You just need to make a few changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Did you know that sleep and immunity are linked? While you may think that staying up all night working or binge-watching Netflix isn’t a big deal, it can have a huge impact on your immune system. According to a clinical trial conducted in 2014, people who slept for less than six hours each night were more likely to catch a cold than those who slept for six hours or more. Adequate rest and sleep are essential to boost your immune system. You should ensure that you get at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and healthy fats
Do you find it hard to stick to a healthy diet during the winter months? This can have a negative impact on your immunity. To boost your immune system, you may want to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Try adding whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes to your diet. Since these foods are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, they may give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens. Fiber-rich foods promote healthy bacteria in your gut. This can boost your immune system and help keep harmful pathogens from entering your body via your digestive tract. You can also add healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and salmon to your diet. These may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation.
Add moringa to your diet
Eating foods packed with antioxidants can significantly boost your immune system. You may want to add moringa to your diet during the winter months, as moringa is rich in antioxidants. It has several potent antioxidant properties. A 2012 study conducted on women showed that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa powder per day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels. Moringa contains powerful antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, quercetin and beta carotene.
Supplements are a great way to boost your immune system and keep the cold and flu at bay during the winter months. However, for the best results, it is important that you combine your supplements with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Supplements of vitamin C, vitamin D, curcumin and zinc are highly effective in boosting your immunity during the winter months.
Manage stress levels
Did you know that stress has a negative impact on your immune system? During a period of stress, particularly chronic stress, your body responds by initiating a stress response. This stress response, in turn, suppresses your immune system, increasing your chance of infection or illness. A study conducted in 2014 found that long-term stress promotes inflammation and imbalances in immune cell function. Given the effect it can have on your immune system, it's important to manage your stress levels. Lowering your stress levels can boost your immune system and protect you from infections during the winter months. Activities like meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga and other mindfulness practices can help you effectively manage your stress levels.