HEALTH&FITNESS

7 ways to boost your immune system before winter

Cozy and warm sweaters, hot chocolate, and delicious pumpkin spice – that’s what I associate colder weather with. The change of seasons is very pleasant, especially after a hot and humid summer. This time of the year brings harsh temperature swings from searing hot to polar cold.  With it comes the cold and flu season when viral infections are at their peak. To prevent getting sick, follow the following rules:

Vitamin C

When thinking about nutrients or supplements that play a key role in your help, Vitamin C is the first thing that comes to mind.  Oranges, grapefruits, lemons are great sources of vitamin C aside from the supplements you can get at your local pharmacy.  Vitamin C protects your body from harmful bacteria and toxins by promoting the formation of antibodies. It plays an important role in the healing process of the body by stimulating the production of collagen.

Zinc

This is a powerful mineral found in proteins that maintains your immune system and heals body tissues. Foods high in zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes like chickpeas, lentils, beans, pumpkin seeds, nuts, wheat germ.

Vitamin E 

Similarly to Vitamin C, this nutrient plays a significant role in the immune system’s health as it strengthens healthy cells to fight against harmful pathogens. It is found in sunflower seeds, green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach,)  whole grains, wheat germ oil.

Herbs

One of the most extensively used herbs for boosting the immune system and treating the common cold and flu is echinacea. This plant increases the production of white blood cells to fight infections. Over herbs that play an important role in attacking viral pathogens are elderberry, oregano, calendula, ginger.

Healthy gut

About 80% of your immune system is in your gut or intestine. If your gut is compromised, you more prone to different infections that attack your body. To strengthen your gut health, eat many nutrients that will improve your gut microbiota like fiber ( whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, oats, chia seeds, quinoa), probiotics, kefir, yogurt, etc.

Lemon water

Drinking a glass of lemon water in the morning will help wake your digestive system up and help maintain the body’s PH balance. Make sure you put just a slice of lemon, in warm water.

Protein

The white blood cells are our main defense against bacteria and viruses. Since they are short-lived (1-3 days), our body needs to make white cells every day. To fight any viruses, the body needs to increase the production of white cells. In order to do that, your body needs protein. Foods rich in protein: meat, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes, and beans.

Make sure you get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day, exercise regularly, and don’t forget to smile.

 

Veronica Minci

"Everything that is real was imagined first."

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