The winter is almost upon us and the dry chilly air means that your immune system is about to have a fight on its hands. Colder temperatures suppress your immune system and stop it from working as effectively as possible. To make matters even worse, colder temperatures make it easier for flu viruses to spread more effectively.
If you're going to stay healthy this winter, you've got to take good care of your immune system. Here's a closer look at how to improve immunity against cold with some natural ways to boost your immune system.
How Your Immune System Works
If you are wondering how to boost your immune system in winter, it's important that you first understand the basic principles behind the immune system.
Wondering how does the immune system work? Here's a very simple introduction.
Essentially, the immune system is a natural system within our bodies that helps to identify and tackle antigens (foreign substances). The immune system dispatches special proteins that tackle those antigens by locking onto them.
The immune system is particularly intelligent because once it identifies an antigen, it can also remember it to fight it more effectively in the future - this is how vaccines and the flu shot work.
If your immune system works effectively, it will have the best chance possible of protecting your body against disease.
Best Foods To Boost Your Immune System
The performance of your immune system is affected by a range of factors. Your diet can have a huge impact on the performance of your immune system - there are proven reasons that bowl of delicious chicken soup helps when you're sick!
Here's a closer look at some of the best foods to boost immune system performance.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Medical science currently believes that vitamin C plays an important role in the production of white blood cells - critical when it comes to combat infections.
Did you know that your body doesn't actually store vitamin C? That's one of the reasons it's so important for you to get a daily dose of vitamin C. You can get large quantities of vitamin C from citric fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and more.
Chicken is very high in vitamin B-6. This important vitamin helps you to create new red blood cells, essential if you're going to stay as healthy and resilient as possible.
You'll also find that chicken includes a range of nutrients that can help to promote good gut health while elevating the performance of your immune system.
Garlic is incredible for your health and you should work to incorporate it into your diet. That's quite simple, too, given that it's a foundation in dishes around the world.
Garlic can boost the efficiency of your immune system while also protecting you from the risk of cardiovascular disease. It achieves this by lowering your blood pressure and decelerating the build-up of plaque in your arteries.
Spinach is another great source of vitamin C and it just feels like it's the perfect food to eat during the winter. It includes a range of antioxidants, too, that can help to fuel your immune system.
When you cook spinach, you should avoid cooking it too much or you'll risk releasing its most important nutrients.
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties and some studies suggest that it can decrease nausea. Depending on the type of cuisine that you enjoy the most, you might find that you already consume an ample amount of ginger and protect your immune system.
Green tea (and other similar teas) is a great source of critical amino acids that help your body to fight against antigens. The tea is also very simple to make and it includes a host of important antioxidants.
Be sure to avoid caffeinated drinks if you're poorly and hoping to get to sleep, though.
Broccoli might not be a favorite among children, but it's a truly amazing vegetable when it comes to promoting the health of your immune system. It comes with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.
If you are sick or you feel a cold coming on, a generous serving of broccoli might help you to mitigate your risk of becoming more sick.
Vitamins and Immunity
Vitamins are very important if you are hoping to keep illnesses at bay. There's a reason that the phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is so popular!
We have already touched on the key vitamins that can help you to secure strong immune system performance. Here's a closer look at those three vitamins:
Vitamin C helps to boost the number of white blood cells that you produce. It is found in a wide range of foods.
Vitamin B-6 helps you to create new red blood cells. It can be found in chicken and other poultry items.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that gives your body the power to fight off different antigens. It can be found in spinach and seeds.
If you are wondering can exercise boost immune system performance, the answer is yes.
Regular amounts of moderate exercise can help you to look and feel great. Studies have also demonstrated that there's a correlation between your general fitness level and your susceptibility to infections.
If you strike the right balance in terms of exercise, you'll help your immune system to work at peak performance. It will be able to produce all of the white blood cells that you need to tackle antigens and stay healthy.
Some medical professionals suggest that over-exerting yourself can make you more susceptible to colds, though. This is because your immune system is not as effective when it's stressed. You should always remember to give yourself an appropriate amount of recovery time.
Adding Garlic To Foods
Garlic is one of the world's most popular ingredients. You can find it in countless dishes around the world and it helps to deliver a greater depth of flavor while smelling great.
Garlic also has medicinal properties. You'll find that garlic can help to improve your mental health and reduce your risk of heart disease while elevating the performance of your immune system.
If you feel that you're particularly susceptible to illness, you'll want to increase the amount of garlic that you consume. This is because the main active ingredient in garlic is allicin - it is unstable and it can convert into a range of sulfur-containing compounds. Those deliver a range of disease-fighting power for your immune system.
Get 7 of Your Fruit And Veg
As you can see, it's very important that you focus on your nutrition and diet to boost your immune function. One of the best rules of thumb that you can follow throughout the winter season is to increase the amount and variety of fruit and veg that you consume.
The 7-a-day rule for fruit and veg has been shown to make people healthier and more resistant to illness. You should make a definite effort to increase the freshness and quantity of fruit and veg that you eat.
We hope that these tips help you to stay strong and healthy throughout the winter season.