It's useful to know some ways to boost your immune system in winter, especially if you're one of those people who seems to catch everything going. There are more bugs around in the winter months, and you're also more likely to eat comfort food instead of following a healthy diet. But you can give your system a helping hand, so try these ways to boost your immune system in winter …
One of the best ways to boost your immune system in winter is to get plenty of exercise. You don't have to go running every day, but do get out for a walk at least. Exercise boosts the function of your white blood cells, which fight off infection. You can always exercise indoors if the weather is awful, so there's no excuse!
There's nothing wrong with enjoying some comfort food, but don't overdo it. It won't help keep you healthy, whereas a diet with plenty of vitamins will. So make sure to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Garlic also helps your immune system, and when I include plenty of chilli in my diet I find that I catch far fewer colds.
There are lots of supplements that may help your immune system. A good multi-vitamin can be a useful supplement to a healthy diet, although you shouldn't rely on vitamins to compensate for a poor diet. Some people believe that the herb echinacea helps avoid colds and flu, and other supplements like garlic and zinc are also considered useful for the immune system.
4. Avoid Stress
Have you ever noticed how you often get sick when you're on vacation from work, even though you never need to take time off work because of illness? That's because you're relaxing after being under pressure, so you're more vulnerable. So try to avoid stress as much as possible, or manage it with diet, exercise and yoga.
Getting enough sleep is crucial to staying healthy. Not getting enough sleep lowers the number of T cells (white blood cells that are important to the immune system), as well as reducing the production of melatonin. So if you're having trouble sleeping, try to improve your sleep patterns.
6. Vitamin D
Although there may not be much sunshine in winter, get outside every day and absorb some Vitamin D. This also helps to boost the immune system. You can also find it in oily fish, which is a very good source, and there are many foods that are fortified with Vitamin D.
Probiotics help to boost the levels of good bacteria in your digestive system, which plays a very important part in your immune system. There are several ways to take probiotics, such as kombucha tea or kefir. Both are fermented drinks that contain high levels of these good bacteria. There are also supplements you can take, but be sure to choose one with high enough levels of bacteria.
It's best to choose a combination of methods for boosting your immune system, rather than just relying on supplements to do the job. The more you do to look after your health, the better! Look after your general health, and you'll increase your chances of staying healthy. What do you love or hate about winter?