BOOSTING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM THIS COMING WINTER
Winter will be here before you know it, and with the change in season comes the dreaded… wait for it… cold and flu season. Did you know that up to 20% of Americans will come down with the flu every year? While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, don’t take any chances.
Protect yourself from these viruses by boosting that immune system. You know, the network of millions of tiny cells and organisms that help to protect your body! Here is how you can defend yourself and say, “not this year!” to the cold and flu.
SAY “NO” TO ADDED SUGAR:
Sugar from soft drinks, desserts, and candies can reduce the body’s white blood cells’ ability to destroy bacteria. Sugar impacts your white blood cells by competing for space in your body. When sugar takes over, it can cause major inflammation also. Let us tell you, the influenza virus looooves to make itself at home in inflammation.
In place of beverages loaded with sugar, hydrate your body with warming tea, natural fruit juice, and water. And for those tempting desserts like donuts, lava cake, and pie? Pass on those goodies and your body will thank you!
FIGHT WITH REAL FOOD:
Nourish your body with the good stuff! We are talking about super foods like leafy greens, avocado, garlic, and oats aka “the building blocks of a strong immune system”. While you are at it, sprinkle in some vitamin A, B6, D, and vitamin C. Get your plates ready for a diverse diet!
Vitamin A: A deficiency in vitamin a means an increase risk of infectious diseases. Be sure you are consuming an abundance of:
- Orange/Yellow Veggies
Vitamin B6: Studies have shown that a dip in B6 can cause a dip in immune response. Load up on:
- Brown Rice
Vitamin D: Fight the flu with vitamin D!
- Fatty Fish
- Soak up some sunrays outside (Don’t forget the SPF!)
Vitamin C: This vitamin is the most celebrated for its immunity enhancing properties. It’s also found in almost every fruit and vegetable (how convenient!). That means stocking up on:
- Green Peppers
RELAX AND STRESS LESS
Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on immune health. It’s critical that you get at least 7- 9 hours of sleep per night to maintain over all good health –but especially in cold and flu season. Anything less than 6 hours can deteriorate the immune system making the body more susceptible to illness.
No sleep can also trigger the stress hormone making you more irritable. And nobody likes a crabby you! If you are in a sleep crunch, try taking a 20-30 power nap during the day to recharge your batteries.
Having trouble drifting into dreamland? Deep breathing and meditation before bedtime aids in reducing daily stresses and worries. You will be counting sheep in no time AND keeping the sickness away too!
In addition, make sure that you are frequently washing your hands with warm water and an antibiotic soap. Also be sure to stay clear of people who are sick and under the weather-that is VERY important.
How do you keep healthy this season? Share with us in the comments below!