When the days are getting shorter and colder, most of us look forward to all the season has to offer. Pumpkins, tea, cozy warm evenings with a blanket, a good book, and autumn walks. However, most of us also start to feel a bit sick, sniffly, and low in energy. These 8 tips can help you to boost your immune system so you can enjoy the colder months.
1.Stay away from sugar
When you are eating (too much) sugar your immune system cells will get weak, and we need them to defend us against bad bacteria. Instead, curb your sweet cravings with some fruits such as pears, berries, apples, or citrus fruits. Especially, fruit and vegetables that contain Vitamin C, E and Zinc are a great option. Smoothies are a great way to get in those much needed fruits and veggies. Kale is good vegetable to add into your smoothies.
2. Stress less, move more
This is and will always be a tricky one. And a stress free life is impossible and also something not very much desirable. However, too much stress is a serious problem. Too many stress hormones will at one point overturn our immune system. Try to manage your stress levels by walking, deep breathing exercises, reading, or anything else that will relax you.
3. Include medicinal food in your diet
Onion, garlic and ginger are a great way to add flavour to any dish, but they are also extremely powerfull medicinal foods that can help fight the common flu. Garlic contains a strong concentration of sulfur compounds that will boost your immune system. Ginger is a food rich in antioxidants and known to boost the protective functions of the immune system, which are much needed to fight cells infected by a virus. Oregano oil is also a great way to protect your body, you can read all about it here.
4. Sip on green tea
Green tea is full with antioxidants that are known to protect your immune system against damage from free radicals. So try replacing your regular (morning) coffee with a green tea.
5. Have a Set Bedtime
Research shows that those who sleep 8 hours (or more) per night are three times less likely to catch a cold compared to people who sleep less than 7 hours. The reason is quite simple, at night your body repairs itself and regulates stress hormones that can make you less susceptible to infections and virusses. I think this video explains very clearly the importance of sleep.
6. Eat Colors
Add more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet, like sweet potatoes (beta-carotene), citrus, bell peppers (vitamin C), and almonds (vitamin E). These will replenish the cells that are damaged in the fight against germs and bacteria. Again, a great way to do so is by starting the day with a green (winter) smoothie.
7. Eat more Fermented Foods
Good bacteria can enhance your immune system, so you may want to eat more fermented foods, which contain helpful bacteria during the cold and flu season, such as sauerkraut.
8. Wash your Hands at Key Times
But of course ” prevention is better than cure ” applies here too. You don’t have to go crazy with this one, but you can reduce illness by 15% to 50% if you wash your hands at key times. That is before eating, before and after preparing food, post-bathroom and after sneezing or coughing. Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water and scrub for 20 seconds.