Boost your immune system. Our tips for the winter
1. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Of course, this is no secret. Conveniently, though, it’s also something we tend to forget when a big, juicy burger and golden chips are staring us in the face. We do seem to gravitate towards such overindulgence during the winter … which is OK from time to time, just the amount we consume can be dangerous. Our bodies need a great deal of nutrients, particularly vitamins (A, B6, B12, C, D and E), and trace elements of zinc, selenium, iron and copper to ensure a healthy immune system. Moreover, it’s now believed that healthy intestines have an influence on the immune system, which is why a fibre-rich diet is also hugely important. If you eat a balanced diet, you won’t need to take any extra nutritional supplements. Broccoli, cabbage, purple carrots, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, a range of citrus fruits, dark berries and nuts are all especially beneficial, for example. The magic word here is ‘variety’, that’s the only superfood you need. Who needs chia seeds and goji berries when you have all this?!
2. DAYLIGHT IS LIFE
It sounds pretentious, but it’s true. Vitamin D is important for life and contributes greatly to an active immune defence. You take some in through your nutrition, but most is created by your body itself, as it produces vitamin D when sunlight touches your skin. Yet, in the darker winter months, when we cover up to keep warm and there isn’t as much UV light as usual, this doesn’t happen quite as often. More frequent walks in the fresh air and the winter sun can help, but why not have a session in an infrared sauna too? The perfect way to warm up after a brisk stroll in the crisp winter air.
3. KEEP CALM AND HAVE A CUP OF TEA
Or, even better, have a glass of water. Actually, have lots of them. If you drink too little, you’ll feel tired and run down more quickly. You’ll also make yourself more susceptible to coughs and colds, as dry mucous membranes don’t form an effective barrier against viruses and bacteria.
4. LIE IN AND LIVE BETTER
When we sleep, our bodies have the opportunity to cleanse themselves and, as the saying goes, a lot helps a lot. Starting your day fresh and alert after a good night’s sleep makes you more productive, helps you to concentrate better and, as studies have shown, makes you less susceptible to colds. It’s ultimately down to the individual, of course, but we can assume that each adult needs on average seven to eight hours a day to be fully rested. It shouldn’t be hard for most of you to take this tip on board … nothing beats cuddling up in the warm when it’s cold outside, right?
Follow these tips and we’re sure you’ll survive the winter… besides, spring isn’t that far away, we promise.