This winter, we’re expected to have a particularly bad flu season. Experts believe this because the southern hemisphere – which has already had its winter – has had a particularly intense flu season, after years of milder cases of the flu (partly due to the restrictions in place during the pandemic).
So, it’s especially important to take control of your health this winter, to ward off the flu – and, of course, the ever-present COVID-19 virus.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to naturally boost your immune system to stave off the flu this winter.
Here are the top 5 health choices you can make, to enhance your immunity.
Improve your diet.
Our nutrition has a huge impact on the health – and, therefore, on the effectiveness – of our immune system.
Healthy fats (omega-3s and 6s) found in foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado and fish enhance the function of T cells in our bodies, which fight off pathogens.
Moreover, vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation, while their antioxidant properties help fight off damaging free radicals.
What’s more, some foods – such as garlic – have anti-viral and antibacterial properties, so you should incorporate as many of these into your diet as possible.
Supplement with vitamins.
Get your C in, vitamin C that is. Vitamin C can help boost your immune system and if you’re low on it, you may have a heightened risk for illnesses and infections.
Vitamin Health Basics Vitamin C contains 1000 mg of Vitamin C to support a strong immune system. This high potency Vitamin C supplement provides powerful antioxidant support to fight infections, immunity defense, promote energy levels, support wellness, promote youthful skin, and overall wellness.
Include Elderberry in your daily supplement routine.
Vitamin Health Basics Elderberry contains 1150 mg of Elderberry Extract to support a healthy immune system. Elderberry is a powerful immune booster that may help provide support to fight against colds and the flu. Elderberry is high in antioxidants and may also help promote heart health and lower inflammation.
Get enough sleep.
During sleep, crucial immune cells – T cells and cytokines – are regenerated, making our immune system more effective at dealing with pathogens.
When we don’t get enough sleep, this regeneration process isn’t as effective and our immune system suffers as a result – so you should always aim for 7-9 hours a night.
Minimize (and manage) stress.
Excessive and prolonged stress suppresses the immune system, reducing the number of lymphocytes in circulation and decreasing the immune system’s effectiveness at dealing with pathogens. Stress also contributes to increased inflammation in the body.
So, where possible, you should try to reduce the sources of stress in your life.
However, we know this isn’t always, so implementing stress management strategies – such as exercise, meditation, and/or taking regular breaks – is essential to your immune health.
Smoking is one of the worst lifestyle habits for the health of your immune system.
A number of chemicals in cigarettes reduce the effectiveness of the immune system. More than this, ingested cigarette smoke can reduce the antioxidants in your bloodstream, inhibiting the positive impact of your nutrition on your health, too.
This is why it’s vital to stop smoking, if you do – and to never start the habit, if you don’t.
Regular, moderate-intensity exercise is thought to contribute to your immune health by improving the circulation of immune cells around the body, and by reducing inflammation.
It has a number of other supporting benefits to your health, including helping you to maintain a healthy body weight, improve sleep and decrease stress, all of which contribute to the health of your immune system.
So, to fend off the flu this winter, make sure to adopt a healthy vitamin-full diet, take supplements, get enough sleep and manage your stress, to keep yourself healthy.