Health & Nutrition

7 simple tips to strengthening your immune system in winter

A strong and thriving immune system is probably the most important element of a healthy body. Your immune system is what safeguards you against harmful, invading micro-organisms. Without it, even a common cold could result in a visit to the hospital.

The winter months are when most ailments like the flu, viral fever, and colds do their rounds and with these illnesses in the air, a strong immunity is your best bet. Here are some ways you can make sure you’re doing your bit to stay healthy.

1. That ‘Gut’ feeling is important

75% of our immune system actually lives in our digestive tract. Probiotic foods that contain “good” bacteria, such as yoghurt, will help to nourish your digestive tract thereby enhancing your immune system.

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2. Drink lots of fluids

In the cold weather, most of us don’t feel very thirsty which leads to dehydration. Drinking a lot of water helps your kidneys remove toxins from your body. If you don’t drink enough water, the build-up of toxins can potentially weaken your immune system.

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3. Exercise and exorcise that laziness

Winters tend to make us feel lazy, so find a way to keep yourself motivated. Research has shown that regular exercise strengthens your immune system and helps fight off bacterial and viral infections. An early morning walk can give you your daily dose of exercise and also cover your vitamin D quota for the day.

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4. Cut back on sweets

Studies showed that when people consumed six tablespoons of sugar, be it in the form of sugary sodas, orange juice, etc., their white blood cells lost their ability to fight off infections. In fact, they stayed that way for several hours.

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5. Wash (and dry) your hands often

With the amount of illness in the air, be mindful to wash your hands before and after you eat or drink anything. If you’re forced to be in the presence of someone who is down with the flu, it’s best to sanitise your hands often. Germs tend to cling to wet surfaces, so dry your hands and change wet towels often.

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6. Get enough sleep

Research shows that people who got less than seven hours of sleep were three times more likely to get a cold than those who had eight hours of sleep. You don’t want your immune system taking a snooze when it’s supposed to be on guard; so be sure to rest well.

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7. Use spices and herbs

Spices and herbs, like turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon, can work wonders towards preventing and even healing a cold. Similarly, foods rich in vitamin C do the same. Try and add these to your daily diet as much as possible.

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These are just a few of the tips that help build your immune system. Follow these simple tips and you’ll have a strong defense system, ready to fight off germs throughout the year.

Source – prevention.com