The cold weather is moving in, and cold and flu season has arrived. It’s time for hot soup, warm clothes, and giving your immune system the support it needs to get through the winter.
For starters, it’s important to always wash your hands and stay away from those who are already sick. But that’s not enough.
Germs and viruses have a sneaky way of invading the body. And that’s why it’s so important to also protect yourself from the inside out.
Keep reading to discover 5 immune system support techniques to keep your immune system functioning at its best.
Immune System Support Tip #1 – Take Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is most commonly known for its ability to help people maintain strong bones. What you might not know is that it’s equally important for immune system support.
This vitamin activates our immune defenses. Without a sufficient intake of vitamin D, our T cells are not able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body.
People often get vitamin D from spending time outside in the sun. But as the colder months arrive, we tend to spend more time indoors. This leads to vitamin D deficiencies and a greater possibility of getting sick.
Naturally get more vitamin D by making a habit of getting outside under the sun, even when the weather is cold. An hour or so a day in the sunlight is good for the body.
If you are unable to get outdoors, you can find vitamin D supplements at your pharmacy or grocery store.
Immune System Support Tip #2 – Take a Probiotic
A majority of your immune system resides in the GI tract. So, if you have an unhealthy GI system, then chances are you also have an unhealthy immune system.
An unhealthy immune system can not work effectively to fight off the germs that enter your body.
Get your GI tract back on track by taking a daily probiotic. Probiotics ensure that good bacteria exist in the correct proportions in your gut and are doing their job to keep you healthy.
You can find probiotic supplements in your grocery store. If you’re not sure what to take, ask your doctor, and he or she can prescribe one for you.
Immune System Support Tip #3 – Get Lots of Sleep
Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your immune system. That’s because parts of our immune system help to control our sleep. How much sleep we get directly impacts how well our immune system functions.
It has such an impact that it’s actually been proven that people who get 6 or less hours of sleep a night get sick more often than those that get more than 6 hours of sleep.
The solution: aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night to keep your immune system strong.
Immune System Support Tip #4 – Cut Sugar from Your Diet
Sugar causes inflammation in your body, which is something you do not want during cold and flu season. When inflammation occurs, it creates the perfect environment for pathogens like the flu virus to thrive in.
Consuming large amounts of sugary snacks and drinks also disrupts the gut system. As we talked about earlier, most of your immune system in in your gut. Sugar puts strain on your immune system and weakens it.
Always opt for water and healthy snacks for immune system support.
Immune System Support Tip #5 – Drink Lots of Fluids
Immune system support begins with ensuring your body is healthy and is functioning properly. And because we are 70% water, that means keeping hydrated and consuming enough water to keep our organs functioning properly.
Water is the number one thing you should be drinking to keep yourself hydrated. Warm drinks, like herbal teas, are also important for immune system support.
Just remember, drinks loaded with sugar (fruit juices, sports drinks, coffee drinks) will only do more damage to your immune system, so stay away from those options
Stay warm and cozy this winter while you support your immune system by making delicious herbal teas from home.