As the cooler weather arrives, so too does the risk of another cold and flu season. We’re all super familiar with the tips to avoid spreading germs – like washing our hands regularly. But what about protecting your natural defences? Here are 5 tips that can help you build a stronger immune system this winter.
Get plenty of sleep
Each night while we sleep, our bodies are restoring all of our essential functions. This includes our immune system. When you don’t have enough hours of rest, your body’s ability to fight infection can be impaired. To help your immune system stay fighting fit; adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Take good care of your gut
Did you know your gut carries around 70% of your immune system? It’s a connection that even scientists have only just begun to make. There are trillions of bacteria living in our gut that interact with and help to regulate our immune system.
A natural way to help boost your immunity this winter is making sure you take good care of your gut. This could be through eating a high-fibre diet or taking a daily supplement such as NC’s Gut Relief. This science-backed formula includes natural ingredients such as curcumin, Aloe Vera leaf and peppermint oil which can all help improve your gut function.
Eat a balanced diet
Everyone knows that a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole foods is good for your health. But how does it boost immunity? Well, there are certain food groups that may have extra powers when it comes to immune system activity. These include:
- Antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, dark chocolate and curcumin
- High-fibre foods like oats, legumes, broccoli and apples
- Probiotic foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi
- Prebiotic foods like bananas, asparagus, garlic and onions
The good news is – these foods are also might tasty, so including them in your diet shouldn’t feel like a chore.
Try vitamin supplements
Most of the time, your diet will provide more than enough vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. But, there are certain vitamin deficiencies which have been linked to a lowered immune response. These include deficiencies in vitamins A, B6, C, D and E, plus zinc, iron and folic acid. To help boost your immunity this winter, consider taking a daily multivitamin. But, if you’re truly worried that you’re deficient in any vitamins or minerals; the best option is to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.
Whether you’ve had a big argument or are working on an important deadline – short bursts of stress are a normal part of life. But, the longer the stress continues, the worse it is for your health. Chronic stress – the kind that is ongoing – has been linked to many health issues, including lowered immunity.
As much as possible, you should try to minimise stress in your life. Healthy coping strategies to try include; exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises or talking problems through with a friend.