The winter season is a challenging time for our immune systems. The cold temperatures, dry air, and lack of sunlight all take their toll on our bodies. As a result, we’re more prone to getting sick.
Our immunity is undoubtedly a tricky entity. It contains several components like- good bacteria in our stomach and the germs fighting white blood cells in our body. A weak immune system can suffer from numerous diseases when sudden climate change occurs. Therefore, keeping your immunity strong and healthy is key to a disease-free lifestyle.
If you’re planning to hibernate all day until spring comes around again, you might want to think again. There are simple things you can do right now to boost your immunity so you can enjoy the rest of the season without feeling liverish.
And the good news is that these tips don’t require you to do some rocket science action. So, step up your winter season’s immunity by implementing these habits in your life.
Gift yourself some adequate sleep
It is vital to give sufficient rest to our body at regular intervals. The harsh lifestyle can take a toll on the immune health. Regularising your sleep cycle is essential, as doctors recommend 7-8 hours of required sleep. Ensuring to sleep and wake at a set time every day can regulate sleeping patterns and formalise your body clock. However, sleeping more than 9-10 hours may result in poor sleep quality.
Long-term lack of sleep can increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease.
Make it a point to exercise regularly, be it rain or storm. If you can’t head out, exercise a little at your home. You can also integrate a sport into your day-to-day life. It will work wonders for your immune system and help you construct a network with like-minded people.
Physical exercise isn’t just for building muscles - it’s also helpful in supporting a healthy immune system and de-stressing yourself.
Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet influences a person’s immune system. Most western-type diets are ultra-processed and have high levels of added sugar, increasing the chances of promoting an inflammatory response.
Adding micronutrients to your diet can help strengthen immunity in this winter season.
Such nutrients include:
- Vitamin B6 – chicken, tuna, green vegetables, potatoes and salmon.
- Vitamin C – citrus fruit, tomatoes, spinach and broccoli.
- Vitamin E – almonds, safflower and sunflower oil, peanut butter, and spinach.
- Magnesium – whole wheat products, seeds and nuts.
- Zinc – red meat, oysters, dairy products, poultry and beans.
The best way to boost your immunity is to eat a well-balanced diet.
Add turmeric and other spices to food
Spices like turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, clove, asafoetida, etc., are immunity-boosting spices. They work as body cleansers and uplift the body’s defence mechanism. Turmeric is a bitter, yellow/orange spice widely used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. It contains curcumin which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Curcumin is a powerhouse for boosting immunity and also acts as an antiviral. A cup of herbal tea or ‘kadha’ infused with these spices can improve your immune system.
Always remember to hydrate
We are all aware of water's innumerable benefits as it plays a crucial role in your body, including supporting the immune system. Hydration is necessary as immune cells (inside blood and lymph) need water to circulate throughout our body. Even when you’re not sweating, the body constantly loses water through breath, urine and bowel movements. So, along with water, you should increase your fluid intake by including water-enriched foods in your diet- lettuce, watermelons, strawberries, and oranges contain high water levels.
Laughter is the best medicine
We can always find a way to deal with unavoidable stressors in life, and laughing is one of many ways. The act of smiling commands the brain to release neuropeptides, molecules that repel stress. These little messengers travel through the body, causing a relaxing effect. Smiling or laughing releases three neurotransmitters, known as ‘Happy Hormones’- Serotonin, Dopamine, and Endorphins.
Endorphin act as a stress buster and pain reliever, whereas dopamine and serotonin work as an anti-depressant.
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
Say ‘NO’ to smoking, as it raises the chances of contracting an infection. In some cases, smoking also changes the immune system balance, which can further lead to an autoimmune disease.
Ensure to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption, as it is associated with liver damage. Both moderate and chronic alcohol usage can critically impact the immune system. In the upcoming winter season, try limiting alcohol use to protect yourself from disease and infections.
Stressing is suppressing
Stress is an inevitable part of our life. Whether it comes instantly or builds over time, it’s essential to realise how chronic stress can affect your health. Whatever the cause, stress releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can suppress your immune system’s effectiveness in fighting invaders and interfere with white blood cell communication.
Stress can likely have a secondary impact on the immune system’s functionality if it leads to loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, reduced water intake and low energy levels throughout the day.
Adopt Ayurveda in life
Ayurveda, the science of life, propagates the gifts of nature in maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. It is a plant-based science. The simplicity of awareness about ourselves and the harmony each individual can achieve by uplifting and maintaining immunity is emphasised across Ayurveda.
Considering Ayurveda, Preserva Wellness offers a wide range of Ayurvedic supplements with clinical evaluation for your immunity to be ready in every circumstance. Our 95% curcumin-rich Immunoblast Juice, Immunoblast Capsule & Immune Boosting Tea contain the goodness of Ayurvedic herbs that naturally & effectively help strengthen immunity & help to keep diseases and infections away.
With winter approaching, along with all the pollution, it is essential to maintain our immunity to stay in our best shape. These immune-boosting products are the friends you need to get through this season!
You can make several dietary and lifestyle changes covered in this article today to strengthen your immune system and improve the ability to fight off infections.It is crucial to keep in mind that our immune system is complex. Exercising regularly, reducing sugar intake, staying up on fluids, avoiding smoking, getting adequate sleep, managing stress levels, and eating a healthy & balanced diet is the natural way to support your immune health.