As summer turns into fall and the air gets cooler, it’s time to start preparing for cold and flu season. The best way to prepare is to ensure that your immune system is running at tip-top shape.
Staying healthy can be hard, especially when you work in an office building or have children. Here are four simple ways you can boost your immune system to stay healthy this winter season and beyond.
Get Your Vitamins
It’s estimated that 75% and 80% of Americans aged one and over do not get the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables, respectively. Why does this statistic matter? Looking past the fact that it’s highly processed foods being ingested instead– contributing to the obesity epidemic– fruit and vegetables are where the majority of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) come from. A lack of nutrients can cause problems ranging from dry eyes to an inefficient metabolism to a weakened immune system.
Make it a goal to include a serving of vegetables with every meal and fruit as a snack. Keep it simple, making smoothies in the morning that cover your intake for the day. If you still struggle to meet those targets, choose a multivitamin supplement. Choose one that works for you, whether it’s the best women’s multivitamin or one targeted to your specific health needs.
Prioritize Gut Health
One of the best ways to fight germs is with bacteria. Good bacteria. Scientists are still learning about how integral gut health is in overall immunity. Reintroducing healthy bacteria into the gut can drastically boost your immune system.
The best way to reintroduce healthy bacteria into the gut is by ingesting food rich in pre and probiotics. Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha are just a few examples of food sources that can accomplish this task. You may also take a probiotic supplement with guidance from your physician. Add in a healthy dose of fiber, and you’ll be laughing your way through flu season.
Get Some Sleep
Some people seemingly never get sick. They may spend time caring for their ill children, working in public service, and hanging out with their sick friends without care. That is, until, they miss a night of sleep. Then everything catches up in a hurry.
Sleep is one of the most important health factors. Not only does adequate sleep play a role in hormonal regulation, weight management, and stress, but it also plays a role in healing and prevention.
Sleep is when your body does its best work. As you sleep, you release proteins called cytokines. These proteins are essential for immunity and healing. No sleep means no cytokines, and your immune system falters.
Your body is approximately 60% water. To stay happy and healthy in all areas of your life, you need to be adequately hydrated. Adequate hydration plays a significant role in digestion, immunity, and overall health and well-being.
One of the main reasons to stay hydrated during cold and flu season is that it flushes your body of toxins that could compromise your immunity. Try and hit the recommended eight glasses per day of plain water. Infuse with fruit for mint for a flavor boost that has added health benefits.
By being proactive and protecting your immune system, you’re setting yourself up for success during the colder months of the year. The whole family can benefit from trying these immunity-boosting tips.