Here’s how to avoid winter viruses
With cooler temperatures, the cold and flu season, and the appearance of the latest COVID type, it's more crucial than ever to pamper your immune system.
It's that time of year when we wake up feeling a little sluggish and expect to spend the rest of the day feeling inactive.
With cooler temperatures, the cold and flu season, and the appearance of the latest COVID strain, it's more crucial than ever to pamper your immune systems.
An overview of the immune system
It's a complicated network of organs, tissues, cells, and antibodies that work together to keep the body safe from infection. When the immune system is in good working order, it is primed and ready to battle any form of foreign invader (bacteria, virus, disease, or parasite) that crosses its path.
When the immune system is compromised, it is less capable of battling germs. As a result, the body sends us signals to alert us that something is wrong.
These indications might range from feeling sluggish to catching a cold, recovering slowly from a wound, or being diagnosed with a more serious ailment.
The good news is that there are a variety of methods for recharging the body's defense mechanism. Yes, vitamin C is important. Consuming foods high in this antioxidant (for example, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, tomato juice, and red and green peppers) has been shown to help reduce the length and severity of the common cold, reduce inflammation, and support your skin's barrier—the body's first line of defense. However, there are also critical nutrients and lifestyle measures that can boost your immunity during the next winter season.
Here’s a collection:
Mushrooms include two types of B vitamins: riboflavin (an antioxidant that promotes appropriate immune system function) and niacin (which bolsters the immune system by reducing inflammation in the lungs).
In addition, this yummy meat alternative contains selenium, another antioxidant, and copper, an essential component that aids in the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of immunity.
Quercetin, a flavonoid (a colorful phytonutrient component present in many fruits and vegetables), has been studied for its several advantages, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. According to a recent analysis published in the journal Food Science & Nutrition, quercetin has been demonstrated in both animal and lab trials to prevent several viral infections, including COVID.
Take Vitamin D
When the days are shorter in the winter, your body will likely be deficient in vitamin D, which means your immunity may suffer. A research team from Belgium determined in one study that there is an "indisputable relationship between vitamin D and the immune system." According to the Food Science & Nutrition review, this fat-soluble vitamin (which the body naturally creates when exposed to sunshine) has been found to lessen the incidence of viral infections.
Sweating it out can actually benefit your immune system. According to the National Institutes of Health's Medline Plus, there are a few plausible explanations for why regular exercise may be an efficient approach to boosting immunity.
Read more: Vitamin D: Let’s bask in the sun