Weakened immune system is a very common problem in the winter months. There are many theories about why you are more likely to experience a decline in immunity in winter, and some of them are: we spent less time out, in the winter usually the air is more polluted, we are less exposed to the sun – which contributes to less vitamin D in our body, and that more seasonal viruses are present during winter. In addition to external factors, nutrition has an impact on immunity. In winter, we drink less water, which slows down the removal of harmful substances from the body, and it can also be noted that we eat less fresh food, and more canned or heat treated food. Surely you have already read some information about how to improve your immunity, but another tip plus will certainly not hurt you.
What can you do to have better immunity?
1. Sleep well enough (7-9 hours per day, between 10 pm and 7 am) and learn how to deal with stress. Lack of sleep and excessive stress increase the level of the hormone cortisol, and if this increasement last longer in can result in a decrease in immune function.
2. Do not smoke cigarettes. Tobacco substances impair the function of the immune system and increase the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as the risk of middle-ear infection in young children.
3. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and eat some nuts and seeds that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to improve your immune system. In one study it was shown that greater intake of fruits and vegetables improves the response to immune system antibodies.
4. Consider how to get more probiotics in your body. If necessary, you can use a probiotic supplement, and of course, they are also present in foods such as sauerkraut (fresh, not heat-treated), yogurt, kefir.
5. Spend sufficient time in the sun. The sun is very important so that we can synthesize the vitamin D, which reduces the risk of illness such as colds and the flu. So spend a minimum of 10-15 minutes in the sun while exposing your skin directly to the sun but during periods when the sunlight is not dangerous and harmful.
6. Eat garlic. Garlic is known as a very powerful antimicrobial agent, and it is also useful in improving the immune system, but since heat destroys some of its useful components, add it fresh in food before serving.
7. Use Echinacea in the form of tea or tincture. Echinacea is a known immune system booster and is excellent in combating respiratory viruses, so in the period of the flu and colds try to strengthen the immunity with Echinacea.