Is your health ready for winter? 10 ways to fight off the flu, beat the cold & stay healthy this winter
The chilly winds are blowing in - 10 ways to get your immune system winter-ready
We have all felt the change in weather recently, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and that crisp morning air is starting to call for hotter cups of coffee.
And with winter comes the cold, and with the cold, comes the flu season. That’s why it’s important for you to know what you can do to stay healthy and keep a balanced and strong immune system.
What’s an immune system?
Your immune system is basically like your body’s own natural system of defence that helps protect it against harmful bacteria and viruses. Imagine a whole bunch of security guards on the lookout for anything harmful in your body and when they find something bad, they work as hard as they can to destroy it.
This is sort of why you feel so down in the dumps when you have a cold or the flu, it’s because your body is using all the strength it has to try and heal itself and get better.
Here’s how to avoid infections this winter
1. It all starts with your diet
So many people don’t realise just how big of a role their diet plays in keeping them healthy. You need to cut back on the take-out food options, and make sure you are including more whole foods in your diet.
Legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts, fresh fruit and veggies and healthy oils such as olive oil or coconut oil, should be the base of your diet.
Try to avoid any processed meats, anything fried, soft drinks and white flours. When you eat these unhealthy things your immune system will not function properly.
2. Vitamin C
Fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of this awesome vitamin which helps to strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy!
Foods such as oranges, lemons and dark green veggies contain high amounts of vitamin C.
3. Spice things up!
Use spices and herbs when you are cooking! Using garlic, onions, pepper, cayenne pepper and turmeric have wonderful properties when it comes to keeping you healthy!
4. Drink more water!
Water is more important for your body than you think! Water helps in the production of lymph, lymph helps to transport white blood cells (fighter cells).
That means that when you stay hydrated, you are helping your body stay strong!
5. Make sure you are getting enough sleep
When you don’t sleep enough, then your body has not rested and will not be strong enough to fight off bacteria or viruses. You need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
6. Take probiotics (the healthy kind of bacteria)
Did you know that about 80% of your immune system is located in your digestive system?
This means that having a healthy gut helps you to stay healthy! Probiotics are a great way to achieve this and are found in yoghurt, fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut. You can also take probiotic supplements from your local pharmacy.
7. Try to stay away from antibiotics
If you can, avoid antibiotics. These medications have been known to also destroy good bacteria in our digestive systems. So, rather stick to a more natural alternative unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
8. Don’t forget to exercise!
Exercising not only helps you to look great, but it also helps you to feel great too! By exercising for 30 minutes or more a day you can improve your mood, boost your immune system, alleviate stress and even sleep better!
9. Get some vitamin D
Soak up the sun for at least 10 minutes a day without sunscreen on so that you can get a fresh dose of vitamin D!
10. Go for a checkup
Before the winter season hits us hard - make sure you go to your doctor for a checkup! This way he or she can make sure you are in tip-top shape and give you some advice to healthy and ready for the approaching flu season.
Of course, going to the doctor doesn't come cheap. But that’s because you don’t have health insurance. Health insurance helps you afford private healthcare and is basically an affordable alternative to medical aid.
If you get insured with Oneplan (that’s us), we even pay you before you see the doctor and let you go to any private medical professional you choose!
Yours in health,