As the temperatures drop and air get dry, more people struggled by cold or flu in winter.
Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system, which offers protection from seasonal illness such as the flu and other health problems. Help protect yourself with adequate hydration and a healthy immune system through a balanced diet and daily physical activity.
Hydration is critical during the drier winter months to prevent viruses and bacteria to enter our body. Also, drinking enough water ensures that your blood will carry plenty of oxygen to all the cells of your body. All your organs and muscle fibers need oxygen to function optimally.
Protein is part of the body’s defense mechanism. Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products.
Recent research shows probiotics can boost the immune system. Healthy bacteria found in probiotics can help the gut and intestinal tract fight off disease-causing germs. Yogurt, natto, pasteurized pickles, kimchi, and miso are packed with probiotics. Probiotics support the growth of the good bacteria which in turn play an important role in balancing your body’s good bacteria and are stored in the gut. These healthy bacteria help balance your digestion, immunity, and metabolism. Eat at least one type of probiotics food per day.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protects from infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs.
Vitamin C protects you from infections by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more of this healthy vitamin in your diet with citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, broccoli, strawberries.
Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. Zinc can be found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, and beans.
Exercise, particularly, moderate physical activity is a powerful immunity booster. For example, 30 to 60 minutes walking most days per week is considered moderate exercise. Too much or not enough can weaken the immune systems. Try dancing, walking, stationary bicycle, indoor swimming or similar activities to move more in the winter months.