Your immune system is one of your best defenses against viruses, especially during cold and flu season.
According to British Nutrition Foundation scientific director Sarah Stanner, “There is no single nutrient, food or supplement that boosts immunity or prevents us from contracting highly contagious viruses like Covid-19.”
But making sure you get enough energy and nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet can help your immune system function at its maximum capacity.
A strong immune system helps you stay as healthy as possible during the winter months by fighting off bacteria and viruses.
Therefore, adopting some lifestyle changes can boost the immune system. These simple changes include:
Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things your body needs to function at full capacity, and a 2015 study found that poor sleep may be linked to an increased risk of disease.
The researchers followed 164 healthy adult participants and concluded that those who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to catch a cold than those who slept longer.
The NHS states that most adults need six to nine hours of sleep a night. However, the report adds, “Most of us need about eight hours of good sleep per night to function properly.
The NHS also notes that poor sleep can put people at risk for certain medical conditions, “including obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes” and may even shorten life expectancy.
Try to reduce stress
Experts explain that relieving stress and anxiety can help improve immune system health.
Research shows that prolonged stress can negatively affect immune function.
“Exposure to a lot of stress over a long period of time can also lead to a feeling of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion,” says the NHS.
Coping with stress can be challenging, but experts recommend talking to a friend about your feelings, as well as trying to break tasks down into smaller parts, focus on positive things every day, incorporate more exercise into your routine. take it and make plans for the days when you feel especially exhausted.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and chemical compounds that can help your body in many ways.
The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables can also help reduce inflammation.
The high fiber content in many plant foods can also feed the good bacteria in the stomach, preventing harmful pathogens.
The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, whether as a snack, main meal or side dish.
Eat more healthy fats
Fat doesn’t have to be a bad word, some fats are even essential for a healthy diet.
Healthy fats can be found in foods such as avocado or salmon, as well as cooking oils such as olive oil.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can help fight inflammation.
Several studies have found additional links suggesting that some healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, may reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
Add moderate exercise to your routine
Exercise is beneficial for more than just weight loss, adding a regular exercise routine can do wonders for your entire body.
While there is some evidence that prolonged, vigorous exercise can suppress the immune system in some people, it is generally agreed that about 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can boost immune function.
Examples of moderate exercise include swimming, jogging, brisk walking, or cycling at a steady speed.