It’s that time of year again, many of us are getting the sniffles, and it’s clear that the winter cold and flu season is in full swing. Of course, getting a sniffle here and there in winter isn’t the end of the world — your body needs to be exposed to germs and viruses in order to learn how to fight them off! But, what does matter is how your body deals with encountering these germs and virus particles. Giving your body the tools it needs to help stay healthy throughout the winter season can be the difference between a 2-day sniffle or the full-blown flu.
Offering your immune system plenty of support is a great way to give yourself a fighting chance against winter ailments. The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances by recognising and responding to antigens (these are substances, usually proteins, on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, or bacteria). When your immune system is strong, you are less likely to get sick, and when you do get sick, you are likely to get well quickly. When your immune system is weak, your body struggles to fight off viruses and bacteria, which may lead to more serious illnesses and pose long-term health risks.
While health aids are great when you’re sick, it’s also important to offer your immune system support before you get sick. Our immune systems are influenced by various factors and a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things to build up strong immunity. Here are 4 tips for winter wellness to help you during cold and flu season.
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Get enough rest
Getting enough good quality sleep is key to a healthy immune system and can help increase immune system function, so be sure to get your eight hours!
Regular physical activity is vitally important for a healthy body. When you exercise, it gets your body’s immune cells moving, via white blood cells, to other locations in the body where viruses and bacteria may be identified.
Drinking adequate water (about 6 – 8 glasses per day) helps to carry oxygen to your blood cells and helps to remove toxins from the body. This prevents a build-up of toxins which may negatively affect the immune system.
Consume the right nutrients
While we need to take a holistic approach when attempting to support our immune system in winter, it is important to note that diet and nutrient intake are the most important factors to consider. If your body does not get the right vitamins and minerals, your immune system could be compromised. In terms of diet, that means consuming plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (especially those that are brightly coloured as they are rich in antioxidants!), lean protein, fibre, and healthy fats. It also means limiting your salt and sugar intake.
However, the truth is, that even when we follow a healthy diet, we might still lack essential nutrients. Taking a good quality vitamin supplement daily is a great way to cover the bases and ensure our bodies get all the nutrients we need to build up a strong immune system.
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A daily vitamin supplement like NutriPure Immune Support (R135) has been carefully formulated with 6 essential vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Selenium). Together, these vitamins and minerals play a critical role in the maintenance of good health. NutriPure Multivitamin Complete (R135) is another great choice for adults, with each gummy vitamin containing a balanced dosage of 12 essential vitamins and minerals.
Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential to a healthy immune system, but the irony is that in winter when people need vitamin D the most, we are not getting enough. Vitamin D is made in our skin following sunlight exposure and is also found in oily fish (mackerel, tuna and sardines), mushrooms and fortified dairy and non-dairy substitutes. Humans need vitamin D to keep healthy and to fight infections.
A great way to increase your vitamin D levels during the winter months is to take a vitamin D supplement. Something like NutriPure Vitamin D3 (R135) is great for the immune system and can also help you maintain strong bones and teeth.