As the weather gets colder, the sniffles come with it. To avoid going through this winter catching colds and getting sick, use our tips to keep your body strong and ready to take on the cold.
1. Get enough sleep
Inadequate sleep increases your risk of getting sick. Getting enough sleep every night helps to keep your immune system strong. Adults need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night, while teens need 8–10 hours and younger children and infants up to 14 hours.
2. Eat more whole plant foods
Whole plant foods are full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C which lowers your risk of getting sick. Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are all rich in those nutrients.
3. Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s are highly anti-inflammatory. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats may naturally combat illnesses.
4. Increase your probiotic intake
Gut health and immunity are deeply interconnected. Fermented foods and probiotics may bolster your immune system by helping it identify and target harmful pathogens.
Try fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto. If you don’t include these in your diet, taking a probiotic supplement is another option.
5. Limit sugar
Added sugars contribute significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can suppress your immune system. Lowering your sugar intake may decrease inflammation and your risk of these conditions.
If you crave something sweet, try having a date or a cup of herbal tea instead.
Moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and promote the healthy turnover of immune cells. Jogging, biking, walking, swimming, and hiking are great options.
Dehydration weakens your body and can make you more susceptible to illness, be sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day.
8. Manage your stress level
Long-term stress increases inflammation, as well as imbalances in immune cell function.
Lowering your stress levels through meditation, yoga, exercise, and other practices can help keep your immune system functioning properly.
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