5 ways to boost your immune system this winter
The weather lately has felt more like winter than autumn at times, it's been decidedly chilly and wet! There's also a lot of cold and flu viruses around that we'll need to fight off the best we can. Our immune systems are an important part of that. As the name implies it is a complete system that works in different areas of our body, that means we need to employ multiple strategies to keep it strong and healthy. To function at its best we need balance and harmony in our bodies and general healthy-living approaches are by far the best way to keep our immune system working at its maximum potential. If you are feeling a little under the weather and feel like you need a boost then read on to find out our top five ways to help keep your immune system healthy and working at full strength.
Hydration is critical!
Keeping hydrated is a critical part of our general well-being but is often a neglected area during the cooler months. During hot weather we are far more inclined to drink plenty of water to keep cool but it is just as important during winter too! Fluids are very important in helping maintain our immune systems- from moving nutrients around the bloodstream to lymph production for collecting and destroying bacteria. Keeping your water intake up during winter is a crucial part of looking after your immune system.
Being properly hydrated helps keep the body's natural virus fighters active and there are many ways to get your daily liquid intake without having to drink cold water during winter when you might not feel like doing so. Warm water with a teaspoon of honey and herbal teas are brilliant ways to keep warm and hydrated this winter. My personal favourite lately has been warm water with a spoonful of Just Bee Honey Valencia Orange Vitamin Honey stirred in. It's delicious, warming and hydrating while also providing a welcome vitamin and energy boost too!
Eat healthy to be healthy!
When it comes to your immune system eating a healthy balanced diet is probably the single most important thing you can do. If you don't eat well then your immune system will have very little to work with and cannot function at its best. Eating well is key to giving your immune system a boost back to full strength.
You've heard this a million times already but eating fresh fruit and vegetables is still the easiest way to look after your general health and keep your immune system working for you. Eating more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall balanced diet can also reduce the risk from some serious illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes, it may even reduce the risk of some cancers. Vegetables provide nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of your immune system.
Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory nutrients. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin in helping to strengthen our immunity against viruses; it also promotes the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting off infections. Fruits also provide us with a good source of vitamin A and vitamin B9 which are also important for a healthy immune system.
In addition to the common fruits and vegetables the daily consumption of honey can also really help strengthen our immune system. Its antioxidant, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties can help fight infections from viruses and bacteria. Just a single teaspoon of Just Bee Vitamin Honey contains 25% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, D, B6 and B12 to support your immune system.
Garlic is not only useful for fighting off vampires this Halloween, it's also great for boosting immunity! Garlic is rich in an immune-balancing compounds called organosulfides which research has shown to have many health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial affects.
A good night’s sleep is essential in giving your body enough time to rejuvenate and keep your immune system ticking along in good health. If you are continually not getting enough sleep or having disrupted nights then this can seriously disrupt your immune system. Many studies have shown that people who only get 6 hours sleep or less a night are far more likely to suffer from common colds and will often have a higher susceptibility to other viruses.
If you are struggling to sleep then you can try using Just Bee Sleeptime Honey for some natural help. We've already had some incredible testimony from people that it's been working really well for them. Containing lavender and valerian extracts, Sleeptime Honey is designed to help you relax and support your mind and body while you get a good night’s sleep. Quality sleep at night is invaluable in keeping your immune system ready to fight the day ahead.
Regular exercise is another important part of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy balanced diet, moderate exercise contributes to general good health and helps to promote a strong and healthy immune system. Experts say the best choices for the average person are brisk walking, light aerobics, cycling and swimming. Two to three hours a week is perfect for most people but be careful you don't overdo it. If you do so much exercise that you feel completely worn out then that could be detrimental to your immune system.
Get some vitamin D!
Over the last few of years the importance of vitamin D to our immune system has come to the attention of many people. Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin from UVB rays and it is vital to maintaining a healthy immune system. Unfortunately the very best way to get vitamin D is through skin exposure to sunlight and the likely truth is that during winter none of us are getting enough of this exposure in the UK. This means that many of us will have a vitamin D deficiency.
If you can afford a sunshine holiday then that's the very best way to get a boost of vitamin D but for many of us that won't be an option. You can get vitamin D from some foods, oily fish like mackerel and salmon are a good source and red meat and eggs contain some too. Realistically though most people will have to take a vitamin D supplement. 'One a day' chewable tablets are inexpensive and simple way to ensure you are getting enough of this important vitamin.