Winter is known as the flu season because the low temperatures increase the chance of getting sick. But, it’s not the only flu season. Did you know that spring is also a time of flu? The changeable weather and varying temperatures during March and April make people catch a cold although it’s spring. It’s also the season of allergies, so you better prepare for it.
A lot of people take supplements for immune support to boost their immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick. A stronger immune system can protect you from the flu and allergies. Even if you have a history of allergy, you can decrease its symptoms by improving your immune system. Apart from taking immune supplements, you can boost your immune system in other ways. Here are the top 5 ways to do it.
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- Live a Healthy Life
Your lifestyle greatly affects your immune system. That’s why you need to make sure you live a healthy life. That mostly refers to eating healthy food – food rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. It also refers to quitting bad habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Although smoking is hard to quit, you can do it if you are determined to do it. When it comes to alcohol, you can drink in moderation (1-2 glasses per day).
Another way to improve the quality of your life is by being fit. That means you should maintain a healthy weight by eating in moderation and exercising regularly. Moreover, you need to reduce your stress response and get enough sleep. Sleep is a process that helps your body, including your immune system, recover and rejuvenate.
- Take Vitamin Supplements
Although healthy foods, such as vitamins, minerals, nuts, seeds, and meat, are rich in vitamins, sometimes we need to increase their intake. We should consume more vitamin C during the flu season(s) because it’s the most powerful antioxidant that enhances your immune system. Apart from vitamin C, you should also consume vitamins A and E because they are antioxidants, too.
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- Add Herbs and Spices on Your Menu
While we are mostly used to adding cinnamon to our tea and curry to some of our meals, we should make herbs and spices part of our everyday life. As the traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines show, herbs and spices can be as powerful as conventional drugs. There are many herbs and spices that can strengthen our immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick.
- Astragalus is a very common herb in Chinese medicine. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which make it great for fighting infections and inflammations caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergens. As studies have found, the root of this plant can boost the body’s resistance to infection and regulate its immune response.
- Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system. Moreover, it can help fever, chills, and cold viruses. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great weapon for fighting infections and inflammations. It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals which help improve your health.
- Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven to regulate the activation of the killer cells, T-cells, B-cells, and other chemicals that support the function of the immune system. Moreover, it can reduce the response of various pro-inflammatory chemicals (cytokines and chemokines). When taken at low doses, it boosts the antibody responses, thus being beneficial for allergy, asthma, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and other medical conditions. This suggests that curcumin may be able to help with immune disorders.
- Angelica root can also help regulate the immune system. It can help reduce and treat cold symptoms. It can also strengthen your immune system.
- Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the most common health (mental) issues today. It is known for its negative impact on our mental and physical health. But, it can also negatively affects your immune system and compromises or reduces its function.
Studies have shown that people get sick more when they are stressed-out. Moreover, stress activates the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, which boosts inflammation. As it’s known inflammation causes many diseases and may also interfere with the white cells’ ability to fight infection. That’s why you need to reduce your stress. You can do it by practicing some stress-relieving techniques, such as taking deep breaths, meditating, practicing yoga, and squeezing a stress ball.
Exercising doesn’t only keep you fit and help you maintain a healthy weight. It also helps you increase your immune system. Physical activity helps keep pathogens of your airways and lungs. It also boosts the activity of white blood cells and antibodies. In that way, it greatly reduces the risk of getting sick.