TIPS ON BUILDING THE IMMUNITY IN THE WINTER SEASON


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Water is the best. Many of us have heard that we should drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. That can be hard to do. Instead, try drinking a glass of water when you wake up to start your day off right. Your body is dehydrated from sleeping, so this is a great way to remedy that immediately. Another tip: If you like warm drinks in the winter, try non-caffeinated teas, which you can include in your daily water tally.

  1. Exercise regularly. We often think of exercise as a way to prevent chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, or as a way to keep weight in control. But exercise also can contribute to general good health including a healthy immune system. Exercise can promote good blood circulation, which allows your cells and substances of the immune system to move through your body freely to do their job efficiently.

  2. Stress less. Stress drains your ability to stay strong. If you have big or little stressors daily, your system is constantly pushed to overcome that stress. One way I de-stress is by giving myself time for "self-care." This means different things for different people, but essentially it's doing things that "refill your tank." I like to read a good book, get a massage or exercise.

  3. Get a good night's sleep. Sleep is a regenerative process for your body. When you are sleep deprived your natural immune cells, or T cells, go down, and inflammatory cytokines (inflammation cells) go up. That means good sleep results in strengthening your immunity.

  4. Eat foods with probiotics. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines probiotics as "live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit." Research shows that probiotics are some of the best foods to boost immunity. Include regularly eating fermented and cultured foods that contain probiotics (look for "live active cultures" on the label). 6.Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help keep you well. Eat a rainbow of vegetables and fruits daily to ensure you're getting a variety of nutrients. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates, like brown rice and quinoa, are also part of a healthy diet. Stay away from processed foods, sugar and beverages that have no nutrients, like pop.

It can be challenging to do all of these things on a daily basis, do as much as you can. It will pay off in the long run. Consistently taking good care of yourself is the best way to support your overall health and immunity to prevent illness.


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