How to Strengthen Your Immune System in Winter

The cold is most common during the winter. According to Irish Health, the cold infects our upper airways and most people will catch the cold two or four times a year. Here are some ideas to how to strengthen your immune system during these cold months.

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Because 80% of our immune system is in our digestive system, it is important to eat foods that have nutrients like Vitamins A, C, D,  and E as well as minerals like selenium, zinc, and omega 3s. You should also eat whole foods like animal protein, whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. It is best to avoid processed meats, soft drinks, fried foods, processed baked goods, refined sugars, and products with artificial sweeteners as they can suppress the immune system. Vitamin C will strengthen the immune system as well as keep the body healthy which you can get from fruits and vegetables, citrus, berries, bell peppers, kiwi, and dark green vegetables. Probiotics are a good bacteria found in yogurt, kimchi, raw sauerkraut, and micro algae. You can also take refrigerated probiotic supplements that have different sources of bacteria.

There are foods with certain components that can boost the immune system such as cooking with onions, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, black peppercorn, curry, allspice, and turmeric. You should also drink a glass of water six to eight times a day as water produces lymphs which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. With a slice of lemon in your water, you are adding in excess Vitamin C. You should also sleep seven to eight hours a day to avoid getting chronic fatigue as well as take naps in the afternoon.

Do not take antibiotics unless you absolutely have to as they can attack good bacteria in the digestive system. If you have a cold, drink hot water with lemon, organic honey, or ginger as well as take echinacea or zinc. Exercise will also increase your immune function as well as sleep if you workout or take a long walk for 30 minutes a few times a week. It is also important to have Vitamin D by going outside without sunscreen when the sun is not as bright. If the weather is not sunny, eating fatty fish can give you Vitamin D as well. Most importantly, have as much fun as possible since laughter is the best medicine for everyone.

Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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