Winter is coming, and with it, coughs and sneezes. Whether it’s a nasty bug spreading round the office, germs brought home from daycare or school, or a stranger sneezing and spluttering on the bus, this is the time of year when it can seem nearly impossible to avoid getting sick with a cold. So, how can you give your immune system extra support this winter? Here are our top 5 tips.
- Stay hydrated
Once the weather turns, chances are you and your colleagues will crank up the office heating and your radiators at home. This can help you to feel cosy, but it can also dry out your sinuses and skin, leaving you more vulnerable to infections.
If the air in your home or office is too dry, leave a bowl of hot water by your bed overnight or on your desk in the office to help with humidity. And make sure to drink plenty of water, ideally in the form of herbal teas or water, to stay hydrated. Black tea or even coffee can also contribute to fluid intake. But…
- Limit alcohol intake
Yes, yes, the office Christmas party is imminent, and December and January are full of festive fun, but alcohol can seriously compromise your sleep and your immune system.
This holiday season find better ways to manage stressful family or work events, and don’t overdo it. Stick to soft drinks or just one drink to help you loosen up if necessary. And make sure to have a few days every week where you don’t drink at all.
- Stay active!
When the weather is rotten, and the days are short, it’s hard to feel motivated to exercise. Staying active year-round is one of the best ways to stay fighting fit, though. Physical activity helps support good circulation, lung function, mood and sleep, all of which support better immune function.
Find your get up and go with some new activities if necessary. Bundle up and head to the nearest indoor (or outdoor!) ski hill. Get a swim-pass for your local community or recreation centre. Swap drinks with friends for a group walk in the forest, park, or even the shopping mall if it’s really raining cats and dogs.
- Beware too much comfort food
Chilly mornings and cold nights can make hot, stodgy, fried foods even more tempting. If your consumption of these types of comfort foods skyrockets during the winter months, consider finding some healthier alternatives.
Fatty, carb-heavy foods can dramatically increase levels of inflammation in the body, affecting the immune system’s ability to properly fight off infection. You’ll also feel far more rotten if you do fall sick.
Make sure to include fresh vegetables and fruits in your daily diet and keep fried foods to a minimum. Good quality dark chocolate is a great option for an antioxidant rich comfort food that can support good health.
- Check out Wintervits from Health Aid!
Specially formulated to support immune function during the winter season, Wintervits contains Maitake mushroom, astragalus, propolis, zinc, vitamin C, quercetin and rutin in one convenient daily tablet. Suitable for adults and children over 12 years, this supplement is certified gluten-free and vegetarian and is hypoallergenic to boot!
Vitamin C, zinc, and the bioflavonoids quercetin and rutin are well known for supporting immune function, but what about the other ingredients in this formula?
Astragalus membranaceous is famed for its ability to strengthen immune function and for its restorative and preventative properties (McCaleb, et al). Maitake mushroom is a source of beta-glucans, natural immunomodulating molecules that strongly stimulate both cellular and humoral immune function to help ward off coughs, colds, and other bugs (Vetvicka & Vetvickova, 2014).
Health Aid are a premium brand with more than 30 years of experience providing natural health products. Their formulas and products are carefully researched and nutritionally balanced to help support the needs of your whole family. They incorporate the latest research in the field of nutrition and health and strive to use natural sources of nutrients to create formulas free from additives, artificial colours and flavours, yeast, gluten, salt, sugar, and dairy. Everything is rigorously tested for purity and potency to provide the very best results for everyone.
Check out the full range of Health Aid products at https://lifestylevitamins.co.uk/collections/health-aid
McCaleb R., Leigh E., Morien K., “The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs: Your Complete Guide to Medicinal Plants,” Prima Health; 1999.
Vetvicka, V., & Vetvickova, J. (2014). Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts. Annals of translational medicine, 2(2), 14. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2014.01.05