What we should be doing is taking better care of ourselves before we're more likely to start feeling "run down". Ramping up the vitamin intake, eating lots of fresh fruit and veg and making sure we don't skip the gym just because, baby, it's cold outside.
I've put together some easy steps you can take towards better protecting yourself from infection this Winter...
1. Exercise- during and after exercise your body makes more germ-fighting cells called T-Cells and studies show these get to work faster in peeps who exercise regularly. Here's an interesting post I read from a-health-blog.com on how regular moderate exercise can increase immunity.
2. Probiotics- Those who regularly take a Probiotic supplement are 42% less likely to get the sniffles. Either take them in supplement form or eat natural, live yoghurt which is a great source of protein too.
3. Boost your Vitamin D intake, either by getting 20 minutes of sunlight a day or by taking a vitamin D supplement (look for vitamin D3). Examples of food sources are milk, oliy fish e.e. Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines) and fortified cereals.
4. Cruciferous veg like Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Cabbage and Lettuce all boost your immune system by increasing the liver's ability to flush out toxins.
5. Ginger- add it to teas and stir fries to cleanse your airways and lymph system.
6. Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Researchers aren't 100% sure why yet but studies show getting this amount seriously reduces risk of infection.
7. What your Granny said is true! Wrap up warm!! Your immune system works better in a warm environment so turn up the heat.
8. Get eating garlic. Your friends might not thank you but your immune system will It's anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
9. Get plenty of fresh fruit and veg which are high in vitamins A, C, E and Zinc. Aim to eat a variety of colours as these represent a different nutritional profile. Some good examples are berries, sweet potato, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots.
Basically, the bugs are always there, it's how well you look after yourself which will determine whether you catch a cold!
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