Boost Your Immune System for Winter

With winter fast approaching it's time to prepare your body and your immune system for the cooler months. Follow our lifestyle tips to ensure that you have a healthy season.

One way to boost your immune system, and help your body fight off illness, is to increase your intake of probiotics. Probiotics are microorganisms that are thought to be good for your digestive system and keep your gut healthy. Since a large portion of your immune system is located in the gut, it’s important to introduce friendly bacteria that can help to keep it working smoothly. You’ll find probiotics in a number of foods such as: yoghurt, kefir and sauerkraut.

Speaking of food, we should talk about your winter diet. Fuelling your body with the right nutrients has a huge impact on both your immune system and your overall health. To make sure you consume a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, we recommend the rainbow diet. It involves adding a mix of colourful vegetables and fruits to every meal – the more colours the better. Also, remember to eat varied sources of protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Balance is key.

Remember that you can also help your immune system by choosing to not eat certain foods. So by avoiding processed foods and foods high in salt and sugar you give your body its best chance of staying healthy.

Love a good sleep-in on the weekend? Well, who doesn’t! And in winter you have even more reason to do so. It’s proven that insufficient sleep increases our chances of getting ill. Therefore, it’s advised that you get around 8 hours of sleep every day. It’s during sleep that our bodies get a chance to heal and strengthen themselves. So treat yourself to a morning in bed. You deserve it!

In summer, staying hydrated is on everyone’s minds. The weather is hot and sweating makes us thirsty. But as temperatures drop, it’s easy to forget that water is equally important all year around. In regards to the immune system water is important as it’s the major component of lymph. Lymph helps white blood cells and other immune cells to travel through the body to fight diseases. So don’t forget to drink water daily!

We mentioned vitamins in the diet tip, but cannot stress enough how important they are for your immune system. The two vitamins to focus on are vitamin C and D. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that fights free radicals and helps to protect our cells. Vitamin D activates the T-cells in our immune system that fight off infections in our bodies. So naturally these are crucial for your health. Both vitamins have natural sources - like fruit and vegetable for vitamin C and the sun for vitamin D. But a lot of us still don’t get enough of either. Therefore, it can be wise to add multivitamin tablets to your diet. Especially in winter!

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Words by: Photographs by: Getty Images