Muscle Up Your Immune System

Winter is synonymous with colds and flu. However, there are a number of ways to boost your immune system and stop illness in it's tracks in the chilly months ahead.

Drink Up!

Drinking enough water each day can help prevent winter colds and flu, because taking in sufficient fluids prevents dehydration, thins mucus and flushes toxins from the body. Aim to consume around two litres of water daily, for optimum immunity and energy.

Take In Some Tea

Regularly sipping green tea, with lemon and honey, can help you fight infection in a number of ways. Firstly, breathing in the hot steam prompts the cilia (the hair follicles in the nose) to move out germs more efficiently, and green tea is also rich in immune boosting antioxidants. In addition, the lemon helps thin mucus and honey has antibacterial properties.

Get A Shot

Flu viruses change, and every year the flu vaccine is adapted to the virus in circulation that year. Thus, it is important to get your flu vaccination to help prevent getting ill this winter season. The flu vaccination contains all three strains, as recommended by the World Health Organization, to offer protection against the illness and can benefit your entire family. Go to your nearest Dis‑Chem clinicfor your flu shot. It is not necessary to make an appointment.

Supplement Smartly

There is a substance in crushed garlic called allicin, which helps fight viruses. Taking zinc within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms, can shorten a cold’s duration by up to 50% and lessen the severity of its symptoms. Thus, try taking a garlic supplement, like Vitaforce Aged Garlic Capsules. Zinc supplements, like Foodstate® Zinc Complexand  Zinplex™ Zinc Tablets, can also be found at your local Dis‑Chem.

Pump Up The Produce

Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, rich in immune-boosting nutrients like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc. Yellow bell peppers, guava, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas and papaya are all especially rich in vitamin C, and leafy greens, tropical fruits, red bell peppers and broccoli are packed with vitamin E.

Slumber Soundly

Your immune system, energy levels and mood can be adversely affected by having insufficient rest. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly.

Keep It Clean

Regularly washing your hands, with products like Good Stuff™ In Good Hands Handwashor Dettol Hand Washwill help to prevent the transmission of the germs and bacteria that cause illness.

Chill Out

Compelling scientific evidence indicates that chronic stress can cause a measurable decline in the immune system’s ability to fight disease, and the higher your stress levels, the more susceptible you are to catching colds and flu in winter. Aim to regularly enjoy relaxing activities to lower your stress levels.

Take Probiotics

Studies show that people who take probiotics are up to 42% less likely to get a cold than those on a placebo. Thus, you should aim to regularly enjoy a tub of yogurt or take a probiotic, like Biogen Pre- and Pro-Biotic capsules.

Munch On Mushrooms

Mushrooms increase the production of cells called cytokines, and these help fight off infection. They also contain compounds which support the immune system, called polysaccharides. So be sure to regularly include a portion of mushrooms in meals.

Winter can really take a toll on the body, but it need not be a period of illness and discomfort. By taking extra special care of yourself during the colder season, you can help ward off illness, remain healthy and step into spring feeling fantastic.