How To Stay Healthy In The Winter
As the winter months approach, you may find yourself getting sick. Colder months bring with them longer periods of time indoors. Which give bacteria a pleasant environment to fester and reproduce in. Many people think colder temperatures are what render so many people sick during the winter. So what can you do to fight off illness over the winter months?
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your immune health. An abundance of research supports the argument that sleep improves the overall function and creation of specific cells in your immune system, notably T-cells.
T-Cells are special immune system cells that can fight off intracellular bacteria/viruses. Sleep greatly reduces the production of stress hormones which can limit the effectiveness of many of these cells.
Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, as this is classed as a minimum for functional health. If you’re younger and still growing you’ll need even more sleep than this.
If you’re having trouble sleeping during the winter, it could be the lack of sunlight throwing off your circadian rhythm. Try to get as much exposure to natural sunlight as possible.
Maintain Adequate Nutrition
Poor nutrition can lead to a weakened immune system. Many vitamins and nutrients are essential to support your immune system. The cold winter months may make it more tempting to go crazy and eat whatever you want, but this isn’t advisable if you’re looking to avoid getting sick.
Feeling tired? Opting for the fast and easy option when it comes to your dinner will only compound those feelings of tiredness.
Ensure you eat your greens, namely cruciferous vegetables – which are rich in just about everything you need to get you through the winter months: Fibre, Vitamins, Minerals and even phytonutrients such as Diindolylmethane.
When it comes to your immune system, alcohol is a huge no-no. Especially during the winter months where you risk exposing yourself to colder conditions and are already suffering from a weakened immune system.
Alcohol can negatively impact the health of your gut microbiome. The gut is where the majority of the bodies immune responses lie. Meaning that any significant change to this particular environment can have a massive knock on effect to the rest of your health.
Alcohol also leaves you dehydrated, which can cause the symptoms of colds (such as congestion) to get much, much worse.
As alcohol is a poison, your body will generally prioritise processing and removing it from your body. Meaning other bodily processes, such as fighting off infections and illnesses, are forced to take a back seat.
Have a Great Breakfast
Ensuring you get all of the essential nutrients you’ll need throughout the day can have a great impact on your health over the winter months.
Whilst fasting can be tempting, especially for those with busy lifestyles, a well made breakfast with all of the essentials can put you in a great position for starting your day.
If you’re looking for information on what the best foods to stuff your breakfast with are, you can click here to find out more.