Actisheeld, Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Herbs, General Health, Immunity

10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity: Winter is Coming

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October is a beautiful month. Winter is slowly approaching while some parts have occasional showers and sunny days.

But most of us are down with the flu to enjoy it. In fact, this time is called the flu season simply because everyone easily catches infections due to the cold and damp weather.

We all want to enjoy the joys of approaching winter. Here are some scientifically proven ways to keep yourself in the pink of health this winter.

 

1. Get Plenty of Exercise

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It’s easy to snuggle up in the sheets when it’s rainy and cold outside. But this significant drop in our activity contributes to an equal drop in our immunity.

 

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If you’re someone who exercises daily, make time to get your daily dose of exercise. If you don’t have a habit, make it one! Your body will be grateful for it.

  • Exercising 30 minutes per day, 5 days of the week is a good place to start.
  • You can also spread your exercise for a total of 150 minutes during the week.
  • Adverse weather conditions may make it impossible to go out for a run, but any movement activity works. Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Scarcella recommends a dynamic warm-up to warm your muscles up.

 

2. Vitamin D

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You may not get the right amount of sun exposure during this time, which is why it’s very important to make up for it.

  • Value the occasional moments when it is sunny outside, especially exposing the back of your neck and shoulder regions to the sun.
  • Eat plenty of food rich in Vitamin D like fish, cheese and egg yolk. Vitamin D fortified foods like soy milk, cereals and orange juice are also a good option.
  • Vitamin D supplement tablets are an option if you are generally deficient in the vitamin.

 

3. Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

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Fruits and vegetables are a must for keeping your body healthy. But for building immunity during any season, it’s necessary to stick to fruits and vegetables that are easily available.

Winter seasonal fruits and vegetables are more packed with nutrients and minerals than having them out of season, like during summer.

  • Cherimoya (Seetaphal) is easily available every winter in India. It accounts for 30% of our daily Viatmin C intake. It is also rich in fiber, offering 25% of your daily recommended intake.
  • Apples, especially Indian origin ones grown from the northern mountains are available in plenty during winter. We don’t need to remind you the rest – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
  • Strawberries, Cranberries are rich sources of antioxidants, potassium, Vitamin C and fiber. They help you maintain healthy blood pressure and BMI during the winter months.
  • Leafy Vegetables like cabbage, collard (haak saag) and broccoli consumed during winter are richer in nutrients. It gives you calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamins A, C and K.

 

4. Sleep Healthy

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It’s natural to sleep more during this season especially during the weekends, but sleep hygiene is of utmost importance.

For an adult, getting 6-8 hours of sleep during the night is extremely important. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s okay to sleep an extra 1.75 to 2.5 hours during winters at night.

  • Avoid taking long naps during the day since you end up sleeping later into the night.
  • Aim for regular sleeping patterns – nothing boosts your immunity more than allowing your body recover and heal naturally during sleep.
  • A lot of people experience “Winter blues” or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and sleeping the right amount helps counter it to a certain extent.

 

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5. Avoid Certain Foods

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It’s important to avoid foods that increase inflammation in your body during the cold weather.

  • Fast foods and junk food with a lot of sugar content may seem tempting when it’s cold, but you must limit consumption.
  • Fizzy drinks straight from the fridge are a big NO. It damages your body’s immunity further, making you vulnerable to infections.
  • It’s always a good idea to reduce alcohol consumption during winters because it reduces your core body temperature and increases risk of hypothermia when exposed to cold weather.
  • Dietitians also recommend avoiding fatty foods with zero calories – like fried pakodas or ghee-rich parathas during winter. We know these are tempting during the cold, but it damages your immunity in the long run.

 

6. Dietary Supplements

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Supplements are always a good idea to support your immune system, but they should never replace your regular dietary requirements.

Older adults who are deficient in certain nutrients can especially benefit from taking supplements.

  • Always consult your doctor before taking any new supplements.
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc supplements may benefit in building immunity over time.
  • Ayurvedic measures like Golden Milk (turmeric and milk combination), herbal tea (tulsi, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, jaggery) help promote your immunity as well.

 

7. Managing Weight

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Obesity is often linked to having a weaker immune response. One feature of obesity is chronic inflammation which impairs the body’s immune system to a great extent.

So, losing weight in case of obese persons, and managing weight gain in regular cases is an effective way to avoid seasonal infections.

  • Winter may increase your appetite, in general. So, it’s necessary to keep a watch on your calorie intake and avoid overeating.
  • Snacking is a guilty pleasure for all – who doesn’t want to have steaming hot pakodas or a plate of hot soupy noodles when it’s raining and cold outside? Replace calorie rich snacks with healthier ones like crunchy apples or spiced flattened rice.
  • Increasing intake of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables as mentioned above, are a sure shot way of losing weight or even avoiding an unhealthy weight gain.

 

–> SEE ALSO: If You’re Overweight, You Could Be At Risk For These 10 Health Problems

 

8. Lay Down the Cigarettes

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Smoking is often not a choice but a dependence for most people. But it’s an avoidable dependence.

In addition to the cancer risk, cigarettes do a lot of harm to your immune response.

  • Smoking can trigger immune and autoimmune disorders that were previously non-existent in your body, like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • According to CDC, cigarette smoking can compromise the overall balance of your immune system, making you prone to catching infections and disease.
  • Smoking also reduces the levels of antioxidants and vitamin C in our bloodstream, which are extremely important for maintaining immune system function.
  • Quitting smoking helps the immune system rebound to full strength as it is no longer exposed to tar, nicotine etc.

 

You can use the National Tobacco Quit Line to access counseling services at the toll free number (1800-11-2356).

 

9. Stress

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Yes, our immune system weakens gradually with an increased stress in our lifestyle. Stress can come from a number of places – workplace, home, food patterns, sleeplessness.

 

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We can actively take steps to control the amount of stress that our body experiences.

  • The stress hormone, cortisol can be regulated to a large extent through physical activity. Exercise releases the good hormones that can help you sleep better and combat pain.
  • An indirect impact of stress is coping with it by smoking, drinking or using recreational drugs. This lowers the immune system’s response to infection.
  • Spending time with family or friends that are supportive to your needs also helps you overcome regular stress.
  • Approach a clinical psychologist or behavioural therapist if your stress is unmanageable and is leading to stages of depression or anxiety disorder.

 

10. Vaccinations

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Staying up to date with the latest vaccinations and flu shots is an effective way to keep your body ready for new strains of seasonal viruses.

  • Get all the doses of the vaccine against COVID 19, including the booster shot to stay on the safer side.
  • The CDC advices getting an annual flu vaccine for anyone aged 6 months and above to prevent the flu.
  • Contact your nearest health service provider to enquire about available flu shots to stay safe from infections.

 

Keep Track of Your Immune System’s Needs

 

General self-care measures like maintaining good hygiene goes a long way in terms of immunity. It’s necessary to wash hands especially before having food or after using a washroom.

 

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Avoiding large crowds, especially during flu season can also keep you safe from catching common cold and cough

With our fast-paced lifestyles it’s often difficult to keep track of the needs of our immune system. Ayurvedic proprietary medicine can help you stay away from infections this winter season by keeping your immune system alert and healthy.

Actisheeld by Sava Herbals(TM) helps boost your immune system with the goodness of herbal ingredients like Tulsi, Guduchi, Licorice, Ashwagandha, Fenugreek and Kalmegha.

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