Winter Is Coming: How to Support Our Immune System When It Is Here
Cold weather, shorter daylight hours, necessity to dress warmer for people in many states, drowsiness, reduced energy levels all come inevitably with winter. During this time of year, extra measures are necessary to help our immune system to function at its best. What can be done for it?
Immune system is a gatekeeper from infections and harmful things that could cause decline of our health. A complicated and pervasive defense mechanism, immune system cells produced from bone marrow then get transformed in different parts of our body and circulate throughout our whole organism, helping to keep any threat away. Its failure to perform its function at any point results for us into lack or loss of physical efficiency and working capacity. Thus, it is important to keep its work well afloat. How can we do it?
Drink enough water
Done-to-death recommendation that may also be a confusing one as numerous scientists give different numbers of glasses per day to be necessary in order to support your health effectively. However, there is well proven connection between hydration level and our overall wellbeing, including long-term one. As we are far from determining which of many claims is the very correct one, we suggest you would drink as much water as you see fit for you. The point is for you not to forget about it or give water up completely.
Maintain a healthy diet
Though also quite obvious in itself, appropriate, nutrients-full diet is one of the cornerstones of immune system successful work. It should be packed with such elements as iron, copper, zinc, folic acid as well as vitamins’ supply, with A and D vitamins being on the top due to their properties that help in boosting our immune system. Of course, it is not always possible to gain all the foods necessary either because they are not there in the winter, are too expensive or you simply don’t like them. If this is the case, vitamin, mineral and other supplements are there for us any season of the year.
Maintain as low stress level as possible
While many must have smiled at this obvious and hard-to-do statement, this is one of the most vital things for our general health. As American Psychological Association states, relying on meta-analysis of about 300 studies on interrelations between stress and immune system work, long-term stress does quite a lot of harm to our immune system efficient work, hence creating a hole for diseases and other negative health issues to get through.
Keep regular sleeping regime
Good sleep is vital for our body’s ability to fight back infections and other health threats. According to studies, lack of sleep results into worse production of immune cells, their slower response to attacks and increased level of stress hormones that are known to be disruptive for immune system’s work.
Last but not least, it is extremely important to take preventive care measures to not let your immune system decline rapidly and unexpectedly because of disease. For that matter, one should try to undergo regular health checks necessary for themselves, e.g., mammography for women over 40 years old, cholesterol level checks for adults, heart checks for elderly people, seasonal vaccination against influenza or other diseases etc. While it may seem (and be) time- and cost-consuming, this is still the best way to ensure you won’t get an unpleasant surprise of a sudden illness or immune system downturn.
How to boost your immune system – Harvard Medical School