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5 simple ways to boost your immune system during cold and flu season

08:00 am

Friday 26 November 2021


During the change of seasons, the body becomes vulnerable to seasonal diseases from colds to influenza and others, so how do you prepare your body and your immunity to face the cold and flu?

Director of Science at the British Nutrition Foundation, Sarah Stanner, Some lifestyle changes can boost the immune system. These easy changes include:

– Get enough sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things that the body needs to function at full capacity, as a 2015 study found that poor sleep could be linked to an increased risk of disease, according to “Russia Today”.

The researchers followed 164 healthy adult participants and concluded that those who slept less than six hours each night were more likely to catch a cold than those who slept longer.

The NHS states that most adults need six to nine hours of sleep each night. However, the report adds, “Most of us need about eight hours of good sleep a night to function properly.

The NHS also notes that poor sleep can put people at risk for certain medical conditions, “including obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes” and may even shorten life expectancy.

Try to reduce stress

Experts explain that relieving stress and anxiety can help improve immune health.

Research shows that long-term stress can negatively affect immune function.

“Exposure to a lot of stress over a long period of time can also lead to a feeling of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion,” says the NHS.

Dealing with stress can be challenging, but experts recommend talking to a friend about your feelings, as well as trying to break tasks down into smaller parts, focus on positive things daily, incorporate more exercise into your routine and make plans for the days when you feel especially exhausted.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and chemical compounds that can help your body in many ways.

The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can also help reduce inflammation.

The high levels of fiber found in many plant foods can also feed the good bacteria in the stomach, helping to prevent harmful pathogens.

The best way to get enough vitamins is to make sure you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, whether it’s as a snack, main meal, or side dish.

Eat more healthy fats

Fat doesn’t have to be a bad word, in fact, some fats are essential to a healthy diet.

Healthy fats can be found in foods like avocado or salmon, as well as cooking oils like olive oil.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can help fight inflammation.

Various studies have found additional links to suggest that some healthy fats, such as those in olive oil, may reduce the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

Add moderate exercise to your routine

Exercise is beneficial for more than just maintaining weight, adding in a regular exercise routine can do wonders for your entire body.

Although there is evidence that prolonged, high-intensity exercise can suppress the immune system in some people, it is widely agreed that about 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can boost immune function.

Examples of moderate exercise include swimming, jogging, brisk walking or riding your bike at a constant speed.


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