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Boosting and Protecting Your Immune System This Winter

Dec 07, 2023

Common Illnesses Treatment

Immunity in winter

With days becoming shorter and temperatures dipping, winters are the season of flu and cold. The weather change affects people of all age groups, particularly infants, children, and older people, because of their weaker immune systems. To stay healthy in the winter, you must have a strong immune system to ward off the harmful microorganisms causing cold and flu. Research suggests that colder temperatures during winter can weaken the body's ability to fight off viruses. Being exposed to the cold might make it harder for our immune system to defend against infections like the common cold and flu.

Keep reading to know more about simple ways you can enhance your immune system during winter by making lifestyle changes and incorporating immunity-boosting foods into your diet.

Immunity-boosting Nutrients Are of Great Help

Medical professionals say that malnutrition is one of the reasons for impaired immune systems. People with low levels of vitamins C and D, zinc, and antioxidants are susceptible to infections. The body needs various nutrients for optimal performance of the immune system. 

  • Citrus fruits like tomatoes, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, etc., abound in vitamin C, one of the most crucial vitamins for boosting immune health. 
  • Different kinds of meats, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are a great source of zinc, which strengthens the immune response. 
  • To increase vitamin D and support better immune response, consume dairy products, oily fish, fortified cereals, and eggs. 
  • Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, boosting the immune system. Foods that abound in antioxidants include all kinds of berries, tomatoes, dark chocolate, spinach, kale, beans, beets, red cabbage, etc. 

What Are the Best Winter Superfoods for Health?

As the winter season sets in, it brings with it a desire for warm, comforting meals. While it's tempting to indulge in hearty dishes, it's also important to include winter superfoods in your diet to boost your immune system in winter for good health. 

Here's a look at some of the best winter superfoods to include in your diet:

1. Citrus Fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and clementine are rich in vitamin C, which is crucial for a healthy immune system. They can help protect you from colds and flu daily during the colder months.

2. Red capsicum: A great source of carotenoids, red capsicum has antioxidants for fighting free radicals and boosts the immune system. 

3. Broccoli: Broccoli contains different vitamins and minerals and high levels of antioxidants. You can cook broccoli in different ways and include it in your diet. 

4. Kiwi fruit: Extremely rich in vitamin C, kiwi fruit is also a great source of fiber and beta-carotene. Add kiwis to salads or make a fruit drink with this amazing fruit. 

5. Green tea: Green tea not only boosts immune health with antioxidants but also helps in losing fat and excess weight. Drink a cup after each meal and see the results. 

6. Carrots: One of the best immunity-boosting foods for winter is carrots. This bright orange-colored vegetable is full of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Lightly steam them, add them to salads, or make fresh carrot juice. 

7. Winter Squash: Varieties like butternut and acorn squash are rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. They make for delicious and nutritious side dishes or main courses. 

The Importance of Hydration and Herbal Teas

Dehydration is a common problem in the winter. Make sure that you remain properly hydrated to guard against various ailments and boost your immune system, too. Along with water, drink juices and herbal tea to maintain proper hydration levels. You can make multiple kinds of herbal teas using basil, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, honey, etc. 

Make Changes for a Healthier Lifestyle

To protect and boost your immune health this winter, make some changes to your lifestyle. Include moderate exercises in your daily routine in the form of yoga, walking, swimming, or hiking. This improves blood flow and boosts white blood cell production, protecting the body from diseases. 

Get proper sleep to maintain a strong immune system. Also, work on stress management as stress increases free radicals in the body, compromising the immune system. Indulge in meditation, yoga, or other activities which soothe your mind and body. 

Taking Precautions and Supplements

Healthcare professionals often recommend taking a multivitamin to boost the immune system in winter. Apart from this, various supplements abound in vitamins and minerals, which protect the immune system. 

If you have a compromised immune system, consult a doctor regarding precautions for the winter season. You might need to get a flu shot to remain protected. Have a vitamin-filled diet and drink abundant water and fluids. 

Final Thoughts 

A strong immune system keeps you protected in the winter months. Include immunity-boosting foods for winter in your diet, stay hydrated, exercise, and take necessary precautions to remain healthy. 

Prioritize Your Winter Immune Health at Metro Urgent Care

If you are looking to manage common illnesses this winter in Chicago, IL, look no further than Metro Urgent Care. The walk-in and urgent care clinic now has two locations in Chicago: Fullerton (773) 341-2897 and Montrose (773) 669-0005. Schedule an appointment now and ensure a healthier, more resilient winter season. Your immune system deserves the best care, and we're here to provide it.

Source: healthline.com

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