Your immune system functions as the body’s surveillance system and works nonstop to fight and eliminate bacteria and viruses that can make you ill. It’s one of the most complex body systems, made up of proteins, cells, and organs like the lymphatic system, gastrointestinal tract, corneas of the eyes, skin, and mucosa of the respiratory system. Lack of sleep, a diet poor in nutrients and vitamins, high levels of stress, and some medical issues can affect your immune system.
If you want to strengthen your immune system for flu season and keep health issues at bay, here are some recommendations that can help you.
Have a diet dense in vitamins, minerals, and protein
A healthy immune system is your most robust defense against flu, and you should pay it more attention during this period of the year. In fact, make it a priority from maintaining a healthy immune system throughout the year, and include in your diet foods dense in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Vitamin A – it plays an important role in maintaining the gastrointestinal tract and mucosal lining of the respiratory system healthy to prevent infections. It also enables the immune system to adapt and fight invasive bacteria and viruses. You can get Vitamin A from orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and apricots, and dark leafy greens like bell peppers, kale, and spinach.
Vitamin B6 – supports a series of biochemical reactions essential in the fight against infections. Add to your diet food sources like salmon, tuna, turkey and chicken meat, sesame and sunflower seeds, grains, garbanzo and pinto beans, and avocados.
Vitamin C – has a significant impact on the immune system as it recruits and coordinates the disease-fighting cells, fights invaders, and manages the activity of T-lymphocytes. Eat foods like papaya, strawberries, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, kale, spinach, broccoli, kale, and Brussel sprouts to get Vitamin C.
Vitamin D – regulates the immune system to identify and kill the pathogens that enter the body. You can get it from cereal, milk, mushrooms, egg yolks, shrimp, oysters, shellfish, sardines, salmon, and herrings. Your body also naturally synthesizes it when you spend time outdoors in the sunlight.
Fulvic Acid – balances and energizes the cells and restores their original chemical balance. It’s important in helping your body fight against free radical damage and boosting the immune system. Take a fulvic acid supplement and dilute it in fresh juice or water to enjoy its benefits. See more information here if you want to find out how it works.
Zinc – activates and develops T-lymphocytes. If you take it when the first flu symptoms appear, it can prevent the virus from replicating and biding in the mucous membrane of the respiratory system. Eat lamb, beef, oysters, lobster, dark chocolate, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin, sesame seeds, and cashews to get the needed amount of zinc.
Get a flu vaccination
The flu virus can get everyone sick, even if you have a strong immune system, and it’s vital to get the annual flu vaccination to prevent it from affecting you and stop the spread of the virus. Flu vaccines have a significant role in creating and maintaining herd immunity because if enough individuals get vaccinated, they can protect the patients who are unable to be vaccinated (like infants and immunocompromised people). Get in touch with your doctor to obtain advice about flu vaccination. Most pharmacies offer flu vaccinations without an appointment, but it’s best to call the local pharmacy to ask when the best time to pass by and get your shot is.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Building off the recommendation of eating nutritious foods to stay healthy, staying hydrated is also essential. A study conducted to determine how water intake influences people’s susceptibility to catching the flu concluded that those who drink three glasses of water are more likely to experience flu symptoms than those who drink eight. Water is necessary for all body functions. It plays an important role in preventing flu and other health issues because it keeps the lining of the nose moist and prevents pollutants and bacteria from reaching your lungs.
If you hydrate your body properly during the cold season, you can also maintain and boost your skin’s health because, during the winter months, the skin needs more hydration than during the rest of the year. Make a habit of drinking eight glasses of water daily and staying hydrated during the day because your body naturally loses water when you sleep through transpiration and respiration.
Regular physical exercise strengthens your immune system. If you’re an active individual, now is the moment to adapt your daily program for the colder season because as it gets colder, it’ll get tougher to exercise outdoors. When the low temperatures make it uncomfortable to spend time outdoors, you’re tempted to cozy up with your pet under the blankets and eat comforting foods. However, it’s paramount to keep the activity levels high and encourage your body to strengthen the immune system and keep health conditions at bay.
Studies show that physical activity is beneficial for health because it revs up the body’s defense mechanisms. When you engage in an exercise routine, your body circulates blood and white blood cells that work as natural killers for sickness-triggering factors. Researchers compare them to the military’s special operation forces because they identify and attack viruses to remove them from your system and keep you healthy and strong. The more physically active you are, the stronger your immune system gets.
During the following months, consider joining the local gym or making a conscious effort to walk or hike outdoors even if the low temperatures make it more challenging.
Before the winter months occupy the country, follow the above recommendations to prepare your immune system and boost its strength to fight flues and colds.