Staying healthy during the winter is extremely challenging, especially since we spend plenty of time indoors enclosed with people who are coughing or sneezing.
However, taking some preventive measures can protect you against long illnesses. Certain methods, which can be easily incorporated into your daily routine, will help you to stay healthy during the cold and flu season.
Here are 5 tips for strengthening your immune system and reversing cold and flu symptoms.
Act Fast When You Notice any Symptoms
If you think that you are about to get a cold or flu, you should start taking nutrients that will improve your immune system and boost your ability to rapidly destroy viruses.
As soon as you notice any symptoms, start taking one to two capsules of vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc every four hours.
In addition, you should drink herbal tea or gargle salt water. You should also take a hot shower or bath and go to bed early. These simple steps will make you feel much better in the morning.
Take Immune Boosting Supplements
One of the best supplements that support your immune system is vitamin C. You should take 500 mg of this vitamin three times a day. A daily intake of 10 to 15 mg of zinc is also beneficial for strengthening your immunity.
Another supplement that can help you to fight off diseases is vitamin D, especially if your levels are low. The levels of vitamin D are particularly low during the winter because you are less exposed to sunlight.
This will make you more susceptible to infections and other health problems, such as mood changes and bone loss. It is advisable that you take 1,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis.
Avoid Sugar and Alcohol
Sugar and alcohol are the major culprits for weakening your immune system and disrupting your ability to fight off viruses.
Only 8 tablespoons of sugar, such as in two cans of soda, or fructose, as in a ½ cup of orange juice, can reduce your immunity for five hours after consuming it.
The reason why this occurs is because the sugar inhibits the white blood cells which fight against bacteria, making you prone to infections.
A similar thing occurs when you drink alcohol. An intake of three or more alcoholic drinks will weaken your white blood cells, which will make them unable to fight off bacteria and viruses.
In order to protect yourself from a cold and flu, you should consider taking probiotics on a daily basis. A research has shown that the intake of probiotics will improve the function of your immune system and reduce your susceptibility to infections.
You should look for probiotics that contain 25 to 50 billion per capsule and that are kept refrigerated.
Get Enough Sleep
During the cold and flu season, you should get 7.5-9 hours of sleep every night. Proper sleeping hours will help you to recover your body and to replenish your immune system.
Various studies have shown that when you sleep less, you become more prone to infections and other health problems.