Even if you try to stay clear of people at workplace or home who are hacking and sneezing, wash your hands religiously, and get your flu shot, fighting against illnesses and germs that seem to proliferate during winter is an uphill task. You may or may not realize that your everyday environment is filled with thousands of microscopic bugs hovering around just waiting to sneak into your body. We become more vulnerable to these microorganisms during the damper, colder winter months. Our immune system is our main line of defense against viruses, bacteria, and germs. Keeping it strong year-around, particularly during the cold and flu season is the best thing you can do to stay healthy.
Here are eight of the best natural immune system boosters to avoid getting sick this winter.
#1 Vitamin C + Zinc
Vitamin C when paired with Zinc becomes more potent when it comes to easing common cold and flu symptoms. Vitamin C is popular antioxidant and is found in abundance in citric foods like lemon, oranges, etc. A study conducted showed that a combination of zinc and high-dose vitamin C was able to reduce the symptoms of flu and common cold more quickly and effectively than the control group. The combination of zinc and vitamin C is a persuasive protector against flus and common colds. Alone, both of these minerals are able to keep us healthy during the winters. There are many natural sources of Zinc like lentils, peas, dark chocolate, and chickpeas. Vitamin C is present in fruits like grapefruit, limes, lemons, and oranges. These minerals can also be found in health supplements.
It may sound weird but some members of the fungi family are beneficial against cold and flu. Although some flus and common colds are caused by strains of pathogenic fungi, some mushroom species can boost immunity resistance against viruses, bacteria, and germs. According to YesWellness.Com, there are two specific types of medical mushrooms that have the ability to deliver immunity-boosting effects; they are – Reishi and Chaga. Reishi mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that are responsible for boosting immune system. Chaga mushrooms contain beta-d-glucans that act as Biological Response Modifiers (BRM).
We are well-aware of the wonders this stinky root herb can do to our body. Garlic has been credited with powerful immune-boosting benefits that can aid you during cold and flu season. It is an effective anti-inflammatory agent that helps the body in detoxifying pollutants and other heavy metals. Simply adding garlic to your everyday health regimen can help you neutralize the infectious fungi, viruses, and bacteria including the toughest antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Glutathione is produced naturally in our cells and is probably the most essential antioxidant. Glutathione is an intra-cellular antioxidant that has profound effects on white blood cells (lymphocytes) for immunity protection against bacteria and viruses causing infections of the flu and cold. Vitamin B1 is an excellent source of Glutathione. You can get it from natural sources like nuts, oatmeal, oranges, red meat, etc and from health supplements as well.
#5 Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal works in a way that it attracts and binds heavy metals (toxic) commonly found in food supply including mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Activated charcoal can easily remove pollutants from the body keeping your immune system healthy. Activated carbon/charcoal is commonly available as loose powder; however, there are activated charcoal in supplements that comes in easy-to-swallow capsules. As staining is common, always use caution as it can stain teeth.
Large part of our immune system is connected to our gastrointestinal system. There are more than 100 trillion microscopic bugs resting inside our gut, calling our body home. Probiotics are friendly strains that can positively influence the microbial balance in our gastrointestinal system. These friendly bacteria can aid in digestion, nutrient protection, and boost immune system efficiency. The common probiotic foods include kimchi, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, miso, and sauerkraut.
#7 Green Tea
Green tea has many benefits from acting as a detoxifying agent to aiding in weight loss. One of the main benefits of drinking green tea is that it keeps our immune system health in check. The antioxidants found in green tea is said to protect our body against free radicals and oxidants that can harm the body.
Salmon is a protein-rich superfood rich in essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acid is responsible for activating the T-cells. The more the T-cell count in your body, the higher will be the immune system efficiency.
Instead of fighting the long nights with blue screens, try to make your bedtime a priority. Proper sleep is essential as it gives our body a chance to repair on a cellular level. Sleep deprivation could lead to illnesses that are more serious other than common colds and flus.