How to Reduce the Risk of Recurrent Infections in Winter?
Have you ever thought about why some people are more susceptible to seasonal flu and recurrent infections than others? This is because each person has a different immunity status. Infants and older adults have weak immunity, which makes them vulnerable to contracting infections.
By reading this article till the end, you will learn some natural and healthy tips; dietary and non-dietary ways to boost your immunity and reduce the risk of recurrent infections in winter.
Why Do You Suffer From Recurrent Infections?
Whenever the weather changes from winter to summer or summer to winter, and in the rainy season, you become more susceptible to infectious diseases such as flu, colds, and other respiratory illnesses. In colder and drier environments, viruses typically sustain in the atmosphere for an extended period and are more stable. That is why they affect the masses and spread infections. To fight back against these infections, you need to boost your immunity to maintain your health.
How to Boost Immunity?
There are two pathways, dietary and non-dietary, to boost your immunity. Let’s look at how these are useful and can be approached.
Dietary Ways to Boost Immunity
This pathway leads you to consume immune-boosting foods to stimulate your immune system so that it works efficiently. Here are five foods that have a significant impact on boosting the immune system.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, including lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange, contain vitamin C, a potent antioxidant and natural immune stimulant. This amazing vitamin has multiple benefits for the body, such as reducing oxidative stress and boosting the phagocytic activity of neutrophils to kill pathogens. Furthermore, it helps remove the dead immune cells used against microbes and clear the site. Vitamin C-rich foods are the best to reduce recurring infections and boost immunity.
Ginger is one of the significant winter spices containing terpenes, the natural chemical compounds that give flavor and color to the diet. Furthermore, it has phenolic compounds which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to reduce oxidative stress in the body and boost immunity. You should add ginger to almost all foods because it is a quick fix for sore throats, reduces inflammation, and has immune-boosting properties.
The active ingredient of garlic, allicin, acts as an immunity booster, anti-inflammatory, and flavor enhancer. It has powerful antibiotic activities and supports your liver in performing detoxification effectively.
The active ingredient of this essential kitchen spice is curcumin which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and acts as an immunity booster. This bitter spice boosts the synthesis of immune cells protein that helps your immune system combat viral and bacterial infections with great strength.
5. Immune-boosting supplements
Vitamin C and zinc are regarded as immune-boosting supplements. However, vitamin D has also started getting attention as an immunity booster. Consuming food supplements of vitamin C, D and zinc also boosts your immunity and helps reduce recurrent infections in winter.
Non-Dietary Ways to Boost Immunity
In addition to foods, there are other ways to stimulate the immune system. The non-dietary pathway focuses on your lifestyle, habits, and activities. Here are five essential activities; you can boost your immunity by performing those.
1. Take Quality Sleep
While you're sleeping, your body renews and repairs cells. Your immunity becomes weakened if you don’t take quality sleep for almost 8 hours because a good quality night sleep cycle refreshes your body systems and repair wear and tear that has been done during the daytime activities.
2. Get Enough Sunlight
Sunlight is the richest source of getting activated form of vitamin D in our body. Vitamin D is an immunity-boosting nutrient that actively enhances immunity by binding with the receptors in neutrophils and macrophages. It stimulates these cells to produce antibodies that defend the body against foreign pathogens.
There is another benefit of sunlight in addition to boosting immunity; it calms our body by stimulating the brain to produce serotonin resulting in a relaxed body and mind.
3. Do Regular Exercise
Exercise plays a significant role in boosting immunity. It causes rapid circulation of immune cells in the body so that they detect foreign particles at the earliest and take action against those—the change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly during exercise; this helps detect illnesses earlier.
4. Manage Your Stress
Stress can weaken your immune system in a couple of ways. When stressed, your brain produces more cortisol hormone, suppressing the immune system's effectiveness by lowering the lymphocytes fighting against pathogens. Stress also affects the communication between WBCs, compromising the defense system’s effectiveness.
5. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking improves your blood circulation, increases oxygen levels, and lowers inflammation, which boosts your immune system. Furthermore, quitting smoking also protects you from recurrent infections of the lungs.
To sum up, the best way to avoid getting the flu and mid-recurrent infections is to eat a healthy diet that boosts immunity and gives calories and nutrients. Because, winter may lessen your immunity as this weather is favorable for the growth of many pathogens. In addition to dressing warmly, eat immune-boosting foods to shield you from illnesses that are prevalent in the winter months.