All it takes is the shorter, darker days to get you feeling a little down in winter – not to mention dealing with freezing temperatures and the ice and snow that comes with them.
But you don’t have to let winter literally get you down by suffering cold and flu symptoms. There are a number of natural, healthy ways to reduce your chances of illness and staying healthy this winter.
1. Keep Your Hands Clean
It’s one of the main ways that we come in contact with the germs and bacteria that make us sick. Wash your hands often throughout the day.
2. Gobble Garlic
It’s nature’s bacteria and virus killer. You can add more garlic to your cooking or try odorless supplements.
3. Get Your Vitamin C
This old standby has been shown time and time again to be one of the most powerful immune system boosting vitamins. While oranges are famous for their vitamin C, you can also get the recommended daily dose from a half cup of broccoli, a half cup of red peppers and a cup of kale, among many other fruits and vegetables
4. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day helps keep your digestive system running smoothly and helps flush your body of toxins. If you don’t want to drink cold water in the cold, try hot green tea.
5. Zinc gets an ‘A’
While most of us know that C is the best vitamin for our immune system, not as many know that zinc is one of the best minerals for the same purpose. Healthy sources of zinc in your diet include salmon, whole grains, beans, nuts and sunflower seeds.
6. Cut Down on Refined Flour and Sugar
Not only will processed flour and sugar increase your weight, they also make it more difficult for your immune system to do its job. Eat more whole grain foods and get your sugar fix from natural sources like fruits.
7. Stay Active
Winter usually means a reduction in how much activity we get, but that also means we lose the immune-system-boosting benefits of that activity. Among the many ways that regular exercise keeps us healthy, it increases our lymph flow which helps take away many of the toxins in our system, and it improves white blood cell production, which help find and destroy nasty bacteria and viruses.
Not only will all of these tips help you stay healthy this winter, but if you make them regular habits, you’ll be healthier all year long.