With the late fall and winter season drawing near, I’m sure quite a few of us are ready for the happy holidays, delicious food, gift giving, joyful songs, spending time with family – or however you celebrate the season, to end the year like always. So how do we maintain a healthy immune system during the colder months? Well, let me tell you!~
Keys to Maintaining a Healthy Immune System
While participating in these festive activities, it’s important to take a moment and prep your body for the season, to keep healthy and strong during the really cold weather. How? By doing something called building the immune system.
Your immune system is a network made up of cells, proteins, and organs that are formed to help your body fight off infection. Why is this important? Well, weak immune systems are what cause most of us to feel under the weather. In the warmer seasons, you usually have more exposure to the sun, which provides vitamin D, and the immune system really thrives with that supplement being provided constantly.
However, in the colder seasons, like late fall and winter, where the sun exposure is finite, the vitamin D is less, meaning the immune system strength may lessen. And without the proper care, you may end up with a cold or two.
Therefore, let’s give our bodies a hand to keep them running smoothly, so here are 4 natural approaches to keep your immune system healthy all winter long. And even if you do start feeling under the weather, your immune system can bounce back with power so you can feel better even faster!
*DISCLAIMER: Any of the supplements listed in this article are only suggestions and are not proven to cure or treat any disease. Please evaluate the contents before ingesting and make sure that you and your parent or guardian are okay with your proceeding.
1. Take Vitamin C & D Daily
As said, Vitamin D is something your body needs for the immune system, especially Vitamin C.
Vitamin C: Helps to prevent free radicals, is a potent antioxidant, and supports the immune system by strengthening immune cells. You can find it in citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruit, and oranges, also in bell peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. Vitamin D: Helps your body absorb calcium, something important for bone health, and it supports the respiratory system by boosting the immune cells’ production of microbe-fighting proteins. Vitamin D can be found in foods like Eggs, Salmon, Trout, White Mushrooms, Fortified juices, milk, and yogurts.
You may incorporate these vitamins in your day-to-day routine by:
- Eating oranges (daily) → Vitamin C
- Drinking lemon water (daily) → Vitamin C
- Drinking fortified orange juice → Vitamin D
- Taking a vitamin d3 supplement (consult your parent or guardian and/or medical professional before use) → Vitamin D
2. Drink Hot Teas Regularly
Tea is a delicious drink that has been around for thousands of years. They are made from tea leaves and contain many nutrients that support your body in a variety of ways; including the immune system! Hot beverages in general are good to keep handy during the colder months, as they can provide warmth and delicious taste.
As many teas as there are, you might be wondering about what to try. Ginger tea is a great one to start with if you’re new to drinking tea. The ginger in this beverage can help with digestion, relieving nausea, upset stomach, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
If you have a sore throat, it can soothe it almost immediately. As for other teas, they can provide nutrients like vitamins, juices from fruits and veggies, herbs to calm down your body, and much more. Here is a list of great teas to drink:
3. Zinc + Elderberry
Not a big fan of tea? Want to add more to your building regimen? Zinc and elderberry pairs are a great additive or alternative.
Zinc : A special vitamin that is a substantial source of strengthening the immune system by activating enzymes that break down proteins in bacteria and viral germs so their ability to spread is restrained.
Elderberry: A commonly used plant in medications and healing supplements to help fight off germs, provide allergy relief, and is a natural cold preventative remedy that also plays a role in immune system support. Guess what? You can get the best of both worlds when pairing these two together by taking:
Like kind words are sweet to the soul, honey is sweet to the lips. Not only is it sweet, but honey also has immunity benefits. Being rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, honey also contains some anti-bacterial components. It also is a throat coat and can soothe discomfort in that area.
You can eat honey raw, or you can mix it in your tea or even coffee! Some people prefer their tea raw, but if you want to add some sweetness, honey is a great sweetener and alternative to sugar and can help your tea taste even better.
I recommend buying your honey locally, as it’s much fresher to the taste: localhivehoney.com
Woo! Hope this gives you all some inspiration on natural ways to stay healthy this late fall and winter! Let’s review some things to keep in mind.
- Make sure to eat vitamin C-rich foods daily like oranges and lemons + and/or take a Vitamin D3 supplement daily*
- Drink hot teas regularly
- Take a Zinc + Elderberry supplement (daily)
- Add honey to your regimen or your tea (optional)
*or as prescribed by a healthcare professional, with permission from your guardian or parent
I hope as you do these things, your immune system will get stronger and stronger, day by day. Approaching this goal by introducing more natural, cleaner ingredients is what your body really likes! Plus it tastes better too. And a healthy immune system means a healthy you!
You are loved,
And don’t forget to check out Girl Spring contributor Gabrielle’s article on creating healthy habits to benefit your lifestyle!