It won’t be an exaggeration to say that we are currently experiencing freezing temperatures lately in Virginia.. or may be in all the 50 states of U.S.! This makes me shiver..errr..!!
We can’t fight nature.. can we? So what else can we do – Protect Ourselves from the extremities That’s all we can do. These days I hear a lot of people suffering from common cold, cough and sinus attacks etc! We must learn to keep our immune system strong so that we don’t fall sick so easily. Today’s post will talk about how can we boost our immunity system. It actually starts with adopting good eating habits and the way we live our lives. Poor diet and poor sleep habits are known to be the two biggest factors behind the depletion of our immunity system. Some doctors say stress is another factor, but I believe stress further leads to poor diet and sleeping habits which again brings us back to the initial first two reasons.
When we talk about poor eating habits – we are basically talking about not taking all the nutrients in sufficient manner. And among all the nutrients, protein tops the chart! This goes specially to my vegetarian friends who unknowingly tend to neglect protein in their diets. Did you know that adults should eat at least 50 grams of protein on a daily basis? And it’s not necessary that this protein should come only from meat. You can equally enjoy your lentils, beans, eggs, walnuts, and almonds etc.
We must also deliberately eat antioxidant rich foods. They also help us in keeping our immune system in good shape!
Then comes cleanliness. In winters, we tend to stay away from cold water.. and while doing this we actually don’t clean germs/bacteria etc. from our hands/face etc. which may further result in a common cold attack! So keep yourself clean. Wash your hands at least thrice daily (with an anti-bacterial soap).
Doctors also recommend to keep our nasal passages clear and healthy since illness starts in the nose and sinuses. Therefore, we should take a steam therapy a few times a week. It’s quite easy! Boil a pot of water, let it steam and then cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for several minutes to clean out your nasal passage and drain your sinuses. This can help prevent sinusitis and bronchitis.
God forbid, if you still get sick, you will get better faster if you keep eating healthy! We tend to stop eating or eat less when we get ill because we lose our appetite. But that actually makes the situation worse. When we don’t eat, we are actually giving an upper hand to viruses. So keep eating all the healthy home made good food and you shall feel better. Don’t forget to balance your food with all the nutrients.
Below are a few ‘Superfoods‘ that help in strengthening our immune system –
Broccoli – Rich in antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin A
Citrus Fruits – Winters are loaded with oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. Load up!
Walnuts and Almonds – You just need a handful of these daily. They are rich in protein and vitamin A
Berries – Blueberries and Strawberries are my personal favorites
Green tea and Coffee – They both consist of polyphenols. This is an antioxidant which may help in fighting illness. But don’t go overboard.. specially with coffee.
Mushrooms – Available all round the year! Add them to salads, make a curry of just saute’ em.
Spinach – Raw or cooked, it’s one of best sources of folic acid (I love Indian spinach breads aka palak-parantha)
Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Carrots – The orange foods will do more good to you than you know!
And then last but not the least – Exercise. Exercising makes your heart strong. It makes YOU strong both physucally and mentally. You won’t feel the need of always laying in the bed or doubling up the blankets!
Go for a run outside. Breathe in that cold air. Your lungs NEED it. That will make you STRONG. Your body needs to get used to the cold. Don’t fear form the cold. Embrace it.
So are you ready to fight winters with me?