Staying healthy through the winter is something that you may find requires just a little bit more care and attention than the rest of the year. With colds and flu occurring at a higher rate, and less opportunity to get out for sunshine and exercise, it becomes much more important to make sure you are keeping yourself as healthy as possible.
Vitamin C is one of the most important building blocks for a healthy immune system. And, when your immune system is operating at optimum function, then it becomes much easier to keep colds and flu at bay.
Research has also shown that increasing your intake of vitamin C when you already have a cold or the flu could help to prevent complications, such as pneumonia.
Experts have suggested that the best way to keep your vitamin C at an adequate level is simply through dietary sources. If you are eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet then there isn't any need to take a supplement. In fact, too much vitamin C, such as in excess of 2,000mg a day, could actually contribute to gastrointestinal issues.
Vitamin C is also useful in the body for maintaining bone structure, improving iron absorption, and promoting healthy skin.
Garlic is a food that is as healthy as it is delicious — and is a fantastic choice for staying on top of your wellness this winter.
Garlic cloves contain compounds that can help the immune system to fight germs and keep the body healthy. the main active compound in garlic that is so beneficial to health is known as allicin. This compound is also responsible for the smell and the taste of garlic.
The regular consumption of allicin has been shown to boost the function of certain white blood cells in the body. Furthermore, there is research to show that garlic can help to prevent the onset of colds and flu, as well as decrease the amount of time that symptoms are experienced.
Although garlic has been shown to have powerful health benefits, cooking garlic can actually inhibit the effectiveness of the healthy compounds. For example, heating garlic in the oven can deactivate the allicin, meaning that you won't enjoy the health benefits.
It has been suggested that crushing the garlic and leaving it to stand for ten minutes before you cook it could help to prevent this problem. Furthermore, increasing the amount of garlic that you use in each meal can help to ensure that more of the good stuff makes it into each meal!
Taking garlic supplements is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of this food without worrying about how preparation will affect the effectiveness. A dose of between 600 and 1,200 mg of garlic each day can be of great use in keeping you healthy through the winter.
A lack of zinc in the diet can make you more susceptible to illness and disease.
Zinc contributes to a number of essential functions in the body and is something you should always aim to include in your diet. Fortunately, only a small amount of zinc is required by the body each day and it is not generally considered difficult to reach this quota.
Zinc helps to stimulate enzymes in the body and will help to control and regulate immune system responses. Studies have been done into how taking zinc when you have a cold can help to derease the length of the cold by up to 40%.
This mineral also helps to keep the skin healthy and is therefore often found in creams and skin lotions.
Avoid Over Indulgence
As well as being able to enhance your health through the things that you do eat, you can try to avoid certain things to encourage the same results.
Eating too many overly processed and fatty foods, drinking too much alcohol, and also smoking cigarettes can negatively impact your health and wellness.
If you are eating foods that are processed then they are likely to be high in sugar, salt or calories. This also makes it much less likely that these foods will not contain adequate amounts of the nutrients that you need.
Drinking too much alcohol can actually damage your immune system and leave you prone to infections, as well as causing additional damage to other parts of your body over time.
Not only will cigarettes damage your immune system and leave you prone to infection, much in the same way that excess alcohol will, but can cause serious health conditions over time.
Winter Wellness Tips
Making sure that you do not deviate from your regular diet and activity levels during the winter can go a long way to keeping you healthy through this season.
Adding a few extra practices into your regular routine, such as more nutrient dense foods, more activity, and more exercise can help you to stay fighting fit through the winter.