Your immune system is your body’s first line of defence against illness. Its function is to find and kill organisms that are foreign to the body. There are many positive lifestyle choices you can make to strengthen your immune system, particularly during winter when you’re more vulnerable to getting sick.
Cold weather tends to cause us to stay indoors and avoid physical activity. It also brings us in closer contact with other people. All of these, particularly the lack of exercise, induces a stress effect on our bodies and increases the production of cortisol.
This increase in cortisol affects the ability of our white blood cells – the ‘killer cells’ of our immune system – to respond to possible threats to our bodies.
So, it’s important to keep stress levels low. This means keeping up a decent level of physical activity and ensuring we get enough rest and relaxation – particularly when it comes to sleep.
What you eat can also go a long way to maintaining a healthy and functioning immune system. Your diet needs to be well balanced and incorporate foods rich in vitamins B12, B6, E and A.
Remember, the best cure is prevention – by making positive lifestyle choices you can make it through the winter months in good health.