While growing up, most of us have been led to believe that we can catch a cold from being cold in general, however, studies have proven that this is simply not true. While it has been noted that people are more prone to catching the common cold or the flu virus during winter, it has been revealed that it’s caused by many factors – nothing to do with the fact that it’s colder outside.
For instance, most people stay huddled up indoors during winter – if you think about it, it’s quite easy to understand that this makes it much easier for viruses to spread from one person to another. Ironically, you should be encouraged to go outside even in the colder months to get some exercise, since staying indoors puts you at a higher risk of getting sick.
While we are debunking myths; if you think you only need to consume a lot of Vitamin C to have a good immune system then you have been terribly misled. While it is certainly a key component, many other nutrients contribute to a healthy immune system – vast amounts of antioxidants that fight off the free radicals and pathogens that make their way into our bodies.
Let’s look at the specific ways you can strengthen your immune system by including these 5 things into your diet:
Citrus fruits are possibly one of the most popular groups of fruit in the world. Including a massive variety – such as oranges, mandarins, limes, grapefruit and lemons – this low-calorie treat offers countless health benefits, such as being a good source of fibre, reducing your risk of forming kidney stones and supporting brain health.
Key among these benefits is the widely-known fact that they are a powerhouse for vitamin C. In fact, one medium-sized orange contains all the vitamin C you need in a day. With over 60 varieties of flavonoids, carotenoids and essential oils, citrus fruit makes an enormous contribution to your immune system.
Experts do caution to have citrus fruits in moderation, however. The acids found in citrus fruits have been known to erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing is never good.
Fruit juice – the most common way to consume fruit in this day and age – is not nearly as healthy as the whole fruit, because it generally contains added sugars and preservatives and most of the time it lacks the fibres that you would get from eating the whole fruit.
Gram for gram, red bell peppers have been proven to contain at least twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits – that amounts up to more vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable.
Regardless of age, weight, smoking or exercise habits, there is a direct link between heart health and good sleep. Statistically there are more cases of congestive heart failure in people that are suffering from the night-time breathing disorder, sleep apnoea, than those who aren’t.
When garlic gets crushed chewed or sliced, it produces a compound called allicin which has been shown to give it its immune-boosting and medicinal properties.
Garlic can both reduce the risk of becoming sick and reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get sick. It may even help you recover more swiftly.
Believe it or not, the skin of almonds may very well be a great supporter of your immune system, according to a study conducted by scientists in Italy and Britain. The study revealed that almond skins improved white blood cells’ ability to detect viruses while also increasing the body’s ability to stop viruses from spreading inside the body. The results stipulated that the nuts can increase the immune system’s ability to fight off various viruses, including flu and the common cold.
Green tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols that help your body eliminate free radicals. It is also rich in L-theanine, which is known to improve the body’s immune response.
While the body can produce its own anti-oxidants, it is not as effective at ridding the body of free radicals. The addition of the anti-oxidants that are found in green tea makes for a potent precaution against some serious diseases, including heart disease, respiratory diseases and strokes.
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