There are plenty of things you can do to keep your immune system strong so that you can avoid winter colds and flus.
1. Eat nutritious food. Okay so this doesn't only apply for winter, but if your are going to potentially be faced with more bacteria and viruses in winter then making sure your are ingesting as many nutrients as possible will help your body keep up with the requirements for strong defense. Winter food needs to be warm and hearty. Keep it nutritious by including lots of veges, garlic, ginger, and tumeric.
2. Exercise. Although the shorter, cooler days may not always make it as easy as in summer, exercise is still very important. Daily movement, such as walking, yoga, stretching, and tai qi will keep your lymph system moving, which plays a vital role in immunity.
3. Rest. No I'm not trying to contradict myself, but rest is an essential part of looking after your immune system. By taking time out to rest your body will be given the time it needs to rebuild and replenish. Resting allows your adrenal glands to take a break. Overworked adrenals (excess cortisol production from stress) results in a lowered immunity. Anything that reduces your stress levels is prefect; whether that it getting more sleep, taking a long bath, reading a book, meditating, turning the tv off and listening to beautiful music by candlelight, or taking a nice slow walk with a good friend.
4. Vitamin D. Yes you still need sunshine during winter! And may need to make a more conscious effort to get out in the sun and get it onto your skin during the cooler months. Vitamin D plays many roles that contribute to good health, with just one being for immune health. Not only will the Vitamin D help, but being outdoors in the sun and fresh air will be beneficial for your health and sleep.
5. Antioxidants. Antioxidants fight and neutralise free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to healthy cells, including immune cells. Food sources of antioxidants are: Vitamins A - sweet potato, liver, eggs
Vitamin C - oranges, berries, kiwifruit, broccoli, spinach and capsicum
Vitamin E - avocados, nuts, seeds
Zinc - seafood, oysters, meat, nuts, eggs, seeds
Selenium - brazil nuts, sesame seeds, seafood, organ meats, whole grains
Beta-carotene - pumpkin, carrots, apricots, mangoes, spinach Berries Green tea.
6. Supplements. If your immune system needs even more of a boost, especially at the first sign of a cold, cough or flu then there are plenty of natural supplements that can be used to help, such as: olive leaf extract, astragalus, echinacea, garlic, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E.