The winter months are a common time for colds, flu, and other viruses to go around. Find out how to boost your immune system so that you will have a lower chance of getting sick.
Catching a cold or the seasonal flu can make you feel miserable and cause you to miss work. Whether people around you are sick or not, it is important to take steps to protect yourself from these illnesses. Keep the following tips in mind for building up your immune system.
Get Your Flu Shot
Flu vaccines provide you with a significantly lower risk of getting the flu. When you get this vaccine, your immune system learns to identify and protect you from the viruses that cause seasonal flu. Keep in mind that flu shots do not become until effective until about two weeks after you get one, so do not wait too long for yours. While you can still catch the flu after getting the vaccine, you will have a lower risk of complications and your symptoms will likely be milder overall.
Lower Your Sugar Intake
Sugar can make it harder for your immune system to keep you safe from colds and other viruses, which makes you more likely to become ill. Limit the amount of sugar in your diet overall so that your immune system can work effectively this cold and flu season. Check food and beverage labels for added sugar, and use natural sweeteners in tea and coffee rather than regular sugar. You can also add sweetness to your diet and boost your immunity by eating oranges and other citrus fruits with vitamin C.
Eat Healthy Fats
Unsaturated fats can help your immune system function better, while trans fats can inhibit it. Choose unsaturated fats that come from vegetable sources; limit or avoid trans fats and saturated fats from animal sources. Keep in mind that trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, are found in many processed foods. Read food labels carefully so that you can focus on including healthy fats in your diet.
Getting physical activity on a regular basis can lower your risk of getting sick. Exercise helps your immune system remain strong, which provides you with better protection from infectious illnesses. In fact, those who get regular exercise tend to get sick less often as those who lead more sedentary lives.
Get Plenty of Sleep
A lack of sleep and poor sleep quality can have a harmful effect on your immune system. Improving sleep quality and making sure you are getting enough rest helps ensure that your immune system can protect you from viruses and other illnesses. Try going to bed and getting up at the same times, avoiding screen time before bed, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature in order to get better sleep.
If you need a flu vaccine or items for your first aid kit checklist, please contact Smith-Caldwell Drug Store by calling (501) 392-5470. Our local pharmacy in Benton, Arkansas, can help you stay healthy during cold and flu season this year.