Immunity boosting tips for a healthier winter

Health

Cold and flu season is here and if you want to ward off those pesky illnesses you need to make sure your immune system is in tip-top condition. Here are some simple things you can do to keep well this winter, according to the experts at Original FX Mayr

1. DRINK TEA

Sipping tea throughout the day will warm the body from the inside and provide it with extra hydration. In the winter, when the air is dry, you need to remain adequately hydrated (ideally by consuming water or unsweetened teas) in order to be able to keep the mucous membranes supple and eliminate pathogens. As well as hydrating, help strengthen the body’s immune defenses by choosing caraway, cardamom, fennel or cinnamon teas over green tea or peppermint. (Dr Karin Hamböck, physician at the Original FX Mayr)

2. EAT YOUR WINTER VEGETABLES

In winter in particular, we need vitamins and secondary plant substances if our immune system is to function effectively. The best way to obtain these is by consuming hearty, fresh winter vegetables. Luckily, many vegetables harvested in winter are packed with substances that strengthen the immune system. Good examples include savoy cabbage, broccoli and herbs. Brussels sprouts are also particularly rich in vitamin C. Also potatoes, lamb’s lettuce and spinach contain many immune boosting, valuable nutrients, too. (Andreas Wolff, chef de cuisine at the Original FX Mayr)

3. CHECK YOUR ZINC LEVELS AND VITAMIN D LEVELS

Zinc is one of the trace elements that the body cannot produce itself, so it has to be obtained via the diet. If the body lacks the levels of zinc that it needs, this exerts a negative impact on the immune system. Among other things, this increases susceptibility to infections like the common cold, cough, sore throat, etc. The human body produces vitamin D on its own, but only when regularly exposed to sunlight. Especially in winter, the natural production of D3 is significantly reduced which increases risk of colds and flu. To prevent zinc deficiency, it is a good idea to first assess zinc levels via blood test. If your zinc level is low, take 30mg of zinc every night before going to bed. (Dr Karin Hamböck, physician at the Original FX Mayr)

4. TAKE YOUR EXERCISE OUTSIDE

Wrap up warm and go outside for a winter walk or a leisurely run. When you are outdoors, the body produces vitamin D, a nutrient that is incredibly important for immune defenses. Exercising regularly three times per week boosts the immune system and strengthens the muscles and cardiovascular system. (Nikolai, exercise therapist Original FX Mayr)

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