Winter is a harsh time of the year. It’s cold, your immune system struggles to take the impact and you tend to have a higher risk of becoming sick.
There’s always a list of ways to boost your immune system to protect yourself from becoming unwell. It’s not just about taking all sorts of medication, but making simple changes to your lifestyle habits that make the biggest difference. Prevention is better than cure and, to that end, we have compiled a list of the 6 best tips to boost your immune system this winter.
1. Drinking more fluids
Your body consists of over 65% water and the cells that make up your immune system consist of more than 80%! Drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day helps your body function more efficiently and also improves detoxification. Losing as little as 5% water can affect your body negatively and staying hydrated will prevent this. Yes, we know water can become bland as it tastes like nothing; people often ask if a cup of coffee or tea can make up for lost glasses of water. In short, no, not really. Coffee and regular tea have caffeine, and caffeine has a negative effect on hydration. However, Rooibos has no caffeine, so all of us, including kids, can enjoy a cup of Rooibos tea instead of a glass of water.
Rooibos tea also contains a flavonoid called Quercetin which blocks mast cells that stimulate allergic histamine responses. Rooibos tea will not replace antihistamine medications but it does offer an added benefit to overreactive immune responses during winter and that’s a bonus.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects of staying healthy. It is also one of the most overlooked habits that can greatly improve our health. During sleep, your body rests and recovers, lowering stress levels. All your body’s processes are slowed down but this is when your body heals and has the perfect time to improve its immunity. We all hear about those important 8 hours of sleep, so don’t overlook them. Your immune system will thank you for it.
Did we mention that Rooibos tea, has no caffeine? It can be drunk at the end of the day without the risk of keeping you awake…rather, due to the magnesium content, it offers a calming effect and actually aids restful sleep.
And…here’s a bit of science…research confirms that Rooibos contains 2 important antioxidants, Aspalathin and Nothofagin, that interfere with the body’s production of the stress hormone Cortisol, resulting in lower levels of cortisol and thus aiding sleep. The more you drink the better you will sleep.
3. Regular exercise and Vitamin D
Regular exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym every day for an hour. It can also mean taking regular short walks. That said, resistance training does improve how your body functions and makes it better at fighting disease. We are all busy, so exercise should not take too much of our time. Taking as little as a 10 minute walk twice a day has shown improvements in people’s health. Taking in those few minutes of sunlight also has the added benefit of getting much needed Vitamin D which helps prevent cell damage. Short walks after meals also help with digestion as the body absorbs and uses the nutrients you consume more efficiently. Exercise doesn’t need to be a chore and everybody has their favorite. Pick yours today and stay healthy all year round.
4. Eating healthy foods
Nature is incredible and provides what we need when we need it. It’s no coincidence that oranges and other citrus fruits are loaded with Vitamin C which becomes very popular when the cold season comes along. Eating your 5 fruits and vegetables every day will help your body fight infection by boosting your vitamin and mineral levels. Make sure you and your family get all your macro and micronutrients every day to give you a fighting chance against those sniffles.
Rooibos is great to use in cooking and baking, you can use it in pretty much any recipe, adding it to your water or milk. Rooibos works well with the natural flavors of food and makes a perfect base for stocks and broths. The mineral content of Rooibos also increases the nutritional value of foods (as well as drinks). Rooibos contains several essential minerals our bodies need, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and sodium, as well as the trace elements copper and manganese. The flavonoids and tannins in Rooibos are proven antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals.
5. Wash your hands
Hygiene during everyday life is very important, especially during the colder seasons when it’s much easier to get sick. Our hands play a big role in everyday life, so they come into contact with germs everywhere; washing your hands thoroughly and regularly reduces the risk of catching and sharing those germs.
Stay out of contact with those who are sick, when possible, to make sure you don’t catch the same bug. Adopting these hygienic practices takes no effort and is very easy to do, it helps keep you and those around you healthy.
6. Drink Rooibos Tea!
These are 6 easy to follow tips to boost and protect your immune system, especially when the cold season arrives. Adopt these habits all year round so that you’re always on the strong side of health.