Dover Health Coach gives tip to prepare your immune system for winter

The seasons are changing and a lot comes with that; beautiful colors, warm drinks, fall festivities, and unfortunately lots of illness. As it gets colder people tend to get sicker, but it is preventable! In the colder months people tend to spend more time indoors with ventilation that can recycle germs and viruses. On top of that, spending too little time in the sun decreases your vitamin D. Vitamin D improves your immune system and your mood-which is partially why people tend to be happier and healthier in the summer months.


So what can you do? Eat for your immune system!


The more fruits and vegetables the better, aim for 7 servings a day. Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, which works as an antioxidant in the body and has been shown in some studies to promote the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are what fight infection in the body, so a boost in their production can help fight illness. Dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, and avocado are all high in vitamin E, which also regulates immune function. Since you won’t have as much sun exposure in the winter months be sure to include vitamin D rich foods like fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks.


Still a bit low? You can always take a vitamin D supplement.


Other ways to improve your immune system include taking your multivitamins, multiminerals, phytonutrients, as well as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.


If you are struggling in any of those areas (or just want extra protection) taking echinacea may be the solution. Echinacea is a perennial flower that has anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. Several studies have shown its effectiveness, and a study out of University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy concluded that echinacea can decrease a person’s chance of getting a cold by 58%.


A combination of healthy eating, keeping active, sleeping well, and proper supplementation should help give your immune system that boost it needs to fight your way through the flu season.


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