Prepping Your Immune System for the Fall Months Ahead
With the weather constantly changing from hot to cold, many begin to suffer from different illnesses. To be able to properly prepare for cooler months ahead, we asked Dr. Lynn Faur, a board-certified physician at Cameron Family Medicine Fremont, to give us insight on how to build our immune systems up so we aren’t held down this fall!
Boosting your immune system
Consistent exercise, proper hydration and consuming antioxidants through fruits and vegetables can help repair damage from the chemicals and toxins we encounter every day. Try to avoid unnecessary antibiotics as they destroy the balance of good bacteria in the gut and can weaken the immune system for several weeks.
Foods to try this fall
- Fruits and Vegetables: Eating fruits and vegetables in their natural form allows the fiber to slowly release fructose into the digestive system. This helps avoid the insulin spike that comes with the consumption of sugary foods. Try eating dark berries, pomegranates and beets as they are all very high in antioxidants.
- Buckwheat Honey: Not only does buckwheat honey provide a sweet treat, but it helps to boost the immune system during colder months. It is full of antioxidants and decreases mucus. Limiting your seasonal cough.
- Natural Meats: Free-range chicken, bison, venison, turkey and wild-caught fish free of hormones are all delicious options to get additional zinc, iron and B vitamins in your diet.
- Water, Water, Water: One of the easiest ways to boost your immune system is to remain hydrated. It is recommended that adults drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
It can be frustrating trying to find organic, non-GMO, grass-fed products in Indiana, but being aware of your options and having a better understanding of seasonal items can help.
Try to avoid consuming products containing high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, nitrites, dyes and processed sugars on a regular basis, as they can lead to a weakened immune system. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose should be avoided as they have been linked to increased risk of health issues. Honey, agave nectar and natural syrups are healthier alternatives.
Visit your doctor
Dr. Faur suggests trying to minimize pharmaceuticals by exercising, decreasing stress and eating healthy. Make sure to visit your primary care provider annually for personalized preventive care strategies.
Cold weather: Does it weaken your immune system?
No. In fact, exercising in less-than-ideal conditions allows the brain to release dopamine Dehydration, fatigue and stress can break down the immune system and the body’s defenses. Being physically cold does not, on its own, cause one to get sick!
Get proper rest and relaxation
One of the easiest ways to help boost your immune system is to allow for proper sleep each night. The CDC recommends getting more than seven hours of sleep each night. The brain is very active during sleep cycles as it attempts to “purge” excess information to de-stress the system. Stress can be an impacting factor on the body’s ability to fight off illnesses. The body is allowed to repair itself during sleep, so this is necessary when you want to boost our immune system.
If you are interested in learning more information about your immune system, or if you would like to set up an appointment, click here: Find a Specialist at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital, Angola, IN (cameronmch.com).