Fall is here, and along with the cold weather come viruses and illness. But why? Does cold weather actually increase a person’s chances of getting ill? And what can you do to stay healthy when the temperature drops? ASEA reviews health tips to keep you feeling good for the entire season.
Cold Weather and Germs
The old wives’ tale is that if you get chilled, you will get sick, but modern science has proven that it isn’t true. A person actually has to come into contact with germs or a virus in order to get sick. But cold weather does make it easier to get sick. Research shows that when the weather gets cold, a virus gets a tougher exterior coating, making it far more resilient.
One reason people get sick more in the colder months is that certain viruses, like influenza and the common cold, thrive in colder weather.
Another reason has to do with the hairs in your nose. They are one of the first virus defenses, catching and stopping a virus before it enters the body. But cold weather makes it harder for these small hairs to work.
A third reason is that when it gets colder, people spend more time indoors with other people, making it easier for germs to pass from person to person.
How the Immune System Works
When a virus gets past those nose hairs or sneaks in through the mouth or eyes, the human body activates a microscopic army called the immune system. It starts producing white blood cells that attack the foreign germs. The body heats itself up to make these cells, which is why fever and sickness so often happen together.
The lymphatic system also kicks into action and starts distributing illness-fighting white blood cells throughout the body while filtering out germs and sick cells.
How to Stay Healthy
First off, if you’re feeling sick, don’t go to work or school. Call in sick to help stop the spread of germs! Secondly, we all know wearing a mask and washing hands frequently is a great way to stop the spread of germs, but there are a few other things we can do to stay healthy this season.
- Take natural immune-boosting supplements like zinc, vitamin C and elderberry syrup.
- Fill your plate with nutrient-rich foods. These include berries, fruits, nuts, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and bone broth.
- Get plenty of rest, and sleep a minimum of six hours a night. Getting enough rest actually strengthens the immune system, giving it the ability to fight off germs more swiftly.
- Stay hydrated. Every system in the body needs to be hydrated to work properly, including the immune system. Water also helps flush out germs and toxins from the body while improving the skin’s appearance.
Why not cook foods that not only taste delicious, but also nourish the entire body this season? Bone broth is nutrient-rich and packed with electrolytes, boosts the immune system, helps heal the gut, and protects joints. Also, pack your soups full of veggies like carrots, garlic, onion, and celery.
Implement these tips and recipe ideas into your life today to start living better, stronger, and healthier.