The prospect of winters is very exciting. It’s a refuge from the hard summers, perpetual sweating and all sorts of creepy crawlies. Winters bring the memories of toasty sunshine, bonfires with friends and mushroom tea. But it’s a nightmare for some!
Winters are also marked by flu that does not go away, vulnerable lungs and the aching joints for many people. It also causes a spike in blood pressure, as heart scrambles to beat faster to keep the body warm. Moreover, in this weather, immunity is also suppressed.
However, while the best internal medicine doctor in Lahore should be the ultimate guide for in disease management, there are things that you can do as well to fortify your body.
Strengthen your immune system
Our immune system is a wonderous thing. It comprises of a sophisticated network that helps to protect the body. But this system is also as good as you make it to be.
Our diet, our environment, our lifestyle, our genes play a crucial role is the performance of the immune system. A person with weakened immunity is susceptible to so many diseases and problems, that can also be lethal.
While changing our genes or our environment for that matter is not an easy thing to do. But there are factors that are in our control. There are ways through which immune system can be fortified for a better winter experience.
Time to start eating right!
Our diet is the fuel that keeps our body running. If we do not make sound dietary choices, we are inevitably harming our immune system. Not only is the body is weakened if we do not eat well, but immunity is also lowered. Consequence of these side effects are fretful winters.
Hence, for a more pleasant winter experience, start eating right! Sugar and processed foods have to go. If total elimination is not possible, then at least decrease their intake. Look for their alternatives. Want something sweet? eat fruit or use honey as a sweetener.
Similarly, rather than white complex carbohydrates, opt for whole meal and whole grain carbohydrates. Taking more natural foods like fruits and vegetables also helps to strengthen the body so it is less susceptible to disease.
Antioxidant rich foods are also good for the body. Garlic, onions, citrus fruits etc. are good source of antioxidants.
Watch out for the inflammation causing foods
Whereas an overwhelmed immune system allows pathogens and different diseases to afflict the body, an over driven immune system also leads to problems in the body.
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs when a pathogen is recognized by the body. However, at times this response is triggered without any danger to the body per se, and these persisting symptoms also lead to all sorts of issues in the body as well.
It is thus vital to eat right for the optimal performance of the immune system. There are certain foods that lead to inflammation, including; fried foods, carbonated drinks and sodas, refined complex carbohydrates, margarine etc.
Alongside curtailing the use of these food items, incorporating anti-inflammatory food ingredients is also beneficial. Some such foods are olive oil, ginger, fresh berries. These foods will ensure that the immune system stays well-oiled during winters.
Immune system is greatly strengthened by probiotics. Essentially, probiotics are the good bacteria found along the GI tract and elsewhere in the body. They help to curb the effects of the bad bacteria and aid in the immune system in performing optimally. Probiotics are available in oral form, and also present in foods like yogurt that contain live culture.
One of the best ways to holistically strengthen the body is by exercising. When we stay active and move about, our lymphatic system --that moderates our immunity—is able to reach places within the body. Hence, the entire body gets active does of immunity and is able to survive the chill better.
Moreover, exercise also helps to lower stress levels. Stress is an enemy to the body, and alongside other damages rendered, it also affects the immunity. Exercise also then helps to overturn these variables.
Your downtime aka sleep is an important recuperation mechanism. If you do not get adequate sleep of around 7-9 hours, you risk getting diseases on account of lowered immunity.
Invest in good teas
A cup of tea is super soothing, especially in winters. Teas like lemon, ginseng, echinacea etc. are good for improving the symptoms of common cold. While stronger evidence is needed to gauge their immune boosting impact, they are helpful, nonetheless.
These tips can help you survive the winters better but are not a substitute for the medical advice given by the top internal medicine doctor in Karachi.