We all know that the cold weather forces us to spend more time indoors…where we’re exposed to more infections transmitted by co-workers, family, and friends. It also means less sunshine. Shortened winter days decrease our vitamin D3 levels, which weakens our immune system’s ability to fight off germs.
But there’s an even bigger reason why colds and flus spike in the winter.
Studies have shown that breathing in frigid air can drop the temperature of your nasal passages from the usual 98.6 degrees down to 91.1 Viruses and bugs thrive in this cooler nasal environment, but struggle to survive in the warmer ones.
Peak cold and flu season in the U.S. runs from December through February. Up to 20% of Americans will come down with the flu during these months. Those in colder climates are most affected. It takes between three and seven days to fight off these nasty infections.2 But you can get well faster by avoiding certain foods and drinks that can prolong your illness.3,4
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Stay Away From These Foods and Drinks When You’re Sick
Coffee. Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it makes you urinate and it dehydrates you. This impairs your immune system. The better hydrated you are, the easier it is to fight off an illness. Drink lots of water and warm soups.
Sweets. Eating refined sugar temporarily suppresses your white blood cells’ ability to fight off bacteria. Your immune system will be compromised for up to three hours after a sweet treat. And the sugar has a secondary effect… It can cause loose, watery stools or diarrhea that will dehydrate you.
Soda. Soft drinks are never good for your health…but they are particularly damaging when you are sick. Sodas are loaded with immune-suppressing sugars and dehydrating caffeine
And switching to artificially sweetened sodas won’t prevent the problem. Artificial sweeteners cause you to crave more sweets and can lead to insomnia. Quality sleep helps your immune system fight off infection.
Drink organic coconut water to rehydrate and please your sweet tooth if plain water won’t do.
Certain Cheeses. Along with the nasal stuffiness of your illness, you probably have a headache. Certain foods can trigger or worsen it. Blue cheeses contain tyramine. This compound increases blood pressure—and the headache pain.5 Parmesan and Roquefort cheeses actually contain naturally occurring monosodium glutamate, or MSG.6 It can cause your headache to really pound.
Alcohol. Just like coffee, it dehydrates you. Worse, it weakens your immune system. Your body treats alcohol as an outside invader. It prioritizes dealing with the alcohol rather than focusing on overcoming your cold.
There’s something else you should know about staying well as we head into cold and flu season… Our special report, Bulletproof Your Immunity: Easy Ways to Protect Your Health is an important read for you and your family.
You’ll discover the three most important vitamins your body needs this time of year… And how to avoid the five biggest immune threats.
Get all the details HERE.