Your Cold Weather Survival Guide
Your Cold Weather Survival Guide
Building snowmen and shovelling your driveway may be part of your daily routine now – a telltale sign that winter is here!
As you might already know from experience, winter is also a time when colds, flus, and other infections tend to be more prevalent. And while getting sick is sometimes inevitable, our friends at CanPrev are here to show us how to support immunity and stay healthy during these colder months. Let’s dive in!
Why Are Infections More Prevalent In The Winter?
When we’re not properly protected from cold temperatures, it can lead to frostbites, chills, shivers, a runny nose, and even a sluggish immune system.
Our nasal cavity is lined with the nasal mucosa, a type of tissue that acts as our first line of defence from any allergens or viruses that enter through the nose. Lower temperatures tend to dry out the nasal mucosa, which increases the chances of harmful pathogens entering our bodies. This ultimately leaves us more prone to catching a cold, virus, or infection.
Additionally, studies show that rhinoviruses (viruses responsible for the common cold) replicate at a faster rate when temperatures are below 37 degrees Celsius. Temperatures within our nasal cavity are usually around 33 degrees Celsius, making it an ideal environment for rhinoviruses to replicate.
Warming Up To The Cold
While the cold can no doubt be harder on our health, new research suggests that a little bit of exposure may not be such a bad thing. For example, moderately cold temperatures could be beneficial for the vascular system because it trains blood vessels in our skin to be responsive. But for those of us who aren't into cold plunging or polar dips, what can we do to ensure a strong immune system to tough it out this winter? We’ve got a few tips for you.
Fill Up on Nutritious Foods
When it comes to feeding your immune system, try to focus on nutrients that have antiviral and anti-inflammatory capabilities. These nutrients can be found in foods that are high in antioxidants, molecules that fight free radicals within the body. Free radicals occur naturally in the body as a result of chemical reactions prompted by things we encounter in our everyday life. This can include exercise, exposure to environmental pollutants, and even stress. When free radicals outnumber antioxidants in the body, it can leave us with excess inflammation and ultimately put our immune system into overdrive. This weakens our immune defences and makes it more difficult for us to recover from infections.
Root vegetables like beets, carrots, and turnips are great vegetables to look out for in the produce section throughout the colder months. While beets are known to be rich in iron, carrots and turnips are great sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Looking for a surefire way to get your daily dose of immune-supporting antioxidants and vitamins? Try Immuno Multi, a multivitamin blend packed with antioxidants that help to optimize healthy immune function.
Another immune-supporting nutrient that can support us during this time is zinc. Involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions, this essential mineral plays a major role in supporting our immune system by regulating immune cells such as natural killer cells. Having sufficient levels of zinc can help increase natural killer cell activity within our bodies, which helps reduce the time it takes for us to recover. Foods like oysters, beef, lentils, and chickpeas are great sources of zinc. If you’re looking for a zinc-based formula, Zinc 20 Immune + Vitamin C is a great option. It features highly absorbable zinc bis-glycinate and pure vitamin C ascorbic acid, two nutrients that are great for the immune system, and even greater when they join forces.
Vitamin D is another immune-supporting nutrient we may fall short on during these cold months. The sun is our primary source of vitamin D, which means that Canadians tend to have lower levels during our somewhat gloomy winter season. Foods like shitake mushrooms, egg yolks, milk and salmon are all good sources of vitamin D. If these foods aren’t regularly stocked in your fridge, you can turn to Vitamin D3 + K2 Drops. This formula contains vitamin D in a base of medium chain triglycerides for enhanced absorption – perfect for winter.
Making sure you’re adequately hydrated is key to avoiding sickness throughout winter. Fluids support the health of our mucous membranes by keeping them moist – this is important because viruses can more easily attach to dry mucous membranes. Remember the nasal mucosa? The mucus secreted by this tissue acts as a physical barrier and its sticky substance traps any incoming pathogens. Once they’re trapped, our antibodies get to work destroying them.
On top of that, staying hydrated encourages proper circulation within our bodies and helps remove waste products, toxins and any impurities like bacteria and viruses. So, the more we stay hydrated, the more likely we’re not holding on to substances that can harm our overall health.
Don't Be Afraid to Say No
If you're feeling run down or like you're coming down with something, it may be a good idea to skip out on your next gathering. It’s important to know your body’s limits, and we need plenty of rest, especially when we’re sick. Many of the major processes that help us heal actually occur while we’re asleep, so don’t be afraid to get an extra nap in! Plus, by staying home and resting, you’re not only keeping yourself safe but also preventing the spread of germs to those you are planning to visit.
Feeling The Beginning Stages of a Cold Coming On?
Grab some Cold-Pro. This formula contains seven potent, immune-supporting nutrients plus antiviral and antibacterial herbs, including andrographis, vitamin C, reishi, zinc and more. It’s designed to maintain and strengthen the immune system, aid in the symptomatic relief of colds and flus for speed recovery.
Your immune health is an essential part of your overall well-being, especially during these next few months of frosty temperatures and high wind chills. Taking some preventative measures such as loading up on essential nutrients, drinking sufficient amounts of fluids, and listening to your body can help you thrive in cold weather.
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