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Immune System-Boosting Nutrients You May Need During Fall and Winter

Immune System-Boosting Nutrients You May Need During Fall and Winter

For many of us, the shorter, colder days of fall and winter mean less sunlight exposure, less exercise, and less access to fresh produce. We tend to get sick more often during fall and winter, but there are things we can do to reduce the risk.
During the darker and colder months of fall and winter, it is tempting to hunker down in our warm homes with big blankets and comfort food. Who doesn’t want to cozy up with a big cup of hot tea, comfy slippers, and a good book?

Hibernating works for bears, bees, and bats, but unfortunately, is not ideal for humans. We require sunlight, year-round physical activity, and a steady supply of seasonal nutrients.

Fall and winter bring with them many joys (no more mosquitoes! the holidays are coming!), but they also bring with them conditions that make staying healthy a bit trickier.

For many of us, the shorter, colder days of fall and winter mean less sunlight exposure, less exercise, and less access to fresh produce.

We tend to get sick more often during fall and winter, but there are things we can do to reduce the risk.

Why do we get ill more often during colder months?

Being cold doesn’t directly cause us to get sick, but cold air may contribute to conditions that lead to illness, according to a report by Healthline. Factors related to colder weather may actually be the culprits. Some viruses prefer the chillier weather, including rhinoviruses (they cause the common cold and replicate better at cooler temperatures) and influenza viruses(they peak in winter). The dry air outside and in homes with central heating may make it easier for viruses to infect dry nasal passages. Low indoor humidity and poor ventilation may also play a role. And, because we tend to spend more time inside with other people during the colder months, we are more likely to share germs.

The “Winter Blues” and Seasonal Affective Disorder can play a role, too. 

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