Health Resources Library

Stay Hydrated to Boost Immunity

During the fall and winter seasons it is important that we do all that we can to stay healthy.

One way to boost your ability to fight off the flu and the common cold during these months is to stay hydrated.  You may have never thought about it but dehydration happens just as easily in the cold of fall and winter as in the heat of summer.  We may not notice that we sweat as much during these months because sweat will evaporate quicker in cold air.  Our body is also losing water through breathing, and when it’s cold outside you can see this as water vapor when you exhale.

Cold weather can also accelerate dehydration.  When we are too cold the blood vessels supplying warm blood to the skin become narrow or constrict. This reduces the flow of warm blood near the surface of the skin, and reduces heat loss as the blood is redirected deeper into our core to help regulate body temperature. When blood vessels shrink, blood pressure increases.  To lower the pressure, your kidneys make more urine to reduce the amount of blood flowing through the restricted veins.  This will cause frequent trips to the bathroom and a greater risk of dehydration.

Cool Weather Dehydration is Hard on Your Health

Dehydration in any season will effect the body in the same way, causing exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination and concentration.  Dehydrated can also make you more susceptible to colds and flu.  Staying adequately hydrated can help your body eliminate toxins and waste materials, making your immune system able to better fight infection.

Ways to Stay Hydrated

Keep drinking water and hot beverages count, too.

Try warming up with a nice cup of home-brewed tea, some Healing Hot Chocolate or even hot water with a squeeze of lemon and some raw honey. These hot beverages will warm and soothe as well as boost your immune system and keep you hydrated.

When you’re trying to get enough water, sometimes it’s just as important to know what not to drink, both caffeine and alcohol can make your body even more dehydrated.

Eat your water.

Many foods have a high-water content and can help you stay hydrated.  During the winter, citrus fruits are in season and have a high-water content.  They are also an excellent source of vitamin C to boost your immune system and potassium to keep your electrolytes balanced.  Try this Winter Citrus Salad recipe.

Moisturize the Air

Don’t forget to break out the air humidifiers or even steam essential oil diffusers.  Adding moisture to the dry air, caused by heating our homes, can help keep you hydrated and can reduce the occurrence of scratchy throats and dry skin.

If you’re using a steam diffuser choose essential oils that boost the immune system like cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, orange or lemon.  You can use these oils individually or blend them together and use 2-3 drops in your diffuser.

 

Resources: www.medicinenet.com www.bbc.co.uk.com

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