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Immunity Diet For Summer 2022
13.June.2022

Immunity Diet For Summer 2022

When the warm weather rolls around and cold and flu season winds down, many people throw away their worries about getting sick. People also tend to think less about the health of their immune system, because they think they aren’t as likely to catch anything when the sun is shining and summer is back in full swing.

However, the immune system needs to function properly all year round – it doesn’t just protect you during the winter months, but also the summer ones too! While we may be more likely to get sick during the winter, that doesn’t mean we’re immune when the cold weather waves goodbye.

In fact, according to a study done on chickens, the hot weather may actually be doing your immune system a disservice by making it less able to fight off illness. This study was backed up by another that used mice as subjects. While it may not be the best news to hear, there are things you can do throughout summer that will keep you well enough to enjoy those long days and warm nights, including following an immunity diet for summer 2022.

Are immune systems stronger in summer?

While research on animals has suggested that intense heat can weaken the immune response, much of the studies done on humans has found that as long as there is no heat stress to contend with, summer is actually a better time for immunity. This is because of the activation of certain genes. One study took an all-year-round approach and found that immunity changes with the seasons; certain immune cells that are meant to activate to protect the body against illness are influenced heavily by what season it is.

It's thought that the summer months, with their extra sunlight and longer daylight hours, are better for immunity because of excess vitamin D intake as well as proper circadian rhythm functioning. The study also mentions the way shift workers are often more susceptible to various health declines, which is possibly attributed to their lack of vitamin D and compromised body clock.

To put it simply, the body is better suited to live in a summer climate when it comes to optimal immune health because the season’s weather and daylight helps to activate the immune system cells most needed to fight off infection.

 

Image by Olia Nayda on Unsplash: How do I build my immune system in the summer? 

 

How can I boost my immune system in the summer?

There are various ways you can boost your immune system at any point of the year. However, the summertime happens to provide even more opportunity for you to do the things needed to boost immune health. The first aspect of immunity that you can focus on during summer is sleep.

Good-quality sleep is required for the immune system to function as it should, because the body spends that time replenishing immune cells and repairing itself. While it may be tempting to stay up later and wake up earlier when the sun is shining, sticking to a good nighttime routine is the best way to ensure that you have quality sleep.

The second area to focus on is exercise, and the good news is that moving your body can be a lot easier when the warm weather hits! Try going for walks or jogs, or participating in outdoor workout classes. The bonus about exercising outdoors is that you will also get to reap the benefits of more vitamin D, which is also great for boosting immunity.

 

Image by Dora Cavallo on Unsplash: Citrus fruits are great additions to summer immune-boosting diet.

 

Immune-boosting summer foods

Eating immune-boosting foods in the summertime is not only great for your overall health, it’s also easy to do. It’s also better for the immune system to eat seasonally, because seasonal foods retain more of their nutrients than those that have to be shipped from across the world.

Some summer foods that most people can get locally during the warm months include:

  • Citrus fruit: Citrus fruits are chock-full of vitamin C, and in the summer months, shopping locally for oranges, grapefruits, or lemons can be a great way to get the highest amount of vitamin C as possible from just one serving.
  • Red bell peppers: Red bell peppers are another summer food that can be purchased locally and eaten in so many different ways. Some people even grow their own because of how easy it can be to grow peppers during the summer! Also known as capsicum, this veggie can be eaten raw or cooked – it’s so versatile that you can mix it into almost any dish for an added boost of vitamins that help the immune system.
  • Papaya: Papaya is another fruit that contains high levels of vitamin C for immune health. This summer fruit also has enzymes that help to reduce overall inflammation in the body, which helps build a stronger immune system in the long run.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber is another summer food packed with nutrients that keep the immune system functioning as it should. Some of those nutrients include vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as potassium and manganese.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes of all varieties also have high levels of vitamin C. Because of this, they’re an excellent summer option to help boost the immune system.
  • Berries: Berries contain various nutrients and antioxidants, both of which are vital for a fully functioning immune system. You can choose any type—strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.—and reap the benefits of this tasty, nutrient-dense summer food.
  • Watermelon: Watermelon contains a lot of nutrients such as vitamin B6 and helps keep the body hydrated, which can sometimes be a challenge when the heat is up.

Staying healthy in the summer is just as important as staying healthy in the winter. When you look after your immune system, it looks after you, so try out some of these tips and foods in your immunity diet for summer 2022.

 

Featured image by 煜翔 肖 on Unsplash

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