Is your immune system strong enough to fight the ailments that the changing weather brings along? Pollen in the air during autumn can trouble some people who are asthmatic or suffering from respiratory problem and prone to cough and cold which causes sneezing and congestion in the chest and air passage.

The ailments often worsen when the temperature falls as the winter season slowly takes over. Medicines can reduce the symptoms, but one needs to do more to boost your immune system and stay protected from winter ailments.

Things to avoid

Avoid touching your face frequently. Flu virus can enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.

Avoid smoking. Smoke disturbs the immune system. It dehydrates the body and dries out the passage in the nose making the body more prone to catch cough and cold.

Avoid alcohol: Alcohol weakens your immune system, making you more likely to catch infections.

Things to do

Personal hygiene: Maintain personal hygiene. Keep your body and clothes clean. Keep your surrounding clean. Wash your hands before eating anything. You never know, you may pick up germs while touching objects which have come in contact with infected hands of a person suffering from cold.

Regular exercise: Go for a walk or jog. Do heart pumping exercises regularly. It will help in activation and growth of natural anti-virus cells of your body. Allow your kids to run and play outside.

Hydrate and moisturise: Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, hot soups and healthy juices. Green tea and ginger tea is a proven immune promoter. Also low sodium vegetable juice of carrot, tomato, spinach and lemon can load your immune system with antioxidants.

Eat dark green food: Eat more foods containing phytochemicals like dark green leafy vegetables, yellow and red veggies and fruits. Have them raw, steamed or sauteed. Fruits like kiwi are packed with vitamin C and minerals. Vitamin C rich fruits lessen the risk of cold and pneumonia.

Add garlic in your diet. It will boost your immune system, making you less likely to catch infection during peak cold. Add them to your dishes and chutneys.

Oregano is an antibacterial herb that can fight many infections. Its steam is inhaled to keep congestion at bay. Or season your food with it.

De-stress. Relieve yourself from stress. Relaxing rejuvenates the body and strengthens the immune system. Make sure to pamper yourself with any activity of your liking that calms you at least for half an hour a day. Do the things you love to do such as wrting, gardening, playing sports, dancing or singing. Watch a movie or listen to music. Indulge in healthy physical activities. Doing the things you love doing will keep you happy and stress-free.