Now it may be the end of February, with Spring just around the corner, but here today in London it’s snowing hard and thick!
Winter is still well & truly here, so it’s important to know what we can do to keep a strong and balanced immune system to stay healthy and avoid infections for the prolonged cold & flu season.
- Eat a balanced diet with whole foods.
You need many nutrients to support your immune system, especially as the weather becomes more aggressive. Vitamins A, C, D and E, minerals selenium and zinc, Omega 3s, the list goes on!
Focus on eating your whole foods; Quality animal protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and most importantly fresh fruits and vegetables! Superfoods are great too for giving you that extra boost, so stock up on the blueberries and avocados.
I take 8 capsules everyday that consists of 30 different dried and harvested fruit and veg, and 6 plant based Omegas for maximum nutrition. The perfect way to bridge the gap between what we do eat daily vs. what we actually should! (Because who actually eats the BBCs newly recommended 10 fruit & veg per day?)
Did you know that eating the wrong things could suppress the immune system? Thats right, so avoid processed meats, fried foods, soft drinks, processed baked goods, or products with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars.
Get yourself plenty of vitamin C.
Oh look, fresh fruits and vegetables again…They are our best sources of Vitamin C, which help to strengthen our immune system and keep our body healthy. (Do you see a trend here?) Great food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and dark green vegetables.
Drink plenty of clean water.
There’s a chance you may have heard this before, but staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health! Many people are less likely to drink as much water in the colder months, and opt for teas, coffees and warm drinks instead, but our body still needs as much of this fluid on a daily basis. Water helps in the production of lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells.
For an extra boost, and to make it taste more exciting, you can add a slice of lemon, which will provide extra vitamin C, or a number of other fruits too.
Use herbs and spices.
Get extra creative & flavoursome with cooking!
Cook with onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, allspice, curry, and turmeric powder. They all contain components that help to boost our immune system and can be bought in your local supermarkets for less than £2!
Maximise your sleep
The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it’s at rest. If you can, sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, and if needed, take an afternoon nap. .Chronic fatigue is known to increase risks of illness, so trust me, sleep well and your body will thank you
Natural vs Medicine
As humans, protocol for us if we get ill is to stock up on a list of drugs that we cant pronounce the name of right?
The truth is, you should do your best to avoid drugs especially antibiotics. They’ve been shown to attack our friendly bacteria in the digestive system (where about 80% of our immune system is located) as well as the bad its trying to fight, which in fact suppresses immune functions. Unless you really have to take them, see if you can find a natural alternative first.
If you have a cold, sip on a cup of hot water with lemon, ginger, and organic honey. You can also get echinacea or zinc, which are great for flu and cold. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin C and drink a lot of water. If you’re taking antibiotics or any other medication, take quality probiotics (which can be found in whole and fermented food and lots of those cute little yoghurt drinks)
Ok ok, when it’s freezing outside, the last thing you want to do is go out and go for a run! But there are plenty of other ways to exercise and increase our immune function, our sleep quality, and make our body stronger!
Opt for some home workouts; YouTube has thousands of these to suit your level of fitness and ability, and for most of them you don’t even have to buy any equipment!
Enjoy your life!
Have you ever heard the term ‘laughter is the best medicine’ ?
It isnt just a saying, there is actually method in the madness. Chronic stress and depression can weaken the immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness, so its important to laugh lots, have fun and take the time to enjoy life!