The colder months are upon us which means the cold and flu season has begun! But getting sick doesn’t have to be inevitable! Read our tips below on how to stay healthy (and smug) this winter!
Up your veggies – so simple but true! Vegetables are not only rich on vitamins and minerals, they also contain phytonutrients, antioxidants, fibre, oil and acids, which give them their variety in colour. These bioactive components are used by the body directly to combat inflammation and infections as well as support detoxification and immune cell function. Current guidelines suggest five serves of vegetables per day. Choose seasonal, lots of different colours and organic if possible. Squeeze them into EVERY meal for the most benefit!
WATER WATER WATER – adequate hydration has a huge impact on your immune system as water helps all of your body’s systems function at optimal levels. Ensuring that you are drinking enough water (ideally 2-3 litres per day) helps flush toxins and ensures oxygen is cycled through the body adequately. Already feeling a little under the weather? Top up your hydration by adding vegetable soups, high vitamin C fresh juices and bone broth to keep your body optimally hydrated while it works overtime in flushing the nasty guys out.
Taking a good immune system supplement – if your stressed, tired or busy and feeling like your immune system is low it might be a good idea to take a good quality nutritional supplement for extra support to get you through the germy winter months. Ideally you want to look for ingredients including olive leaf extract, vitamin C, Echinacea and zinc – I love Bioceuticals ArmaForce.
Gut health – did you know that 60-70% of your immune system resides in your gut? This is made up of a vast network of lymph tissue referred as GALT (but associated lymphatic tissue). So it pays to look after it. Having a diet rich in probiotics (cultured food such as yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kefir etc) helps prime the immune system for contact with other bacteria. When we have higher levels of good bacteria compared to bad bacteria in the gut the healthy ones crowd the unhealthy ones out – preventing illness.
Getting enough zzzzz’s – do you feel like you are running on empty? A lot us do! Huge workloads, social commitments and trying to fit everything else in can make getting good restful sleep a challenge. BUT push sleep to the wayside and it will come back to bite you. Most adults need on average 7-8 hours sleep – this is our prime time to rest, recharge and repair the body. Sleep is ESPECIALLY important if you are sick! Feel like you are coming down with something? Take the day off, snuggle under the doona and give yourself a well deserved trip to snoozetown – much better than trying to power through and ending up with the full blown lurgy.