Winter is coming – time to boost your immune system!
Winter is the season where viruses tend to affect us the most but the best remedy is prevention. The better you look after your body, the better your body will look after you.
Here are our top tips:
Eat a healthy diet, high in fresh fruits, vegetables, good quality proteins and fats. Keep well hydrated too. Your body will need more nutrients to fight the cold weather, so aim for 10 portions of fruit and veg a day, or cheat by taking our nutrient powders.
If you come down with a cold, sip fluids to flush toxins through. Hot lemon water with honey and steeped fresh ginger tea soothes scratchy throats.
Good immunity starts in the gut so have plenty of hot soups, which are hydrating, full of nutrients and anti-inflammatory. Home made soups with a bone broth base are the best, you can buy fresh stock in pouches and use as a base otherwise. Or try fresh soup cartons from the supermarket – chose one with a protein food (chicken, meat etc) and plenty of veg to get the most benefit.
Exercise regularly. It’s harder in winter of course, but you can still go to the gym, swim, cycle or walk in parks. Wrap up warm and get outside, especially where there are trees as much as possible – the fresh air really does your body good.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight, or underweight can weaken the immune system for various reasons. Being overweight may indicate that you are eating foods which can cause inflammation, which is bad for immunity. Loosing too much weight can be a problem too, as it releases toxins from fat stores in the body, which will also weaken your immunity.
Drink alcohol in moderation. It is said that a small amount of red wine has positive effects on our health, but too alcohol much definitely has a negative effect. Alcohol is a toxin that is a burden on the body; so drinking too much may mean that the body can’t resist a viral infection when it comes along.
Get adequate sleep. Enough good quality sleep is essential for health. We need enough sleep to recover and build our immunity. Read the sleep module on NTA Life if you need help with sleep problems.
Rest when your body tells you to. Winter can be a busy time of year, if you’re feeling tired then run a bath, have a sofa session and get an early night. A healthy immune system relies on the chance to rest, heal and recover.
Hygiene is even more important in winter. As we don’t spend as much time outside, and don’t tend to open windows to get the fresh air in, microbes spread more easily. So make the extra effort to get outside for fresh air and wash your hands more frequently.
Nutrients have a strong and positive effect on the immune system such as vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E. Boosting your nutrient intake with a good quality multi-vitamins and minerals in the winter, or when you feel run down, is a fantastic idea. Our Natures’s Wisdom Nutrient powders and all in one nutrient liquid for children give you the daily-recommended dose for every vitamin and mineral including C, D & E and they include some probiotics for a healthy gut too.
Homeopathic medicines are amazing for nipping viruses in the bud before they develop into anything nasty (aconite) and for shortening the duration of colds and flu’s (gelsemium pulsatilla, hepar sulph). We also have a Homeopathic version of a flu vaccination, called Influenzinum, which we recommend you take once a month. In recent years the flu vaccine effectiveness has been very low and the side effects can be nasty – we prefer to recommend taking Influenzinum and have a remedy kit to hand so that you can deal with any winter bugs that come along.
Also increase antimicrobial foods, herbs and spices in your diet, they boost the immune system and fend off viruses and bacteria: add garlic, onion, ginger, honey, coconut oil, fermented foods, lemon and tumeric.
We hope you stay well this winter!