By Julie Mitsios from Conscious Choice.
The cold weather has officially settled in but that doesnt mean you need to indulge in high calorie comfort foods and skip your exercise! Our immune system takes a beating over winter with the cooler weather making us more succeptible to colds and flus.
There are some easy ways to boost your immunity and stay healthy over the winter, here are some great tips for you!:
Alkalise – our immune system is strongest in an alkaline environment. Bacteria and viruses love an acidic environment, but cannot survive in a healthy alkaline state. Add more dark leafy greens such as kale, silverbeet and spinach to your diet which will not only boost your alkalinity they will provide a balance of vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients which will enhance the body’s immune system.
Get plenty of rest and relaxation – Stress and tiredness weaken our immune system and we get ill much easier when we are run down. Our body naturally restores and recuperates during rest and sleep. Allow your body to recover and fight illness by getting 7-9 hours sleep each night. Yoga and meditation are great ways to relax.
Avoid bad habits – Convenience and pre-packaged foods, caffeine, alcohol and smoking are all harmful to the immune system. Cutting back on these and replacing them with whole foods, herbal teas and fresh juices and smoothies are a great way to support your body and get rid of cravings.
Work up a sweat – Exercise is a great way to warm up your body and keep you fit. By working up a sweat the body has an opportunity to release stored toxins through the skin, the body’s largest organ.
Drink plenty of water- keep yourself well hydrated by drinking at least 2 ltres of good quality water per day. This will help your body flush wastes and dilute mucous, helping eliminate bacteria and viruses which make us ill.
Strengthen your immune system with these foods- Don’t wait till you get a cold try to include the following foods into your diet to strengthen your immunity naturally:
Garlic – has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral action for protecting against infections.
Seaweeds- touted as superfoods because they offer extraordinary health promoting compounds not found in any other land vegetables. They have anti-cancer properties and help boost the immune system. We have a few varieties you can experiment with: dulse great in salads available in leaf or flake form, wakame great in a miso soup or salad, sea spaghetti and kelp noodles make wonderful healthy alternatives to pasta.
Shitake Mushrooms- used for thousands of years in Asia for there phenomenol healing properties. They contain lentinan an immune strengthener that stimulates the system to clear cancerous cells. Try our organic variety of shitake
Miso- a rich source of protein, fibre and B vitmins for energy production and nervous system health. Unpasteurised organic miso contains active lactobacillus, which aids digestion and strengthens immunity.
Vitamin D- Australia is well known for its abundance of sunshine. Surprisingly Vitamin D deficiency affects a large proportion of Australians today. Vitamin D promotes the growth and development of bones and teeth. It is also heralded as having anti-cancer effects and boosting immunity. Sunlight is the easiest way to obtain this vitamin however quite often we dont absorb it or we dont actually get out enough to see the sunshine. Try our incredible Raw Vitamin D3 to ensure you are getting the right amount this winter.
Pick a couple of suggestions from this list and stick to them to avoid the flu this winter season!