Staying healthy this winter calls for just a few easy steps.
1. Wash your hands
One of the most effective ways to avoid the flu virus is to remember to wash your hands. This may seem like a simple step, but it is one of the most effective methods of kill germs that have anonymously been passed on to you.
2. Opt for garlic
Garlic has been shown to be an intense immune booster, killing off several types of bacteria and viruses. Don’t be shy to toss some extra garlic into your sauces, pasta and vegetables. Odorless garlic supplements are also available at most health food stores.
3. Boost your vitamin C
Research has shown vitamin C to be one of the most powerful immune boosting vitamins available. This water-soluble vitamin can be found in pineapples, oranges, orange juice, broccoli and in other fruits and vegetables. Ester C (a unique form of vitamin C that is buffered with calcium to increase absorption) is also available in several multi-vitamins or as a single supplement.
4. Drink plenty of water
In order to stay healthy and keep digestion strong, it is important to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. When you drink sufficient water, your urine will appear clear and odour less. If you don’t feellike drinking cold water, opt for a herbal tea that also offers plenty of anti-oxidant benefits, such as mint tea, green or white tea or berry teas.
5. Remember your zinc rich foods
If vitamin ‘C’ is the super immunity vitamin, then zinc wins the prize as the super immunity mineral. The richest food sources of zinc include beef, lamb, pork and salmon and as well as dairy products, whole grains, beans, nuts and nut butters, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Zinc lozenges are also widely available (and very effective for sore throats) in most health food stores.
6. Avoid overdoing it on refined flours or sugars
Too much white sugar and flour will not only contribute to weight gain, but can also crash your immune system. Instead of products with white flours or sugars, substitute breads and baked goods made with whole grains and natural sweets such as fruit. Keep in mind that there are the obvious high sugarproducts such as cakes, cookies and sweets, but also included are bread, pasta, rice, yogurt and
commercial, store-bought fruit juices. Although all of these things are made with different types of sugars, your body still converts them to sugar, which will compromise your immune system.
7. Keep Active
Continue your exercise routine through the winter to stay fit, boost your immune system function, decrease stress and keep your weight down.
8. Avoid sleep debt
“On average we sleep six-and-a-half hours a night, much less than the seven to nine hours recommended,” says Jessica Alexander, spokesperson at the Sleep Council. Use the longer nights to catch up on your sleep.
Smoking significantly weakens your immune system, avoiding it will benefit you greatly. Despite our best efforts, at times we still can feel like we’re “coming down with something.” Some things you can do to help your body recover more quickly:
• Eliminate all dairy products.
• Eliminate all alcohol.
• Eliminate all grains (bread, rice, pasta, etc.).
• Boost your Vitamin C (with bioflavanoids) intake when you initially feel something coming on.
• Boost your intake of Zinc.
• Increase water consumption (even more than normal!).
• Eat less food as this will give your body a much needed rest from digestion and give it a chance
to concentrate on fighting off potential invaders.
• Add herbs like Echinacea, Goldenseal and Grapefruit Seed Extract to your supplemental regime.
• Get more rest than normal. If you normally get 6 hours of sleep a night, try increasing it to 7 or 8.
• If taking oregano oil to fight bacteria remember to that it is crucial to replace the good flora of the
gut with a good probiotic.
Including some or all of these suggestions into your daily regime can help to boost your immune system function and keep you healthy and strong all winter long.
Cited From: 1. Canadian Living, http://www.canadianliving.com/health/health_and_wellness_club/
2. Melissa Wood, http://stayhealthyandwell.com/10-tips-to-stay-healthy-during-the-winter-season/
3. NHS Choices, http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/winterhealth/Pages/Healthywinter.aspx