Boost your Immunity this Winter

 

Brrrr – winter’s certainly here, and with it the ills and chills that accompany the cold weather. If you are susceptible to colds and flu, and dreading the illness season, then it’s time to take control of your immunity. Integrative medical expert, Dr Cris Beer (pictured), shares her winter survival guide with us, on how to do just that.

 

By boosting your immunity, you may be able to reduce your chances of catching a cold altogether. Or, if you do fall ill, having a strong immune system can help you recover more quickly, so it’s well worth reading and following these immunity boosting tips.

Eat Well

 

Eating a healthy, well balanced diet plays a huge role in supporting your immune health. Fueling your body with seasonal vegetables is a sure-fire way to cover all your nutritional bases, so load up on those bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, kale, ginger, garlic, pumpkin and sweet potato. Comfort food may be all that you crave when it’s freezing cold outside, so add as many vegetables to soups, casseroles or curries. Vitamin C is also a classic immune-friendly ingredient [i], which you can find in kiwi fruit, blueberries and of course the humble orange.

Pay attention to Gut Health

 

Good gut bacteria are also important to support your health and wellbeing. Probiotics can help maintain normal gut bacteria, so try adding some probiotic yoghurt to your curries, soups or winter warming porridge. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, tempeh and kefir or a probiotic supplement may also be a good addition to your immune-boosting regime. [ii] [iii]

Top up with Supplements

 

When we’re busy we may not eat as well as we should, so it can be a good idea to include supplements in your winter healthcare plan. To help support your immune function, look for those which contain vitamin C, echinacea and zinc[iv]. Another little-known ingredient and preventative herb, andrographis, has also been shown to help reduce the severity of the common cold. Children (and the elderly) are often more susceptible to catching colds. If you have children and/or grandchildren and they are a fussy eater, it can be challenging to ensure they have all their nutritional requirements met through diet alone, so in these instances supplementation may be beneficial.

Get a good night’s sleep, and don’t neglect exercise

 

It’s important to remember to go to bed at the same time every night for restful and restorative sleep. Adequate, quality sleep is a must, for both children and adults alike, as well as spending time outdoors and including fresh, wholesome foods in meals as much as possible. Be proactive with your fitness routine – you might have to change things up and counteract the less motivating cold weather.

There’s a lot you can do to prepare yourself for the cold and flu season. What are your tips to stay healthy over winter? Let us know in the comments below.

 

If you would like more personalised health advice and information, call the free Blackmores Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760.

For for more information and tips on how to stay well this winter, visit the Blackmores Cold and Flu Hub   https://www.blackmores.com.au/cold-flu-and-immunity/how-to-stay-healthy-this-winter

 

Source references:

[i] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/147323001204000104

[ii] ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/4/861.full

[iii] http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity#probiotics

[iv] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/147323001204000104

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