When winter approaches I find myself instinctually reaching for foods higher in immune boosting properties. We try to eat seasonally (I use these beautiful charts to help me) which is helpful in aiding our bodies to keep an healthy immune system but I do like to give an extra kick to our diet starting around the month of May.
Here are some ways to boost your immune system this Winter:
1. USE HERBS Around May we start taking daily swigs from the herb bottle. Okay, not swigs! But I use a blend made up by a local herbalist called Bug Beater. It contains goodies like echineace, garlic, white horehound, rosehip and more. This is our preventative dose every morning after breakfast. At the first sign of a cold we up to a dose every 2 hours.
2. TAKE VITAMINS Apparently a large number of adults are low in zinc. Adults need eight to 12 milligrams of zinc a day, half of which is found in a palm-sized piece of lean red meat, and almost all in a single oyster. Zinc can be found in foods such as oysters, beef, spinach, pepitas and cacao. Apart from giving your man healthy swimmers, zinc is also incredibly useful for the immune system so I take one zinc supplement in the morning.
Vitamin C is a well known vitamin to take when your sick. It's an antiviral and works wonders at strengthening our immune system. You can naturally get your vitamin C dose through foods like passionfruit, inca berries, capsicums, berries and leafy greens. One kiwi fruit contains your daily Vit C intake.
Vitamin D is important too, and in Winter we often get less of the sunny stuff so I double up on a supplement of this during Winter too.
3. DRINK FRESH JUCIES Juicing lots of greens and throwing in capsicums, carrots and lots of lemon and ginger is something we try to do every second day. It's the only way Olivia will eat her vegetables so I make it a priority. Most vegetables and fruits contain high levels of vitamins and are packed with antioxidants, which help fight off any germs trying to ruin your winter! Here's 2 easy and tasty juice recipes to get started.
4. EAT TO NOURISH Avoid sugar, and eat whole foods! Processed foods and sugar are known to suppress the immune system. Superfoods like bee pollen, hemp seeds, camu camu and reishi mushroom are good to include for an extra boost. Herbs, spices and foods like garlic, ginger and turmeric (which also go into my juices) are excellent for the immune system and beating colds! Cayenne is also really good to use and can even alleviate a sore throat.
5. HAVE ADEQUATE DOWN TIME The body recovers and rejuvenates when your resting and fatigue is known to increase risks of illness. Make sure you get plenty of sleep (at least 7 hours) and have some chill days. Eliminate stresses and anxiety and don't over-do it on the travelling.
What do you swear by to get through the cold and flu season?