Is your immune system prepared for winter?
With autumn comes cooler weather and this can be the start of the cold and flu season for many.
There are a multitude of ways that you can start to support your immune system in preparation for winter to have you fighting fit all season long!
Here are a few to get you going: Ensure you are getting enough rest
Winter is the time for slowing down and taking time to rest and restore so give your body this opportunity. Approximately 8 hours sleep a night is extremely beneficial for allowing your immune system to get the support it needs to work functionally.
Drinking chai tea
It is super easy to make your own chai blend (and there are no nasties involved if you make it yourself!)
Simply mix dried ginger, cinnamon bark, peppercorns, cloves and cardamon pods and store in an airtight container and drink a cup of strongly brewed tea daily. The ingredients in chai have antimicrobial properties that can assist in fighting off the winter bugs.
Increase your herbs and spices in your cooking
Garlic, ginger, thyme, sage and oregano are all spices that can support your immune system as they work on reducing numbers of bacteria and other bugs in particular in your upper respiratory tract. Try adding to soups, stews, curries and mixing it up.
Eating warming foods
Now is not the time to begin making smoothies or consuming large amounts of gelato. During winter, your body works hard to maintain your body temperature and adding cold food into your digestive tract increases the workload of your body to heat up this food. Feed your body food that has been cooked and partially broken down - think stews, soups, bakes.
Ensure ventilation in your home
Open up the windows and doors of your home every week for a few hours to allow fresh air in and to disrupt the bacterial build-up in your home as bugs love warm homes just as much as we do!
Continuing to move throughout winter encourages your body to sweat out some of the nasties and also pushes your immune system to fight harder by increasing your white blood cell and antibody count.
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C is an amazing vitamin that supports a wide range of functions and body systems of your body but it also has a strong affinity to your immune system.
Trying to consume more foods rich in Vitamin C is beneficial to improving your immunity.
Foods highest in Vitamin C include: guava, capsicum (red and yellow), kiwi fruit, orange and other citrus fruits, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.
Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc is a mineral that is needed for most systems of your body (about 90 enzymes within your body need zinc to function!) but is also needed for healthy immune function.
Zinc rich foods include: oysters, animal meat, amaranth, cashews, lentils, chickpeas, beans, pumpkin seeds.
Herbs Naturopaths use a wide range of herbs that can support your immune system and provide the strength and energy to survive a Melbourne winter. Not only is there symptomatic support but also preventative options also.
Now is the time to start nutruring your immune system so it is strong enough to get through the winter months. If you would like to know more, book a consultation to find out how naturopathy can support your immune system so you can thrive this winter.